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e-CFR data is current as of September 22, 2020

Title 25Chapter ISubchapter IPart 225 → Subpart A


Title 25: Indians
PART 225—OIL AND GAS, GEOTHERMAL, AND SOLID MINERALS AGREEMENTS


Subpart A—General


Contents
§225.1   Purpose and scope.
§225.2   Information collection.
§225.3   Definitions.
§225.4   Authority and responsibility of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
§225.5   Authority and responsibility of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).
§225.6   Authority and responsibility of the Minerals Management Service (MMS).

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§225.1   Purpose and scope.

(a) The regulations in this part, administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, govern minerals agreements for the development of Indian-owned minerals entered into pursuant to the Indian Mineral Development Act of 1982, 25 U.S.C. 2101-2108 (IMDA). These regulations are applicable to the lands or interests in lands of any Indian tribe, individual Indian or Alaska native the title to which is held in trust by the United States or is subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States. These regulations are intended to ensure that Indian mineral owners are permitted to enter into minerals agreements that will allow the Indian mineral owners to have more responsibility in overseeing and greater flexibility in disposing of their mineral resources, and to allow development in the manner which the Indian mineral owners believe will maximize their best economic interest and minimize any adverse environmental or cultural impact resulting from such development. Pursuant to section 4 of the IMDA (25 U.S.C. 2103(e)), as part of this greater flexibility, where the Secretary has approved a minerals agreement in compliance with the provisions of 25 U.S.C. chap. 23 and any other applicable provision of law, the United States shall not be liable for losses sustained by a tribe or individual Indian under such minerals agreement. However, as further stated in the IMDA, the Secretary continues to have a trust obligation to ensure that the rights of a tribe or individual Indian are protected in the event of a violation of the terms of any minerals agreement, and to uphold the duties of the United States as derived from the trust relationship and from any treaties, executive orders, or agreements between the United States and any Indian tribe.

(b) The regulations in this part shall become effective and in full force on April 29, 1994, and shall be subject to amendment at any time by the Secretary; Provided, that no such regulation that becomes effective after the date of approval of any minerals agreement shall operate to affect the duration of the minerals agreement, the rate of royalty or financial consideration, rental, or acreage unless agreed to by all parties to the minerals agreement.

(c) The regulations of the Bureau of Land Management, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and the Minerals Management Service that are referenced in §§225.4, 225.5, and 225.6 are supplemental to these regulations, and apply to minerals agreements for development of Indian mineral resources unless specifically stated otherwise in this part or in other Federal regulations. To the extent the parties to a minerals agreement are able to provide reasonable provisions satisfactorily addressing the issues of valuation, method of payment, accounting, and auditing, governed by the Minerals Management Service regulations, the Secretary may approve alternate provisions in a minerals agreement.

(d) Nothing in these regulations is intended to prevent Indian tribes from exercising their lawful governmental authority to regulate the conduct of persons, businesses, or minerals operations within their territorial jurisdiction.

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§225.2   Information collection.

It has been determined by the Office of Management and Budget that the Information Collection Requirements contained in part 225 do not require review under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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§225.3   Definitions.

As used in this part, the following terms have the specified meaning except where otherwise indicated.

Area Director means the Bureau of Indian Affairs Official in charge of an Area Office.

Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs means the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior, a designee of the Secretary of the Interior who may be specifically authorized by the Secretary to disapprove minerals agreements (25 U.S.C. 2103(d)) and to issue orders of cessation and/or minerals agreement cancellations as final orders of the Department.

Authorized Officer means any employee of the Bureau of Land Management authorized by law or by lawful delegation of authority to perform the duties described herein and in 43 CFR parts 3160, 3180, 3260, 3280, 3480 and 3590.

Director's Representative means the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Director's Representative authorized by law or by lawful delegation of authority to perform the duties described in 30 CFR part 750 and 25 CFR part 216.

Gas means any fluid, either combustible or noncombustible, that is produced in a natural state from the earth and that maintains a gaseous or rarefied state at ordinary temperature and pressure conditions.

Geothermal resources means: (1) All products of geothermal processes, including indigenous steam, hot water, and hot brines;

(2) Steam and other gases, hot water, and hot brines, resulting from water, gas, or other fluids artificially introduced into geothermal formations;

(3) Heat or other associated energy found in geothermal formations; and

(4) Any by-product derived therefrom.

In the best interest of the Indian mineral owner refers to the standards to be applied by the Secretary in considering whether to take administrative action affecting the interests of an Indian mineral owner. In considering whether it is “in the best interest of the Indian mineral owner” to take a certain action (such as approval of a minerals agreement or a unitization or communitization agreement) the Secretary shall consider any relevant factor, including, but not limited to: economic considerations, such as date of lease or minerals agreement expiration; probable financial effects on the Indian mineral owner; need for change in the terms of the existing minerals agreement; marketability of mineral products; and potential environmental, social and cultural effects.

Indian lands means any lands or interests in lands owned by any individual Indian or Alaska Native, Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, community, rancheria, colony, or other group, the title to which is held in trust by the United States or is subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States.

Indian mineral owner means any individual Indian or Alaska Native, or Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, community, rancheria, colony, or other group that owns a mineral interest in oil and gas, geothermal resources or solid minerals, title to which is held in trust by the United States or is subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States.

Indian surface owner means any individual Indian or Alaska Native, or Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, community, rancheria, colony, or other group that owns the surface estate in land the title to which is held in trust by the United States or is subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States.

Indian tribe means any Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, community, rancheria, colony, or other group that owns land or interests in land the title to which is held in trust by the United States or is subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States.

Individual Indian means any individual Indian or Alaska Native who owns land or interests in land the title to which is held in trust by the United States or is subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States.

Minerals includes both metalliferous and non-metalliferous minerals; all hydrocarbons, including oil and gas, coal and lignite of all ranks; geothermal resources; and includes but is not limited to sand, gravel, pumice, cinders, granite, building stone, limestone, clay, silt, or any other energy or non-energy mineral.

Minerals agreement means any joint venture, operating, production sharing, service, managerial, lease (other than a lease entered into pursuant to the Act of May 11, 1938, or the Act of March 3, 1909), contract, or other minerals agreement; or any amendment, supplement or other modification of such minerals agreement, providing for the exploration for, or extraction, processing, or other development of minerals in which an Indian mineral owner owns a beneficial or restricted interest, or providing for the sale or other disposition of the production or products of such minerals.

Minerals Management Service official means any employee of the Minerals Management Service authorized by law or by lawful delegation of authority to perform the duties described in 30 CFR chapter II, subchapters A and C.

Mining means the science, technique, and business of mineral development, including, but not limited to: opencast work, underground work, in-situ leaching, or other methods directed to severance and treatment of minerals; however, when sand, gravel, pumice, cinders, granite, building stone, limestone, clay or silt is the subject mineral, an enterprise is considered “mining” only if the extraction of such a mineral exceeds 5,000 cubic yards in any given year.

Oil means all non-gaseous hydrocarbon substances other than coal, oil shale, or gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons). Oil includes liquefiable hydrocarbon substances such as drip gasoline and other natural condensates recovered or recoverable in a liquid state from produced gas without resorting to a manufacturing process.

Operator means a person, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or other business entity that has entered into an approved minerals agreement under the authority of the Indian Mineral Development Act of 1982, or who has been assigned an obligation to make royalty or other payments required by the minerals agreement.

Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior or an authorized representative, except that as used in §225.22 (e) and (f) the authorized representative may only be the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs (25 U.S.C. 2103(d)).

Solid minerals means all minerals excluding oil, gas, and geothermal resources.

Superintendent means the Bureau of Indian Affairs official in charge of an agency office.

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§225.4   Authority and responsibility of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The functions of the Bureau of Land Management are found in 43 CFR part 3160—Onshore Oil and Gas Operations, 43 CFR part 3180—Onshore Oil and Gas Unit Agreements: Unproven Areas, 43 CFR part 3260—Geothermal Resources Operations, 43 CFR part 3280—Geothermal Resources Unit Agreements: Unproven Areas, 43 CFR part 3480—Coal Exploration and Mining Operations, and 43 CFR part 3590—Solid Minerals (Other Than Coal) Exploration and Mining Operations. These functions include, but are not limited to, resource evaluation, approval of drilling permits, approval of mining, reclamation, and production plans, mineral appraisals, inspection and enforcement, and production verification. These regulations, as amended, apply to minerals agreements approved under this part.

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§225.5   Authority and responsibility of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).

The OSMRE is the regulatory authority for surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Indian lands pursuant to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). The relevant regulations for surface mining and reclamation operations are found in 30 CFR part 750 and 25 CFR part 216. These regulations, as amended, apply to minerals agreements approved under this part.

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§225.6   Authority and responsibility of the Minerals Management Service (MMS).

The functions of the MMS for reporting, accounting, and auditing are found in 30 CFR chapter II, subchapters A and C. These regulations, unless specifically stated otherwise in this part or in other regulations, apply to all minerals agreements approved under this part. To the extent the parties to a minerals agreement are able to provide reasonable provisions satisfactorily addressing the issues or functions governed by the MMS regulations relating to valuation of mineral product, method of payment, accounting procedures, and auditing procedures, the Secretary may approve alternate provisions in a minerals agreement.

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