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Title 43: Public Lands: Interior
§3108.2-4 Conversion of unpatented oil placer mining claims: Class III reinstatements.
(a) For any unpatented oil placer mining claim validly located prior to February 24, 1920, which has been or is currently producing or is capable of producing oil or gas, and has been or is deemed after January 12, 1983, conclusively abandoned for failure to file timely the required instruments or copies of instruments required by section 314 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1744), and it is shown to the satisfaction of the authorized officer that such failure was inadvertent, justifiable or not due to lack of reasonable diligence on the part of the owner, the authorized officer may issue, for the lands covered by the abandoned unpatented oil placer mining claim, a noncompetitive oil and gas lease consistent with the provisions of section 17(e) of the Act (30 U.S.C. 226(e)). The effective date of any lease issued under this section shall be from the statutory date that the claim was deemed conclusively abandoned.
(b) The authorized officer may issue a noncompetitive oil and gas lease if a petition has been filed in the proper BLM office for the issuance of a noncompetitive oil and gas lease accompanied by the required rental and royalty, including back rental and royalty accruing, at the rates specified in §§3103.2-2 and 3103.3-1 of this title, for any claim deemed conclusively abandoned after January 12, 1983. The petition shall have been filed on or before the 120th day after the final notification by the Secretary or a court of competent jurisdiction of the determination of the abandonment of the oil placer mining claim.
(c) The authorized officer shall not issue a noncompetitive oil and gas lease under this section if a valid oil and gas lease has been issued affecting any of the lands covered by the abandoned oil placer mining claim prior to the filing of the petition for issuance of a noncompetitive oil and gas lease.
(d) After the filing of a petition for issuance of a noncompetitive oil and gas lease covering an abandoned oil placer claim, the authorized officer shall not issue any new lease affecting any lands covered by such petition until all action on the petition is final.
(e) Any noncompetitive lease issued under this section shall include:
(1) Terms and conditions for the payment of rental in accordance with §3103.2-2(j) of this title. Payment of back rentals accruing from the date of abandonment of the oil placer mining claim, at the rental set by the authorized officer, shall be made prior to the lease issuance.
(2) Royalty rates set in accordance with §3103.3-1 of this title. Royalty shall be paid at the rate established by the authorized officer on all production removed or sold from the oil placer mining claim, including all royalty on production made subsequent to the date the claim was deemed conclusively abandoned prior to the lease issuance.
(f) Noncompetitive oil and gas leases issued under this section shall be subject to all regulations in part 3100 of this title except for those terms and conditions mandated by Title IV of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act.
(g) A notice of the proposed conversion of the oil placer mining claim into a noncompetitive oil and gas lease, including the terms and conditions of conversion, shall be published in the Federal Register at least 30 days prior to the issuance of a noncompetitive oil and gas lease. The mining claim owner shall reimburse the Bureau for the full costs incurred in the publishing of said notice.
(h) The mining claim owner shall pay the Bureau a nonrefundable administrative fee of $500 prior to the issuance of the noncompetitive lease.
(i) The authorized officer may, either in acting on a petition to issue a noncompetitive oil and gas lease or in response to a request filed after issuance, or both, reduce the royalty in such lease, if he/she determines there are either economic or other circumstances which could cause undue economic hardship or premature termination of production.
[49 FR 30449, July 30, 1984, as amended at 53 FR 17357, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 22840, June 17, 1988]