- § 351. Definitions
- § 352. Deposits subject to lease; consent of department heads; lands excluded
- § 353. Sale of lands unaffected; reservation of mineral rights; sale subject to prior lease; naval petroleum reserves unaffected
- § 354. Lease of partial or future interests in deposits
- § 355. Disposition of receipts
- § 356. Furnishing description of lands and title documents; recordation of documents; authenticated copies
- § 357. State or local government rights; taxation
- § 358. Rights under prior leases; priority of pending applications; exchange of leases
- § 359. Rules and regulations
- § 360. Authority to manage certain mineral leases
As used in this chapter “United States” includes Alaska. “Acquired lands” or “lands acquired by the United States” include all lands heretofore or hereafter acquired by the United States to which the “mineral leasing laws” have not been extended, including such lands acquired under the provisions of the Act of March 1, 1911 (36 Stat. 961, 16 U.S.C., sec. 552). “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior, “Mineral leasing laws” shall mean the Act of October 20, 1914 (38 Stat. 741, 48 U.S.C., sec. 432); the Act of February 25, 1920 (41 Stat. 437, 30 U.S.C., sec. 181); the Act of April 17, 1926 (44 Stat. 301, 30 U.S.C., sec. 271); the Act of February 7, 1927 (44 Stat. 1057, 30 U.S.C., sec. 281), and all Acts heretofore or hereafter enacted which are amendatory of or supplementary to any of the foregoing Acts. “Lease” includes “prospecting permit” unless the context otherwise requires. The term “oil” shall embrace all nongaseous hydrocarbon substances other than those leasable as coal, oil shale, or gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons).
Except where lands have been acquired by the United States for the development of the mineral deposits, by foreclosure or otherwise for resale, or reported as surplus pursuant to the provisions of the Surplus Property Act of October 3, 1944 (50 U.S.C., sec. 1611 and the following),1
Nothing herein contained shall be deemed or construed to (a) amend, modify, or change any existing law authorizing or requiring the sale of acquired lands, or (b) empower any commission, bureau, or agency of the Government to make a reservation of the minerals in the sale of any acquired land: Provided, That any such sale or conveyance of lands shall be made by the agency having jurisdiction thereof, subject to any lease theretofore made, covering the mineral deposits underlying such lands: Provided further, That nothing in this chapter is intended, or shall be construed to affect in any manner any provision of chapter 869 of title 10.
Where the United States does not own all of the mineral deposits under any lands sought to be leased and which are affected by this chapter, the Secretary is authorized to lease the interest of the United States in any such mineral deposits when, in the judgment of the Secretary, the public interest will be best served thereby; subject, however, to the provisions of section 352 of this title. Where the United States does not own any interest or owns less than a full interest in the minerals that may be produced from any lands sought to be leased, and which are or will be affected by this chapter and where, under the provisions of its acquisition, the United States is to acquire all or any part of such mineral deposits in the future, the Secretary may lease any interest of the United States then owned or to be acquired in the future in the same manner as provided in the preceding sentence.
Upon request by the Secretary, the heads of all executive departments, independent establishments, or instrumentalities having jurisdiction over any of the lands referred to in section 351 of this title shall furnish to the Secretary the legal description of all of such lands, and all pertinent abstracts, title papers, and other documents in the possession of such agencies concerning the status of the title of the United States to the mineral deposits that may be found in such lands.
Abstracts, title papers, and other documents furnished to the Secretary under this section shall be recorded promptly in the Bureau of Land Management in such form as the Secretary shall deem adequate for their preservation and use in the administration of this chapter, whereupon the originals shall be returned promptly to the agency from which they were received. Duly authenticated copies of any such abstracts, title papers, or other documents may, however, be furnished to the Secretary, in lieu of the originals, in the discretion of the agency concerned.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to affect the rights of the State or other local authorities to exercise any right which they may have with respect to properties covered by leases issued under this chapter, including the right to levy and collect taxes upon improvements, output of mines, or other rights, property, or assets of any lessee of the United States.
Nothing in this chapter shall affect any rights acquired by any lessee of lands subject to this chapter under the law as it existed prior to August 7, 1947, and such rights shall be governed by the law in effect at the time of their acquisition; but any person qualified to hold a lease who, on August 7, 1947, had pending an application for an oil and gas lease for any lands subject to this chapter which on the date the application was filed was not situated within the known geologic structure of a producing oil or gas field, shall have a preference right over others to a lease of such lands without competitive bidding. Any person holding a lease on lands subject hereto, which lease was issued prior to August 7, 1947, shall be entitled to exchange such lease for a new lease issued under the provisions of this chapter, at any time prior to the expiration of such existing lease.
The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to prescribe such rules and regulations as are necessary and appropriate to carry out the purposes of this chapter, which rules and regulations shall be the same as those prescribed under the mineral leasing laws to the extent that they are applicable.
Each department, agency and instrumentality of the United States which administers lands acquired by the United States with one or more existing mineral lease shall transfer to the Secretary of the Interior the authority to administer such lease and to collect all receipts due and payable to the United States under the lease. In the case of lands acquired on or before October 24, 1992, the authority to administer the leases and collect receipts shall be transferred to the Secretary of the Interior as expeditiously as practicable after October 24, 1992. In the case of lands acquired after October 24, 1992, such authority shall be vested with the Secretary at the time of acquisition. The provisions of section 355 of this title shall apply to all receipts derived from such leases where such receipts are due and payable to the United States under the lease in the same manner as such provisions apply to receipts derived from leases issued under the authority of this chapter. For purposes of this section, the term “existing mineral lease” means any lease in existence at the time land is acquired by the United States. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the existing surface management authority of any Federal agency.