U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Dec 08, 2019

§ 3140.0-1 - Purpose.

The purpose of this subpart is to provide for the conversion of existing oil and gas leases and valid claims based on mineral locations within Special Tar Sand Areas to combined hydrocarbon leases.

§ 3140.0-3 - Authority.

These regulations are issued under the authority of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of February 25, 1920 (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.), the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands (30 U.S.C. 351 et seq.), and the Combined Hydrocarbon Leasing Act of 1981 (Pub. L. 97-78).

§ 3140.0-5 - Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the term:

(a) Combined hydrocarbon lease means a lease issued in a Special Tar Sand Area for the removal of gas and nongaseous hydrocarbon substances other than coal, oil shale or gilsonite.

(b) A complete plan of operations means a plan of operations that is in substantial compliance with the information requirements of 43 CFR 3592 for both exploration plans and mining plans, as well as any additional information required in this part and under 43 CFR 3593, as may be appropriate.

(c) Special Tar Sand Area means an area designated by the Department of the Interior's orders of November 20, 1980 (45 FR 76800), and January 21, 1981 (46 FR 6077) referred to in those orders as Designated Tar Sand Areas, as containing substantial deposits of tar sand.

(d) Owner of an oil and gas lease means all of the record title holders of an oil gas lease.

(e) Owner of a valid claim based on a mineral location means all parties appearing on the title records recognized as official under State law as having the right to sell or transfer any part of the mining claim, which was located within a Special Tar Sand Area prior to January 21, 1926, for any hydrocarbon resource, except coal, oil shale or gilsonite, leasable under the Combined Hydrocarbon Leasing Act.

(f) Unitization means unitization as that term is defined in 43 CFR part 3180.

[47 FR 22478, May 24, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 12351, Apr. 3, 1990; 70 FR 58614, Oct. 7, 2005]

§ 3140.1 - General provisions.

§ 3140.1-1 - Existing rights.

(a) The owner of an oil and gas lease issued prior to November 16, 1981, or the owner of a valid claim based on a mineral location situated within a Special Tar Sand Area may convert that portion of the lease or claim so situated to a combined hydrocarbon lease, provided that such conversion is consistent with the provisions of this subpart.

(b) Owners of oil and gas leases in Special Tar Sand Areas who elect not to convert their leases to a combined hydrocarbon lease do not acquire the rights to any hydrocarbon resource except oil and gas as those terms were defined prior to the enactment of the Combined Hydrocarbon Leasing Act of 1981. The failure to file an application to convert a valid claim based on a mineral location within the time herein provided shall have no effect on the validity of the mining claim nor the right to maintain that claim.

§ 3140.1-2 - Notice of intent to convert.

(a) Owners of oil and gas leases in Special Tar Sand Areas which are scheduled to expire prior to the effective date of these regulations or within 6 months thereafter, may preserve the right to convert their leases to combined hydrocarbon leases by filing a Notice of Intent to Convert with the State Director, Utah State Office, Bureau of Land Management, 136 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111.

(b) A letter, submitted by the lessee, notifying the Bureau of Land Management of the lessee's intention to submit a plan of operations shall constitute a notice of intent to convert a lease. The Notice of Intent shall contain the lease number.

(c) The Notice of Intent shall be filed prior to the expiration date of the lease. The notice shall preserve the lessee's conversion rights only for a period ending 6 months after the effective date of this subpart.

§ 3140.1-3 - Exploration plans.

(a) The authorized officer may grant permission to holders of existing oil and gas leases to gather information to develop, perfect, complete or amend a plan of operations required for conversion upon the approval of the authorized officer of an exploration plan developed in accordance with 43 CFR 3592.1.

(b) The approval of an exploration plan in units of the National Park System requires the consent of the Regional Director of the National Park Service in accordance with § 3140.7 of this title.

(c) The filing of an exploration plan alone shall be insufficient to meet the requirements of a complete plan of operations as set forth in § 3140.2-3 of this title.

[47 FR 22478, May 24, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 12351, Apr. 3, 1990]

§ 3140.1-4 - Other provisions.

(a) A combined hydrocarbon lease shall be for no more than 5,760 acres. Acreage held under a combined hydrocarbon lease in a Special Tar Sand Area is not chargeable to State oil and gas limitations allowable in § 3101.2 of this title.

(b) The rental rate for a combined hydrocarbon lease shall be $2 per acre per year and shall be payable annually in advance.

(c)(1) The royalty rate for a combined hydrocarbon lease converted from an oil and gas lease shall be that provided for in the original oil and gas lease.

(2) The royalty rate for a combined hydrocarbon lease converted from a valid claim based on a mineral location shall be 12 1/2 percent.

(3) A reduction of royalties may be granted either as provided in § 3103.4 of this title or, at the request of the lessee and upon a review of information provided by the lessee, prior to commencement of commercial operations if the purpose of the request is to promote development and the maximum production of tar sand.

(d)(1) Existing oil and gas leases and valid claims based on mineral locations may be unitized prior to or after the lease or claim has been converted to a combined hydrocarbon lease. The requirements of 43 CFR part 3180 shall provide the procedures and general guidelines for unitization of combined hydrocarbon leases. For leases within units of the National Park System, unitization requires the consent of the Regional Director of the National Park Service in accordance with § 3140.4-1(b) of this title.

(2) If the plan of operations submitted for conversion is designed to cover a unit, a fully executed unit agreement shall be approved before the plan of operations applicable to the unit may be approved under § 3140.2 of this title. The proposed plan of operations and the proposed unit agreement may be reviewed concurrently. The approved unit agreement shall be effective after the leases or claims subject to it are converted to combined hydrocarbon leases. The plan of operations shall explain how and when each lease included in the unit operation will be developed.

(e) Except as provided for in this subpart, the regulations set out in part 3100 of this title are applicable, as appropriate, to all combined hydrocarbon leases issued under this subpart.

[47 FR 22478, May 24, 1982, as amended at 48 FR 33682, July 22, 1983; 55 FR 12351, Apr. 3, 1990; 61 FR 4752, Feb. 8, 1996; 70 FR 58614, Oct. 7, 2005]

§ 3140.2 - Applications.

§ 3140.2-1 - Forms.

No special form is required for a conversion application.

§ 3140.2-2 - Who may apply.

Only owners of oil and gas leases issued within Special Tar Sands Areas, on or before November 16, 1981, and owners of valid claims based on mineral locations within Special Tar Sands Areas, are eligible to convert leases or claims to combined hydrocarbon leases in Special Tar Sands Areas.

[55 FR 12351, Apr. 3, 1990]

§ 3140.2-3 - Application requirements.

(a) The applicant shall submit to the State Director, Utah State Office of the Bureau of Land Management, a written request for a combined hydrocarbon lease signed by the owner of the lease or valid claim which shall be accompanied by 3 copies of a plan of operations which shall meet the requirements of 43 CFR 3592.1 and which shall provide for reasonable protection of the environment and diligent development of the resources requiring enhanced recovery methods of development or mining.

(b) A plan of operations may be modified or amended before or after conversion of a lease or valid claim to reflect changes in technology, slippages in schedule beyond the control of the lessee, new information about the resource or the economic or environmental aspects of its development, changes to or initiation of applicable unit agreements or for other purposes. To obtain approval of a modification or amended plan, the applicant shall submit a written statement of the proposed changes or supplements and the justification for the changes proposed. Any modifications shall be in accordance with 43 CFR 3592.1(c). The approval of the modification or amendment is the responsibility of the authorized officer. Changes or modification to the plan of operations shall have no effect on the primary term of the lease. The authorized officer shall, prior to approving any amendment or modification, review the modification or amendment with the appropriate surface management agency. For leases within units of the National Park System, no amendment or modification shall be approved without the consent of the Regional Director of the National Park Service in accordance with § 3140.7 of this title.

(c) The plan of operations may be for a single existing oil and gas lease or valid claim or for an area of proposed unit operation.

(d) The plan of operations shall identify by lease number all Federal oil and gas leases proposed for conversion and identify valid claims proposed for conversion by the recordation number of the mining claim.

(e) The plan of operations shall include any proposed designation of operator or proposed operating agreement.

(f) The plan of operations may include an exploration phase, if necessary, but it shall include a development phase. Such a plan can be approved even though it may indicate work under the exploration phase is necessary to perfect the proposed plan for the development phase as long as the overall plan demonstrates reasonable protection of the environment and diligent development of the resources requiring enhanced recovery methods of mining.

(g)(1) Upon determination that the plan of operations is complete, the authorized officer shall suspend the term of the Federal oil and gas lease(s) as of the date that the complete plan was filed until the plan is finally approved or rejected. Only the term of the oil and gas lease shall be suspended, not any operation and production requirements thereunder.

(2) If the authorized officer determines that the plan of operations is not complete, the applicant shall be notified that the plan is subject to rejection if not completed within the period specified in the notice.

(3) The authorized officer may request additional data after the plan of operations has been determined to be complete. This request for additional information shall have no effect on the suspension of the running of the oil and gas lease.

[47 FR 22478, May 24, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 12351, Apr. 3, 1990]

§ 3140.3 - Time limitations.

§ 3140.3-1 - Conversion applications.

A plan of operations to convert an existing oil and gas lease or valid claim based on a mineral location to a combined hydrocarbon lease shall be filed on or before November 15, 1983, or prior to the expiration of the oil and gas lease, whichever is earlier, except as provided in § 3140.1-2 of this title.

§ 3140.3-2 - Action on an application.

The authorized officer shall take action on an application for conversion within 15 months of receipt of a proposed plan of operations.

[47 FR 22478, May 24, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 12351, Apr. 3, 1990]

§ 3140.4 - Conversion.

§ 3140.4-1 - Approval of plan of operations (and unit and operating agreements).

(a) The owner of an oil and gas lease, or the owner of a valid claim based on a mineral location shall have such lease or claim converted to a combined hydrocarbon lease when the plan of operations, filed under § 3140.2 of this title, is deemed acceptable and is approved by the authorized officer.

(b) The conversion of a lease within a unit of the National Park System shall be approved only with the consent of the Regional Director of the National Park Service in accordance with § 3140.7 of this title.

(c) A plan of operations may not be approved in part but may be approved where it contains an appropriately staged plan of exploration and development operations.

[47 FR 22478, May 24, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 12351, Apr. 3, 1990]

§ 3140.4-2 - Issuance of the combined hydrocarbon lease.

(a) After a plan of operations is found acceptable, and is approved, the authorized officer shall prepare and submit to the owner, for execution, a combined hydrocarbon lease containing all appropriate terms and conditions, including any necessary stipulations that were part of the oil and gas lease being converted, as well as any additional stipulations, such as those required to ensure compliance with the plan of operations.

(b) The authorized officer shall not sign the combined hydrocarbon lease until it has been executed by the conversion applicant and the lease or claim to be converted has been formally relinquished to the United States.

(c) The effective date of the combined hydrocarbon lease shall be the first day of the month following the date that the authorized officer signs the lease.

(d)(1) Except to the extent that any such lease would exceed 5,210 acres, the authorized officer may issue, upon the request of the applicant, 1 combined hydrocarbon lease to cover contiguous oil and gas leases or valid claims based on mineral locations which have been approved for conversion.

(2) To the extent necessary to promote the development of the resource, the authorized officer may issue, upon the request of the applicant, one combined hydrocarbon lease that does not exceed 5,760 acres, which shall be as nearly compact as possible, to cover non-contiguous oil and gas leases or valid claims which have been approved for conversion.

[47 FR 22478, May 24, 1982, as amended at 70 FR 58614, Oct. 7, 2005]

§ 3140.5 - Duration of the lease.

A combined hydrocarbon lease shall be for a primary term of 10 years and for so long thereafter as oil or gas is produced in paying quantities.

§ 3140.6 - Use of additional lands.

(a) The authorized officer may noncompetitively lease additional lands for ancillary facilities in a Special Tar Sand Area that are needed to support any operations necessary for the recovery of tar sand. Such uses include, but are not limited to, mill site or waste disposal. Application for a lease or permit to use additional lands shall be filed under the provisions of part 2920 of this title with the proper BLM office having jurisdiction of the lands. The application for additional lands may be filed at the time a plan of operations is filed.

(b) A lease for the use of additional lands shall not be issued when the use can be authorized under parts 2800 and 2880 of this title. Such uses include, but are not limited to, reservoirs, pipelines, electrical generation systems, transmission lines, roads, and railroads.

(c) Within units of the National Park System, permits or leases for additional lands shall only be issued by the National Park Service. Applications for such permits or leases shall be filed with the Regional Director of the National Park Service.

§ 3140.7 - Lands within the National Park System.

Conversions of existing oil and gas leases and valid claims based on mineral locations to combined hydrocarbon leases within units of the National Park System shall be allowed only where mineral leasing is permitted by law and where the lands covered by the lease or claim proposed for conversion are open to mineral resource disposition in accordance with any applicable minerals management plan. (See 43 CFR 3100.0-3 (g)(4)). In order to consent to any conversion or any subsequent development under a combined hydrocarbon lease requiring further approval, the Regional Director of the National Park Service shall find that there will be no resulting significant adverse impacts on the resources and administration of such areas or on other contiguous units of the National Park System in accordance with § 3109.2(b) of this title.

[47 FR 22478, May 24, 1982, as amended at 48 FR 33682, July 22, 1983; 55 FR 12351, Apr. 3, 1990]