The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) on Friday proposed amending its existing regulations for reporting production and royalties on crude oil, natural gas, coal and geothermal resources produced on federal and Indian leases in order to align the agency’s regulations with its current business practices.

The MMS implemented integrated reengineered systems in Nov. 2001, which resulted in changes to, or the elimination of, some forms and requirements, the agency said in a notice published in the Federal Register. It is proposing to eliminate references in its regulations to forms that are no longer used. But the MMS noted that this action does not suspend the requirements for record retention and making records available to the agency to support the payment of royalties.

Most of the proposed changes focus on the elimination of production-related forms, such of the Monthly Report of Operations, Facility and Measure Information Form, First Purchaser Report and Gas Plant Operations Report, as well as the removal of language and references in reports dealing with the collection of royalties, rentals, bonuses and other monies due the federal government.

The agency also seeks to repeal a July 1999 rule that allowed for an extended due date for the electronic submission of production reports. “Under the proposed rule, all production reporters (electronic and other than electronic) would be required to submit Form MMS-4054 by the 15th day of the second month following production,” the Federal Register notice said. Producers currently have until the 25th day of the second month following production to submit electronic reports.

In addition, the proposed rule eliminates references in regulations to several out-dated options for electronic reporting of production and royalty reports to the MMS. The agency said it has contracted with an electronic commerce service that collects regulatory report data electronically from reporters and forwards that data to MMS in a reporting format that complies with the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee X12 Electronic Data Interchange. The proposed rule identifies a revised list of electronic reporting options that would conform with this new service.

The proposed rule will not have any costs or royalty impacts on any of the potentially affected groups, including industry, state and local governments, Indian tribes, individual Indian mineral owners or the federal government, according to MMS.

Public comments on the proposed rule are due at MMS by Sept. 5.

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