About GPO   |   Newsroom/Media   |   Congressional Relations   |   Inspector General   |   Careers   |   Contact   |   askGPO   |   Help  
 
Home   |   Customers   |   Vendors   |   Libraries  

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a regularly updated, unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.

Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules for the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code
Text | PDF

Find, review, and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register using Regulations.gov.

Purchase individual CFR titles from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

Find issues of the CFR (including issues prior to 1996) at a local Federal depository library.

[2]
 
 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of December 18, 2014

Title 43Subtitle BChapter IISubchapter C → Part 3150


Title 43: Public Lands: Interior


PART 3150—ONSHORE OIL AND GAS GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION


Contents

Subpart 3150—Onshore Oil and Gas Geophysical Exploration; General

§3150.0-1   Purpose.
§3150.0-3   Authority.
§3150.0-5   Definitions.
§3150.1   Suspension, revocation or cancellation.
§3150.2   Appeals.

Subpart 3151—Exploration Outside of Alaska

§3151.1   Notice of intent to conduct oil and gas geophysical exploration operations.
§3151.2   Notice of completion of operations.

Subpart 3152—Exploration in Alaska

§3152.1   Application for oil and gas geophysical exploration permit.
§3152.2   Action on application.
§3152.3   Renewal of exploration permit.
§3152.4   Relinquishment of exploration permit.
§3152.5   Modification of exploration permit.
§3152.6   Collection and submission of data.
§3152.7   Completion of operations.

Subpart 3153—Exploration of Lands Under the Jurisdiction of the Department of Defense

§3153.1   Geophysical permit requirements.

Subpart 3154—Bond Requirements

§3154.1   Types of bonds.
§3154.2   Additional bonding.
§3154.3   Bond cancellation or termination of liability.

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 3150(b) and 668dd; 30 U.S.C. 189 and 359; 42 U.S.C. 6508; 43 U.S.C. 1201, 1732(b), 1733, 1734, 1740.

Source: 53 FR 17359, May 16, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart 3150—Onshore Oil and Gas Geophysical Exploration; General

§3150.0-1   Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to establish procedures for conducting oil and gas geophysical exploration operations when authorization for such operations is required from the Bureau of Land Management. Geophysical exploration on public lands, the surface of which is administered by the Bureau, requires Bureau approval. The procedures in this part also apply to geophysical exploration conducted under the rights granted by any Federal oil and gas lease unless the surface is administered by the U.S. Forest Service. However, a lessee may elect to conduct exploration operations outside of the rights granted by the lease, in which case authorization from the surface managing agency or surface owner may be required. At the request of any other surface managing agency, the procedures in this part may be applied on a case-by-case basis to unleased public lands administered by such agency. The procedures of this part do not apply to:

(a) Casual use activities;

(b) Operations conducted on private surface overlying public lands unless such operations are conducted by a lessee under the rights granted by the Federal oil and gas lease; and

(c) Exploration operations conducted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in accordance with section 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (See 50 CFR part 37).

§3150.0-3   Authority.

The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended and supplemented, (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.), the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947, as amended (30 U.S.C. 351-359), the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the Independent Offices Appropriations Act of 1952 (31 U.S.C. 483a), the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (42 U.S.C. 6504) and the Department of the Interior Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 1981 (42 U.S.C. 6508).

§3150.0-5   Definitions.

As used in this part, the term:

(a) Oil and gas geophysical exploration means activity relating to the search for evidence of oil and gas which requires the physical presence upon the lands and which may result in damage to the lands or the resources located thereon. It includes, but is not limited to, geophysical operations, construction of roads and trails and cross-country transit of vehicles over such lands. It does not include core drilling for subsurface geologic information or drilling for oil and gas; these activities shall be authorized only by the issuance of an oil and gas lease and the approval of an Application for a Permit to Drill. The regulations in this part, however, are not intended to prevent drilling operations necessary for placing explosive charges, where permissible, for seismic exploration.

(b) Casual use means activities that involve practices which do not ordinarily lead to any appreciable disturbance or damage to lands, resources and improvements. For example, activities which do not involve use of heavy equipment or explosives and which do not involve vehicular movement except over established roads and trails are casual use.

[53 FR 17359, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 31959, Aug. 22, 1988]

§3150.1   Suspension, revocation or cancellation.

The right to conduct exploration under notices of intent and oil and gas geophysical exploration permits may be revoked or suspended, after notice, by the authorized officer and upon a final administrative finding of a violation of any term or condition of the instrument, including, but not limited to, terms and conditions requiring compliance with regulations issued under Acts applicable to the public lands and applicable State air and water quality standards or implementation plans. The Secretary may order an immediate temporary suspension of activities authorized under a permit or other use authorization prior to a hearing or final administrative finding if he/she determines that such a suspension is necessary to protect health or safety or the environment. Further, where other applicable law contains specific provisions for suspension, revocation, or cancellation of a permit or other authorization to use, occupy, or develop the public lands, the specific provisions of such law shall prevail.

§3150.2   Appeals.

(a) A party adversely affected by a decision or approval of the authorized officer may appeal that decision to the Interior Board of Land Appeals as set forth in part 4 of this title.

(b) All decisions and approvals of the authorized officer under this part shall remain effective pending appeal unless the Interior Board of Land Appeals determines otherwise upon consideration of the standards stated in this paragraph. The provisions of 43 CFR 4.21(a) shall not apply to any decision or approval of the authorized officer under this part. A petition for a stay of a decision or approval of the authorized officer shall be filed with the Interior Board of Land Appeals, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Department of the Interior, and shall show sufficient justification based on the following standards:

(1) The relative harm to the parties if the stay is granted or denied,

(2) The likelihood of the appellant's success on the merits,

(3) The likelihood of irreparable harm to the appellant or resources if the stay is not granted, and

(4) Whether the public interest favors granting the stay.

Nothing in this paragraph shall diminish the discretionary authority of the authorized officer to stay the effectiveness of a decision subject to appeal pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section upon a request by an adversely affected party or on the authorized officer's own initiative. If the authorized officer denies such a request, the requester can petition for a stay of the denial decision by filing a petition with the Interior Board of Land Appeals that addresses the standards described above in this paragraph.

[57 FR 9012, Mar. 13, 1992, as amended at 57 FR 44336, Sept. 25, 1992]

Subpart 3151—Exploration Outside of Alaska

§3151.1   Notice of intent to conduct oil and gas geophysical exploration operations.

Parties wishing to conduct oil and gas geophysical exploration outside of the State of Alaska shall file a Notice of Intent to Conduct Oil and Gas Exploration Operations, referred to herein as a notice of intent. The notice of intent shall be filed with the District Manager of the proper BLM office on the form approved by the Director. Within 5 working days of the filing date, the authorized officer shall process the notice of intent and notify the operator of practices and procedures to be followed. If the notice of intent cannot be processed within 5 working days of the filing date, the authorized officer shall promptly notify the operator as to when processing will be completed, giving the reason for the delay. The operator shall, within 5 working days of the filing date, or such other time as may be convenient for the operator, participate in a field inspection if requested by the authorized officer. Signing of the notice of intent by the operator shall signify agreement to comply with the terms and conditions contained therein and in this part, and with all practices and procedures specified at any time by the authorized officer.

§3151.2   Notice of completion of operations.

Upon completion of exploration, there shall be filed with the District Manager a Notice of Completion of Oil and Gas Exploration Operations. Within 30 days after this filing, the authorized officer shall notify the party whether rehabilitation of the lands is satisfactory or whether additional rehabilitation is necessary, specifying the nature and extent of actions to be taken by the operator.

Subpart 3152—Exploration in Alaska

§3152.1   Application for oil and gas geophysical exploration permit.

Parties wishing to conduct oil and gas geophysical exploration operations in Alaska shall complete an application for an oil and gas geophysical exploration permit. The application shall contain the following information:

(a) The applicant's name and address;

(b) The operator's name and address;

(c) The contractor's name and address;

(d) A description of lands involved by township and range, including a map or overlays showing the lands to be entered and affected;

(e) The period of time when operations will be conducted; and

(f) A plan for conducting the exploration operations.

Note to §3152.1: Submit your application along with the filing fee for geophysical exploration permit—Alaska, found in the fee schedule in §3000.12 of this chapter (except where the exploration operations are to be conducted on a leasehold by or on behalf of the lessee), to the District Manager of the proper BLM office.

[53 FR 17359, May 16, 1988, as amended at 72 FR 50887, Sept. 5, 2007]

§3152.2   Action on application.

(a) The authorized officer shall review each application and approve or disapprove it within 90 calendar days, unless compliance with statutory requirements such as the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) delays this action. The applicant shall be notified promptly in writing of any such delay.

(b) The authorized officer shall include in each geophysical exploration permit terms and conditions deemed necessary to protect values, mineral resources, and nonmineral resources. Geophysical permits within National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska shall contain such reasonable conditions, restrictions and prohibitions as the authorized officer deems appropriate to mitigate adverse effects upon the surface resources of the Reserve and to satisfy the requirement of section 104(b) of the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (42 U.S.C. 6504) (See part 3130 for stipulations relating to the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska).

(c) An exploration permit shall become effective on the date specified by the authorized officer and shall expire 1 year thereafter.

(d) For lands subject to section 1008 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, exploration shall be authorized only upon a determination that such activities can be conducted in a manner which is consistent with the purposes for which the affected area is managed under applicable law.

§3152.3   Renewal of exploration permit.

Upon application by the permittee and payment of the filing fee for renewal of exploration permit—Alaska, found in the fee schedule in section 3000.12 of this chapter (except where the exploration operations are to be conducted on a leasehold by or on behalf of the lessee), an exploration permit may be renewed for a period not to exceed one year.

[72 FR 50887, Sept. 5, 2007]

§3152.4   Relinquishment of exploration permit.

Subject to the continued obligations of the permittee and the surety to comply with the terms and conditions of the exploration permit and the regulations, the permittee may relinquish an exploration permit for all or any portion of the lands covered by it. Such relinquishment shall be filed with the District Manager of the proper BLM office.

§3152.5   Modification of exploration permit.

(a) A permittee may request, and the authorized officer may approve a modification of an exploration permit.

(b) The authorized officer may, after consultation with the permittee, require modifications determined necessary.

§3152.6   Collection and submission of data.

(a) The permittee shall submit to the authorized officer all data and information obtained in carrying out the exploration plan.

(b) All information submitted under this section is subject to part 2 of this title, which sets forth the rules of the Department of the Interior relating to public availability of information contained in Departmental records, as provided at §3100.4 of this chapter.

[53 FR 17359, May 16, 1988, as amended at 63 FR 52952, Oct. 1, 1998]

§3152.7   Completion of operations.

(a) The permittee shall submit to the authorized officer a completion report within 30 days of completion of all operations under the permit. The completion report shall contain the following:

(1) A description of all work performed;

(2) Charts, maps or plats depicting the areas and blocks in which the exploration was conducted and specifically identifying the lines of geophysical traverses and any roads constructed;

(3) The dates on which the actual exploration was conducted;

(4) Such other information about the exploration operations as may be specified by the authorized officer in the permit; and

(5) A statement that all terms and conditions have been complied with or that corrective measures shall be taken to rehabilitate the lands or other resources.

(b) Within 90 days after the authorized officer receives a completion report from the permittee that exploration has been completed or after the expiration of the permit, whichever occurs first, the authorized officer shall notify the permittee of the specific nature and extent of any additional measures required to rectify any damage to the lands and resources.

[53 FR 17359, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 31959, Aug. 22, 1988]

Subpart 3153—Exploration of Lands Under the Jurisdiction of the Department of Defense

§3153.1   Geophysical permit requirements.

Except in unusual circumstances, permits for geophysical exploration on unleased lands under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense shall be issued by the appropriate agency of that Department. In the event an agency of the Department of Defense refers an application for exploration to the Bureau for issuance, the provisions of subpart 3152 of this title shall apply. Geophysical exploration on lands under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense shall be authorized only with the consent of, and subject to such terms and conditions as may be required by, the Department of Defense.

Subpart 3154—Bond Requirements

§3154.1   Types of bonds.

Prior to each planned exploration, the party(s) filing the notice of intent or application for a permit shall file with the authorized officer a bond as described in §3104.1 of this title in the amount of at least $5,000, conditioned upon full and faithful compliance with the terms and conditions of this subpart and the notice of intent or permit. In lieu thereof, the party(s) may file a statewide bond in the amount of $25,000 covering all oil and gas exploration operations in the same State or a nationwide bond in the amount of $50,000 covering all oil and gas exploration operations in the nation. Holders of individual, statewide or nationwide oil and gas lease bonds shall be allowed to conduct exploration on their leaseholds without further bonding, and holders of statewide or nationwide lease bonds wishing to conduct exploration on lands they do not have under lease may obtain a rider to include oil and gas exploration operations under this part. Holders of nationwide or any National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska oil and gas lease bonds shall be permitted to obtain a rider to include the coverage of oil and gas exploration within the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska under subpart 3152 of this title.

§3154.2   Additional bonding.

The authorized officer may increase the amount of any bond that is required under this subpart after determining that additional coverage is needed to ensure protection of the lands or resources.

§3154.3   Bond cancellation or termination of liability.

The authorized officer shall not consent to the cancellation of the bond or the termination of liability unless and until the terms and conditions of the notice of intent or permit have been met. Should the authorized officer fail to notify the party within 90 days of the filing of a notice of completion of the need for additional action by the operator to rehabilitate the lands, liability for that particular exploration operation shall automatically terminate.

[53 FR 17359, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 31867, Aug. 22, 1988]



For questions or comments regarding e-CFR editorial content, features, or design, email ecfr@nara.gov.
For questions concerning e-CFR programming and delivery issues, email webteam@gpo.gov.