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FEDERAL OIL AND GAS ROYALTY SIMPLIFICATION AND FAIRNESS ACT OF 1996 (PL 104-185)

The amendments to FOGRMA by the below Act are in red bold type. There were to be seven corrections to the Act and they are magenta, bold, italized, and underlined ( date) and are contained within the bold type that sets forth the changes to FOGRMA by this Act. Although these changes have not passed through Congress as an amendment, the changes have been incorporated into FOGRMA. Additionally, the following 5 sections of the Act clarify its application.

SEC. 8. APPLICABILITY.

    (a) FOGRMA.-With respect to Federal lands, sections 202 and 307 of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 U.S.C. 1732 and 1755), are no longer applicable. The applicability of those sections to Indian leases is not affected.

    (b) OCSLA.-Effective on the date of the enactment of this Act, section 10 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1339) is repealed.

SEC. 9. INDIAN LANDS.

    The amendments made by this Act shall not apply with respect to Indian lands, and the provisions of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act shall continue to apply after such date with respect to Indian lands.

SEC. 10. PRIVATE LANDS.

    This Act shall not apply to any privately owned minerals.

SEC. 11. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    Except as provided by section 115(h), section 111(h), section 111(k)(5), and section 117 of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (as added by this Act), this Act, and the amendments made by this Act, shall apply with respect to the production of oil and gas after the first day of the month following the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 12. SAVINGS CLAUSE.


Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents
Sec. 2. Findings and purposes
Sec. 3. Definitions


Public Law 97-451 (As of 3/7/97)
97th Congress
PUBLIC LAW 97-451 - JAN. 12,1983 96 STAT. 2447

An Act

To ensure that all oil and gas originated on the public lands and on the Outer Continental Shelf are properly accounted for under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sec. 1. This Act may be cited as the "Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982".
 

FINDINGS AND PURPOSES

Sec. 2.(a) Congress finds that-

    (1) the Secretary of the Interior should enforce effectively and uniformly existing regulations under the mineral leasing laws providing for the inspection of production activities on lease sites on Federal and Indian lands;

    (2) the system of accounting with respect to royalties and other payments due and owing on oil and gas produced from such lease sites is archaic and inadequate;

    (3) it is essential that the Secretary initiate procedures to improve methods of accounting for such royalties and payments and to provide for routine inspection of activities related to the production of oil and gas on such lease sites; and

    (4) the Secretary should aggressively carry out his trust responsibility in the administration of Indian oil and gas.

(b) It is the purpose of this Act-

    (1) to clarify, reaffirm, expand, and define the responsibilities and obligations of lessees, operators, and other persons involved in transportation or sale of oil and gas from the Federal and Indian lands and the Outer Continental Shelf,

    (2) to clarify, reaffirm, expand and define the authorities and responsibilities of the Secretary of the Interior to implement and maintain a royalty management system for oil and gas leases on Federal lands, Indian lands, and the Outer Continental Shelf;

    (3) to require the development of enforcement practices that ensure the prompt and proper collection and disbursement of oil and gas revenues owed to the United States and Indian lessors and those inuring to the benefit of States;

    (4) to fulfill the trust responsibility of the United States for the administration of Indian oil and gas resources; and

    (5) to effectively utilize the capabilities of the States and Indian tribes in developing and maintaining an efficient and effective Federal royalty management system.

DEFINITIONS

Sec. 3. For the purposes of this Act, the term-

    (1) "Federal land" means all land and interests in land owned by the United States which are subject to the mineral leasing laws, including mineral resources or mineral estates reserved to the United States in the conveyance of a surface or nonmineral estate;

    (2) "Indian allottee" means any Indian for whom land or an interest in land is held in trust by the United States or who holds title subject to Federal restriction against alienation;

    (3) "Indian lands" means any lands or interest in lands of an Indian tribe or an Indian allottee held in trust by the United States or which is subject to Federal restriction against alienation, including mineral resources and mineral estates reserved to an Indian tribe or an Indian allottee in the conveyance of a surface or nonmineral estate, except that such term does not include any lands subject to the provisions of section 3 of the Act of June 28, 1906 (34 Stat. 539);

    (4) "Indian tribe" means any Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, community, rancheria, colony, or other group of Indians, including the Metlakatla Indian Community of Annette Island Reserve, for which any land or interest in land is held by the United States in trust or which is subject to Federal restriction against alienation;

    (5) "lease" means any contract, profit-share arrangement, joint venture, or other agreement issued or approved by the United States under a mineral leasing law that authorizes exploration for, extraction of, or removal of oil or gas;

    (6) "lease site" means any lands or submerged lands, including the surface of a severed mineral estate, on which exploration for, or extraction or removal of, oil or gas is authorized pursuant to a lease;

    (7) "lessee" means any person to whom the United States issues an oil and gas lease or any person to whom operating rights in a lease have been assigned;

    (8) "mineral leasing law" means any Federal law administered by the Secretary authorizing the disposition under lease of oil or gas;

    (9) "oil or gas" means any oil or gas originating from, or allocated to, the Outer Continental Shelf, Federal, or Indian lands;

    (10) "Outer Continental Shelf' has the same meaning as provided in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (Public Law 95-372);

    (11) "operator" means any person, including a lessee, who has control of, or who manages operations on, an oil and gas lease site on Federal or Indian lands or on the Outer Continental Shelf;

    (12) "Person" means any individual firm, corporation, association, partnership, consortium, or joint venture;

    (13) "production" means those activities which take place for the removal of oil or gas, including such removal, field operations, transfer of oil or gas off the lease site, operation monitoring, maintenance, and workover drilling;

    (14) "royalty" means any payment based on the value or volume of production which is due to the United States or an Indian tribe or an Indian allottee on production of oil or gas from the Outer Continental Shelf, Federal, or Indian lands, or any minimum royalty owed to the United States or an Indian tribe or an Indian allottee under any provision of a lease;

    (15) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior or his designee;

    (16) "State" means the several States of the Union, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the territories and possessions of the United States, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands;

    (17) "adjustment" means an amendment to a previously filed report on an obligation, and any additional payment or credit, if any, applicable thereto, to rectify an underpayment or overpayment on an obligation;

    (18) "administrative proceeding" means any Department of the Interior agency process in which a demand, decision or order issued by the Secretary or a delegated State is subject to appeal or has been appealed;

    (19) "assessment" means any fee or charge levied by the Secretary or a delegated State other than-

      (A) the principal amount of any royalty, minimum royalty, rental bonus, net profit sharing or proceed of sale;

      (B) any interest; or

      (C) any civil or criminal penalty;

    (20) "commence" means -

      (A) with to a judicial proceeding, the service of a compliant, petition, cross claim, or other pleading seeking affirmative relief or seeking credit or recoupment: Provided, That if the Secretary commences a judicial proceeding against a designee, the Secretary shall give notice of that commencement to the lessee who designated the designee, but the Secretary is not required to give notice to the other lessees who may be liable pursuant to section 102(a) of this Act, for the obligation that is the subject of the judicial proceeding; or

      (B) with respect to a demand, the receipt by the Secretary or a delegated State or a lessee or its designee (with written notice to the lessee who designated the designee) of the demand;

    (21) "credit" means the application of an overpayment (in whole or in part) against an obligation which has become due to discharge, cancel or reduce the obligation;

    (22) "delegated State" means a State which, pursuant to an agreement or agreements under section 205 of this Act, performs authorities, duties, responsibilities, or activities of the Secretary;

    (23) "demand" means-

      (A) an order to pay issued by the Secretary or the applicable State to a lessee or its designee (with written notice to the lessee who designated the designee) that has a reasonable basis to conclude that the obligation in the amount of the demand is due and owing; or

      (B) a separate written request by the lessee or its designee which asserts an obligation due the lessee or its designee that provides a reasonable basis to conclude that the obligation in the amount of the demand is due and owing, but does not mean any royalty or production report , or any information contained therein, required by the Secretary or a delegated State;

    (24) "designee" means a person designated by a lessee pursuant to section 102(a) of this Act, with such written designation effective on the date such designation is received by the Secretary and remaining in effect until the Secretary receives notice in writing that the designation is modified or terminated;

    (25) "obligation" means-

      (A) any duty of the Secretary or, if applicable, a delegated State-

        (i) to take oil and gas royalty in kind; or

        (ii) to pay, refund, offset, or credit monies including (but not limited to)-

          (I) the principal amount of any royalty, minimum royalty, rental, bonus, net profit share or proceed of sale; or

          (II) any interest; and

      (B) any duty of a lessee or its designee (subject to the provisions of section 102(a) of this Act)-

        (i) to deliver oil and gas in kind; or

        (ii) to pay, offset or credit monies including (but not limited to)-

          (I) the principal amount of any royalty, minimum royalty, rental, bonus, net profit share or proceed of sale;

          (II) any interest;

          (III) any penalty; or

          (IV) any assessment,

          which arises from or relates to any lease administered by the Secretary for, or any mineral leasing law related to, the exploration, production and development of oil and gas on Federal lands or the Continental Shelf;

    (26) "order to pay" means a written order issued by the Secretary or the applicable delegated State to a lessee or its designee (with notice to the lessee who designated the designee) which-

      (A) asserts a specific, definite, and quantified obligation claimed to be due, and

      (B) specifically identifies the obligation by lease, production month and monetary amount of such obligation claimed to be due and ordered to be paid, as well as the reason or reasons such obligation is claimed to be due, but such term does not include any other communication or action by or on the behalf of the Secretary or delegated State;

    (27) "overpayment" means any payment by the lessee or its designee in excess of an amount legally required to be paid on an obligation and includes the portion of any estimated payment for a production month that is in excess of the royalties due for the that month;

    (28) "payment" means satisfaction, in whole or in part, of an obligation;

    (29) "penalty" means a statutory authorized fine levied or imposed for a violation of this Act, any mineral leasing law, or a term or provision of a lease administered by the Secretary;

    (30) "refund" means the return of an overpayment;

    (31 "State concerned" means, with respect to a lease, a State which receives a portion of royalties or other payments under the mineral leasing laws from such lease;

    (32) "underpayment" means any payment or nonpayment by a lessee or its designee that is less than the amount legally required to be paid on an obligation; and

    (33) "United States" means the United States Government or any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, the several States, the District of Columbia, and the territories of the United States.

TITLE I - FEDERAL ROYALTY MANAGEMENT AND ENFORCEMENT

DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY

Sec. 101. (a) The Secretary shall establish a comprehensive inspection, collection and fiscal and production accounting and auditing system to provide the capability to accurately determine oil and gas royalties, interest, fines, penalties, fees, deposits, and other payments owed, and to collect and account for such amounts in a timely manner.

(b) The Secretary shall-

    (1) establish procedures to ensure that authorized and properly identified representatives of the Secretary will inspect at least once annually each lease site producing or expected to produce significant quantities of oil or gas in any year or which has a history of noncompliance with applicable provisions of law or regulations; and

    (2) establish and maintain adequate programs providing for the training of all such authorized representatives in methods and techniques of inspection and accounting that will be used in the implementation of this Act.

(c)

    (1) The Secretary shall audit and reconcile, to the extent practicable, all current and past lease accounts for leases of oil or gas and take appropriate actions to make additional collections or refunds as warranted. The Secretary shall conduct audits and reconciliations of lease accounts in conformity with the business practices and recordkeeping systems which were required of the lessee by the Secretary for the period covered by the audit. The Secretary shall give priority to auditing those lease accounts identified by a State or Indian tribe as having significant potential for underpayment. The Secretary may also audit accounts and records of selected lessees and operators.

    (2) The Secretary may enter into contracts or other appropriate arrangements with independent certified public accountants to undertake audits of accounts and records of any lessee or operator relating to the lease of oil or gas. Selection of such independent certified public accountants shall be by competitive bidding in accordance with the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 252), except that the Secretary may not enter into a contract or other arrangement with any independent certified public accountant to audit any lessee or operator where such lessee or operator is a primary audit client of such certified public accountant.

    (3) All books, accounts, financial records, reports, files, and other papers of the Secretary, or used by the Secretary, which are reasonably necessary to facilitate the audits required under this section shall be made available to any person or governmental entity conducting audits under this Act.

DUTIES OF LESSEES, OPERATORS, AND MOTOR VEHICLE TRANSPORTERS

Sec. 102. (a) In order to increase receipts and achieve effective collections of royalty and other payments, a lessee who is required to make any royalty or other payment under a lease or under the mineral leasing laws, shall make such payments in the time and manner as may be specified by the Secretary or the applicable delegated State. A lessee may designate a person to make all or part of the payments due under a lease on the lessee's behalf and shall notify the Secretary or the applicable delegated State in writing of such designation, in which event said designated person may, in its own name, pay, offset or credit monies, make adjustments, request and receive refunds and submit reports with respect to payments required by the lessee. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act to the contrary, a designee shall not be liable for any payment obligation under the lease. The person owning operating rights in a lease shall be primarily liable for its pro rata share of payment obligations under the lease. If the person owning the legal record title in a lease is other than the operating rights owner, the person owning the legal record title shall be secondarily liable for its pro rata share of such payment obligations under the lease.

(b) An operator shall-

    (1) develop and comply with a site security plan designed to protect the oil or gas produced or stored on an onshore lease site from theft, which plan shall conform with such minimum standards as the Secretary may prescribe by rule, taking into account the variety of circumstances at lease sites;

    (2) develop and comply with such minimum site security measures as the Secretary deems appropriate to protect oil or gas produced or stored on a lease site or on the Outer Continental Shelf from theft; and

    (3) not later than the 5th business day after any well begins production anywhere on a lease site or allocated to a lease site, or resumes production in the case of a well which has been off of production for more than 90 days, notify the Secretary, in the manner prescribed by the Secretary, of the date on which such production has begun or resumed.

(c)

    (1) Any person engaged in transporting by motor vehicle any oil from any lease site, or allocated to any such lease site, shall carry, on his person, in his vehicle, or in his immediate control, documentation showing, at a minimum, the amount, origin, and intended first destination of the oil.

    (2) engaged in transporting any oil or gas by pipeline from any lease site, or allocated to any lease site, on Federal or Indian lands shall maintain documentation showing, at a minimum, amount, origin, and intended first destination of such oil or gas.

REQUIRED RECORDKEEPING

Sec. 103. (a) A lessee, operator, or other person directly involved in developing, producing, transporting, purchasing, or selling oil or gas subject to this Act through the point of first sale or the point of royalty computation, whichever is later, shall establish and maintain any records, make any reports, and provide any information that the Secretary may, by rule, reasonably require for the purposes of implementing this Act or determining compliance with rules or orders under this Act. Upon the request of any officer or employee duly designated by the Secretary or any State or Indian tribe conducting an audit or investigation pursuant to this Act, the appropriate records, reports, or information which may be required by this section shall be made available for inspection and duplication by such officer or employee, State, or Indian tribe.

(b) Records required by the Secretary with respect to oil and gas leases from Federal or Indian lands or the Outer Continental Shelf shall be maintained for 6 years after the records are generated unless the Secretary notifies the record holder that he has initiated an audit or investigation involving such records and that such records must be maintained for a longer period. In any case when an audit or investigation is underway, records shall be maintained until the Secretary releases the record holder of the obligation to maintain such records.

PROMPT DISBURSEMENT OF ROYALTIES

Sec. 104. (a) Section 35 of the Mineral Lands Losing Act of 1920 (approved February 25, 1920; 41 Stat. 437; 30 U.S.C. 191) is amended by deleting "as soon as practicable after March 31 and September 30 of each year" and by adding at the end thereof "Payments to States under this section with respect to any moneys received by the United States, shall be made not later than the last business day of the month in which such moneys are warranted by the United States Treasury to the Secretary as having been received, except for any portion of such moneys which is under challenge and placed in a suspense account pending resolution of a dispute. Such warrants shall be issued by the United States Treasury not later than 10 days after receipt of such moneys by the Treasury. Moneys placed in a suspense account which are determined to be payable to a State shall be made not later than the last business day of the month in which such dispute is resolved. Any such amount placed in a suspense account pending resolution shall bear interest until the dispute is resolved.".

(b) Deposits of any royalty funds derived from the production of oil or gas from, or allocated to, Indian lands shall be made by the Secretary to the appropriate Indian account at the earliest practicable date after such funds are received by the Secretary but in no case later than the last business day of the month in which such funds are received.

(c) The provisions of this section shall apply with respect to payments received by the Secretary after October 1, 1983, unless the Secretary, by rule, prescribes an earlier effective date.

EXPLANATION OF PAYMENTS

Sec. 105. (a) When any payment (including amounts due from receipt of any royalty, bonus, interest charge, fine, or rental) is made by the United States to a State with respect to any oil or gas lease on Federal lands or is deposited in the appropriate Indian account on behalf of an Indian tribe or Indian allottee with respect to any oil and gas lease on Indian lands, there shall be provided, together with such payment, a description of the type of payment being made, the period covered by such payment, the source of such payment, production amounts, the royalty rate, unit value and such other information as may be agreed upon by the Secretary and the recipient State, Indian tribe, or Indian allottee.

(b) This section shall take effect with respect to payments made after October 1, 1983, unless the Secretary, by rule, prescribes an earlier effective date.

LIABILITIES AND BONDING

Sec. 106. A person (including any agent or employee of the United States and any independent contractor) authorized to collect, receive, account for, or otherwise handle any moneys payable to, or received by, the Department of the Interior which are derived from the sale, lease, or other disposal of any oil or gas shall be -

    (1) liable to the United States for any losses caused by any intentional or reckless action or inaction of such individual with respect to such moneys; and

    (2) in the case of an independent contractor, required as the Secretary deems necessary to maintain a bond commensurate with the amount of money for which such individual could be liable to the United States.

HEARINGS AND INVESTIGATIONS

Sec. 107. (a) In carrying out his duties under this Act the Secretary may conduct any investigation or other inquiry necessary and appropriate and may conduct, after notice, any hearing or audit, necessary and appropriate to carrying out his duties under this Act. In connection with any such hearings, inquiry, investigation, or audit, the Secretary is also authorized where reasonably necessary

    (1) to require by special or general order, any person to submit in writing such affidavits and answers to questions as the Secretary may reasonably prescribe, which submission shall be made within such reasonable period and under oath or otherwise, as may be necessary;

    (2) to administer oaths;

    (3) to require by subpena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all books, papers, production and financial records, documents, matter, and materials, as the Secretary may request;

    (4) to order testimony to be taken by deposition before any person who is designated by the Secretary and who has the power to administer oaths, and to compel testimony and the production of evidence in the same manner as authorized under paragraph (3) of this subsection; and

    (5) to pay witnesses the same fees and mileage as are paid in like circumstances in the courts of the United States.

(b) In case of refusal to obey a subpena served upon any person under this section, the district court of the United States for any district in which such person is found, resides, or transacts business, upon application by the Attorney General at the request of the Secretary and after notice to such person, shall have jurisdiction to issue an order requiring such person to appear and give testimony before the Secretary or to appear and produce documents before the Secretary. Any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as contempt thereof and subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 a day.

INSPECTIONS

Sec. 108. (a)

    (1) On any lease site on Federal or Indian lands, any authorized and properly identified representative of the Secretary may stop and inspect any motor vehicle that he has probable cause to believe is carrying oil from a lease site on Federal or Indian lands or allocated to such a lease site, for the purpose of determining whether the driver of such vehicle has documentation related to such oil as required by law.

    (2) Any authorized and properly identified representative of the Secretary, accompanied by any appropriate law enforcement officer, or an appropriate law enforcement officer alone, may stop and inspect any motor vehicle which is not on a lease site if he has probable cause to believe the vehicle is carrying oil from a lease site on Federal or Indian lands or allocated to such a lease site. Such inspection shall be for the purpose of determining whether the driver of such vehicle has the documentation required by law.

(b) Authorized and properly identified representatives of the Secretary may without advance notice, enter upon, travel across and inspect lease sites on Federal or Indian lands and may obtain from the operator immediate access to secured facilities on such lease sites, for the purpose of making any inspection or investigation for determining whether there is compliance with the requirements of the mineral leasing laws and this Act. The Secretary shall develop guidelines setting forth the coverage and the frequency of such inspections.

(c) For the purpose of making any inspection or investigation under this Act, the Secretary shall have the same right to enter upon or travel across any lease site as the lessee or operator has acquired by purchase, condemnation, or otherwise.

CIVIL PENALTIES

Sec. 109. (a) Any person who-

    (1) after due notice of violation or after such violation has been reported under subparagraph (A), fails or refuses to comply with any requirements of this Act or any mineral leasing law, any rule or regulation thereunder, or the terms of any lease or permit issued thereunder; or

    (2) fails to permit inspection authorized in section 108 or fails to notify the Secretary of any assignment under section 102(a)(2) shall be liable for a penalty of up to $500 per violation for each day such violation continues, dating from the date of such notice or report. A penalty under this subsection may not be applied to any person who is otherwise liable for a violation of paragraph (1) if:

      (A) the violation was discovered and reported to the Secretary or his authorized representative by the liable person and corrected within 20 days after such report or such longer time as the Secretary may agree to; or

      (B) after the due notice of violation required in paragraph (1) has been given to such person by the Secretary or his authorized representative, such person has corrected the violation within 20 days of such notification or such longer time as the Secretary may agree to.

(b) If corrective action is not taken within 40 days or a longer period as the Secretary may agree to, after due notice or the report referred to in subsection (a)(l), such person shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per violation for each day such violation continues, dating from the date of such notice or report.

(c) Any person who-

    (1) knowingly or willfully fails to make any royalty payment by the date as specified by statute, regulation, order or terms of the lease;

    (2) fails or refuses to permit lawful entry, inspection, or audit; or

    (3) knowingly or willfully fails or refuses to comply with subsection 102(b)(3), shall be liable for a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation for each day such violation continues.

(d) Any person who-

    (1) knowingly or willfully prepares, maintains, or submits false, inaccurate, or misleading reports, notices, affidavits, records, data, or other written information;

    (2) knowingly or willfully takes or removes, transports, uses or diverts any oil or gas from any lease site without having valid legal authority to do so; or

    (3) purchases, accepts, sells, transports, or conveys to another, any oil or gas knowing or having reason to know that such oil or gas was stolen or unlawfully removed or diverted, shall be liable for a penalty of up to $25,000 per violation for each day such violation continues.

(e) No penalty under this section shall be assessed until the person charged with a violation has been given the opportunity for a hearing on the record.

(f) The amount of any penalty under this section, as finally determined may be deducted from any sums owing by the United States to the person charged.

(g) On a case-by-case basis the Secretary may compromise or reduce civil penalties under this section.

(h) Notice under this subsection (a) shall be by personal service by an authorized representative of the Secretary or by registered mail. Any person may, in the manner prescribed by the Secretary, designate a representative to receive any notice under this subsection.

(i) In determining tho amount of such penalty, or whether it should be remitted or reduced, and in what amount, the Secretary shall state on the record the reasons for his determinations.

(j) Any person who has requested a hearing in accordance with subsection (e) within the time the Secretary has prescribed for such a hearing and who is aggrieved by a final order of the Secretary under this section may seek review of such order in the United States district court for the judicial district in which the violation allegedly took place. Review by the district court shall be only on the administrative record and not de novo. Such an action shall be barred unless filed within 90 days after the Secretary's final order.

(k) If any person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty under this Act-

    (1) after the order making the assessment has become a final order and if such person does not file a petition for judicial review of the order in accordance with subsection (j), or

    (2) after a court in an action brought under subsection (j) has entered a final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the court shall have jurisdiction to award the amount assessed plus interest from the date of the expiration of the 90-day period referred to in subsection (j). Judgment by the court shall include an order to pay.

(l) No person shall be liable for a civil penalty under subsection (a) or (b) for failure to pay any rental for any lease automatically terminated pursuant to section 31 of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES

Sec. 110. Any person who commits an act for which a civil penalty is provided in section 109(d) shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $50,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.

ROYALTY TERMS AND CONDITIONS, INTEREST, AND PENALTIES

Sec. 111. (a) In the case of oil and gas leases where royalty payments are not received by the Secretary on the date that . such payments are due, or are less than the amount due, the Secretary shall charge interest on such late payments or underpayments at the rate applicable under section 6621 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. In the case of an underpayment or partial payment, interest shall be computed and charged only on the amount of the deficiency and not on the total amount due.

(b) Any payment made by the Secretary to a State under section 35 of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 191) and any other payment made by the Secretary to a State from any oil or gas royalty received by the Secretary which is not paid on the date required under section 35 shall include an interest charge computed at the rate applicable under section 6621 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

(c) All interest charges collected under this Act or under other applicable laws because of nonpayment, late payment or underpayment of royalties due and owing an Indian tribe or an Indian allottee shall be deposited to the same account as the royalty with respect to which such interest is paid.

(d) Any deposit of royalty funds made by the Secretary to an Indian account which is not made by the date required under subsection 104(b) shall include an interest charge computed at the rate applicable under section 6621 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no State will be assessed for any interest or penalties found to be due against the Secretary for failure to comply with the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973 or regulation of the Secretary of Energy thereunder concerning crude oil certification or pricing with respect to crude oil taken by the Secretary in kind as royalty. Any State share of an overcharge, resulting from such failure to comply, shall be assessed against moneys found to be due and owing to such State as a result of audits of royalty accounts for transactions which took place prior to the date of the enactment of this Act except that if after the completion of such audits, sufficient moneys have not been found due and owing to any State, the State shall be assessed the balance of that State's share of the overcharge.

(f) Interest shall be charged under this section only for the number of days a payment is late.

(g) The first sentence of section 35 of the Act of February 25, 1920 is amended by inserting "including interest charges collected under the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982" between "royalties" and "and".

(h) Interest shall be allowed and paid or credited on any overpayment, with such interest to accrue from the date such overpayment was made, at the rate obtained by applying the provisions of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 6621(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, but determined without regard to the sentence following subparagraph (B) of section 6621(a)(1). Interest which has accrued on any overpayment may be applied to reduce an underpayment. This subsection applies to overpayments made later than six months after the date of enactment of this subsection or September 1, 1996, whichever is later. Such interest shall be paid from amounts received as current receipts from sales, bonuses, royalties (including interest charges collected under this section) and rentals of the public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf under the provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which are not payable to a State or the Reclamation Fund. The portion of any such interest payment attributable to any amounts previously disbursed to a State, the Reclamation Fund, or any other recipient designated by law shall be deducted from the next disbursements to that recipient made under the applicable law. Such amounts deducted from subsequent disbursements shall be credited to miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury.

(i) Upon a determination by the Secretary that an excessive overpayment (based upon all obligations of a lessee or its designee for a given reporting month) was made for the sole purpose of receiving interest, interest shall not be paid on the excessive amount of such overpayment. For purposes of this Act, an `excessive overpayment' shall be the amount that any overpayment a lessee or its designee pays for a given reporting month (excluding payments for demands for obligations determined to be due as a result of judicial or administrative proceedings or agreed to be paid pursuant to settlement agreements) for the aggregate of all of its Federal leases exceeds 10 percent of the total royalties paid that month for those leases.

(j) A lessee or its designee may make a payment for the approximate amount of royalties (hereinafter in this subsection `estimated payment') that would otherwise be due for such lease by the date royalties are due for that lease. When an estimated payment is made, actual royalties are payable at the end of the month following the month in which the estimated payment is made. If the estimated payment was less than the amount of actual royalties due, interest is owed on the underpaid amount. If the estimated payment exceeds the actual royalties due, interest is owed on the overpayment. If the lessee or its designee makes a payment for such actual royalties, the lessee or its designee may apply the estimated payment to future royalties. Any estimated payment may be adjusted, recouped, or reinstated at any time by the lessee or its designee.

(k)

    (1) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection-

      (A) a lessee or its designee of a lease in a unit or communitization agreement which contains only Federal leases with the same royalty rate and funds distribution shall report and pay royalties on oil and gas production for each production month based on the actual volume of production sold by or on behalf of that lessee;

      (B) a lessee or its designee of a lease in any other unit or communitization agreement shall report and pay royalties on oil and gas production for each production month based on the volume of oil and gas produced from such agreement and allocated to the lease in accordance with the terms of the agreement; and

      (C) a lessee or its designee of a lease that is not contained in a unit or communitization agreement shall report and pay royalties on oil and gas production for each production month based on the actual volume of production sold by or on behalf of that lessee.

    (2) This subsection applies only to requirements for reporting and paying royalties. Nothing in this subsection is intended to alter a lessee's liability for royalties on oil or gas production based on the share of production allocated to the lease in accordance with the terms of the lease, a unit or communitization agreement, or any other agreement.

    (3) For any unit or communitization agreement if all lessees contractually agree to an alternative method of royalty reporting and payment, the lessees may submit such alternative method to the Secretary or the delegated State for approval and make payments in accordance with such approved alternative method so long as such alternative method does not reduce the amount of the royalty obligation.

    (4) The Secretary or the delegated State shall grant an exception from the reporting and payment requirements for marginal properties by allowing for any calendar year or portion thereof royalties to be paid each month based on the volume of production sold. Interest shall not accrue on the difference for the entire calendar year or portion thereof between the amount of oil and gas actually sold and the share of production allocated to the lease until the beginning of the month following such calendar year or portion thereof. Any additional royalties due or overpaid royalties and associated interest shall be paid, refunded, or credited within six months after the end of each calendar year in which royalties are paid based on volumes of production sold. For the purpose of this subsection, the term `marginal property' means a lease that produces on average the combined equivalent of less than 15 barrels of oil per well per day or 90 thousand cubic feet of gas per well per day, or a combination thereof, determined by dividing the average daily production of crude oil and natural gas from producing wells on such lease by the number of such wells, unless the Secretary, together with the State concerned, determines that a different production is more appropriate.

    (5) Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall issue any appropriate demand for all outstanding royalty payment disputes regarding who is required to report and pay royalties on production from units and communitization agreements outstanding on the date of the enactment of this subsection, and collect royalty amounts owed on such production.

(l) The Secretary shall issue all determinations of allocations of production for units and communitization agreements within 120 days of a request for determination. If the Secretary fails to issue a determination within such 120-day period, the Secretary shall waive interest due on obligations subject to the determination until the end of the month following the month in which the determination is made.

Sec. 111A. ADJUSTMENTS AND REFUNDS.

(a) ADJUSTMENTS TO ROYALTIES PAID TO THE SECRETARY OR A DELEGATED STATE.-

    (1) If, during the adjustment period, a lessee or its designee determines that an adjustment or refund request is necessary to correct an underpayment or overpayment of an obligation, the lessee or its designee shall make such adjustment or request a refund within a reasonable period of time and only during the adjustment period. The filing of a royalty report which reflects the underpayment or overpayment of an obligation shall constitute prior written notice to the Secretary or the applicable delegated State of an adjustment.

    (2)

      (A) For any adjustment, the lessee or its designee shall calculate and report the interest due attributable to such adjustment at the same time the lessee or its designee adjusts the principle amount of the subject obligation, except as provided by subparagraph (B).

      (B) In the case of a lessee or its designee who determines that subparagraph (A) would impose a hardship, the Secretary or such delegated State shall calculate the interest due and notify the lessee or its designee within a reasonable time of the amount of interest due, unless such lessee or its designee elects to calculate and report interest in accordance with subparagraph (A).

    (3) An adjustment or a request for a refund for an obligation may be made after the adjustment period only upon written notice to and approval by the Secretary or the applicable delegated State, as appropriate, during an audit of the period which includes the production month for which the adjustment is being made. If an overpayment is identified during an audit, then the Secretary or the applicable delegated State, as appropriate, shall allow a credit or refund in the amount of the overpayment.

    (4) For purposes of this section, the adjustment period for any obligation shall be the six-year period following the date on which an obligation became due. The adjustment period shall be suspended, tolled, extended, enlarged, or terminated by the same actions as the limitation period in section 115.

(b) REFUNDS.-

    (1) IN GENERAL.-A request for refund is sufficient if it-

      (A) is made in writing to the Secretary and, for purposes of section 115, is specifically identified as a demand;

      (B) identifies the person entitled to such refund;

      (C) provides the Secretary information that reasonably enables the Secretary to identify the overpayment for which such refund is sought; and

      (D) provides the reasons why the payment was an overpayment.

    (2) PAYMENT BY SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.-The Secretary shall certify the amount of the refund to be paid under paragraph (1) to the Secretary of the Treasury who shall make such refund. Such refund shall be paid from amounts received as current receipts from sales, bonuses, royalties (including interest charges collected under this section) and rentals of the public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf under the provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which are not payable to a State or the Reclamation Fund. The portion of any such refund attributable to any amounts previously disbursed to a State, the Reclamation Fund, or any recipient prescribed by law shall be deducted from the next disbursements to that recipient made under the applicable law. Such amounts deducted from subsequent disbursements shall be credited to miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury.

    (3) PAYMENT PERIOD.-A refund under this subsection shall be paid or denied (with an explanation of the reasons for the denial) within 120 days of the date on which the request for refund is received by the Secretary. Such refund shall be subject to later audit by the Secretary or the applicable delegated State and subject to the provisions of this Act.

    (4) PROHIBITION AGAINST REDUCTION OF REFUNDS OR CREDITS.-In no event shall the Secretary or any delegated State directly or indirectly claim or offset any amount or amounts against, or reduce any refund or credit (or interest accrued thereon) by the amount of any obligation the enforcement of which is barred by section 115 of this Act.

INJUNCTION AND SPECIFIC ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY

Sec. 112. (a) In addition to any other remedy under this Act or any mineral leasing law, the Attorney General of the United States or his designee may bring a civil action in a district court of the United States, which shall have jurisdiction over such actions-

    (1) to restrain any violation of this Act; or

    (2) to compel the taking of any action required by or under this Act or any mineral leasing law of the United States.

(b) A civil action described in subsection (a) may be brought only in the United States district court for the judicial district wherein the act, omission, or transaction constituting a violation under this Act or any other mineral leasing law occurred, or wherein the defendant is found or transacts business.

REWARDS

Sec. 113. Where amounts representing royalty or other payments owed to the United States with respect to any oil and gas lease on Federal lands or the Outer Continental Shelf are recovered pursuant to any action taken by the Secretary under this Act as a result of information provided to the Secretary by any person, the Secretary is authorized to pay to such person an amount equal to not more than 10 percent of such recovered amounts. The preceding sentence shall not apply to information provided by an officer or employee of the United States, an officer or employee of a State or Indian tribe acting pursuant to a cooperative agreement or delegation under this Act, or any person acting pursuant to a contract authorized by this Act.

NONCOMPETITIVE OIL AND GAS LEASE ROYALTY RATES

Sec. 114. The Secretary is directed to conduct a thorough study of the effects of a change in the royalty rate under section 17(c) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 on:

(a) the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas; and

(b) the overall revenues generated by such change. Such study shall be completed and submitted to Congress within six months after the date of enactment of this Act.

Sec. 115. SECRETARIAL AND DELEGATED STATES' ACTIONS AND LIMITATION PERIODS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-The respective duties, responsibilities, and activities with respect to a lease shall be performed by the Secretary, delegated State, and lessees or their designees in a timely manner.

(b) LIMITATION PERIOD.-

    (1) IN GENERAL.-A judicial proceeding or demand which arises from, or relates to an obligation, shall be commenced within seven years from the date on which the obligation becomes due and if not so commenced shall be barred. If commencement of a judicial proceeding or demand for an obligation is barred by this section, the Secretary, or a delegated State, or a lessee or its designee

      (A) shall not take any other action or further action regarding that obligation, including (but not limited to) the issuance of any order, request, demand or other communication seeking any document, accounting, determination, calculation, recalculation, payment, principal, interest, assessment, or penalty or the initiation, pursuit or completion of an audit with regard to that obligation; and

      (B) shall not pursue any other equitable or legal remedy, whether under statute or common law, with respect to an action on or an enforcement of said obligation.

    (2) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.-A judicial proceeding that is timely commenced under paragraph (1) against a designee shall be considered timely commenced as to any lessee who is liable pursuant to section 102(a) of this Act for the obligation that is the subject of the judicial proceeding or demand.

    (3) APPLICATION OF CERTAIN LIMITATIONS.-The limitations set forth in sections 2401, 2415, 2416, and 2462 of title 28, United States Code, and section 42 of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 226-2) shall not apply to any obligation to which this Act applies. Section 3716 of title 31, United States Code, may be applied to an obligation the enforcement which is not barred by this Act, but may not be applied to any obligation the enforcement of which is barred by this Act.

(c) OBLIGATION BECOMES DUE.-

    (1) IN GENERAL.-For purposes of this Act, an obligation be comes due when the right to enforce the obligation is fixed.

    (2) ROYALTY OBLIGATION.-The right to enforce any royalty obligation for any given production month for a lease is fixed for purposes of this Act on the last day of the calendar month following the month in which oil or gas is produced.

(d) TOLLING OF LIMITATION PERIOD.-The running of the limitation period under subsection(b) shall not be suspended, tolled, extended, or enlarged for any obligation for any reason by any action, including the action by the Secretary or a designated State, other than the following:

    (1) TOLLING AGREEMENT.-A written agreement executed by the Secretary or a delegated State and a lessee or its designee (with notice to the lessee who designated the designee) shall toll the limitation period for the amount of time during which the agreement is in effect.

    (2) SUBPOENA.-

      (A) The issuance of a subpoena to a lessee or its designee (with notice to the lessee who designated the designee, which notice shall not constitute a subpoena to the lessee) in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (B)(i) shall toll the limitation period with respect to the obligation which is the subject of a subpoena only for the period beginning on the date the lessee or its designee receives the subpoena and ending on the date on which

        (i) the lessee or its designee has produced such subpoenaed records for the subject obligation,

        (ii) the Secretary or a delegated State receives written notice that the subpoenaed records for the subject obligation are not in existence or are not in the lessee's or its designee's possession or control, or

        (iii) a court has determined in a final decision that such records are not required to be produced , whichever occurs first.

      (B)

        (i) A subpoena for the purposes of this section which requires a lessee or its designee to produce records necessary to determine the proper reporting and payment of an obligation due the Secretary may only be issued by an Assistant Secretary of the Interior or an Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior who is a schedule C employee (as defined by section 213.3301 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations), or the Director or Acting Director of the respective bureau or agency, and may not be delegated to any other person. If a State has been delegated authority pursuant to section 205, the State, acting through the highest State official having ultimate authority over the collection of royalties from leases on Federal lands within the State, may issue such subpoena, but may not delegate such authority to any other person.

        (ii) A subpoena described in clause (i) may only be against a lessee or its designee during the limitation period provided in this section and only after the Secretary or a delegated State has in writing requested the records from the lessee or its designee related to the obligation which is the subject of the subpoena and has determined that-

          (I) the lessee or its designee has failed to respond within a reasonable period of time to the Secretary's or the applicable delegated State's written request for such records necessary for an audit, investigation or other inquiry made in accordance with the Secretary's or such delegated State's responsibilities under this Act; or

          (II) the lessee or its designee has in writing denied the Secretary's or the applicable delegated State's written request to produce such records in the lessee's or its designee's possession or control necessary for an audit, investigation or other inquiry made in accordance with the Secretary's or such delegated State's responsibilities under this Act; or

          (III) the lessee or its designee has unreasonably delayed in producing records necessary for an audit, or investigation or other inquiry made in accordance with the Secretary's or the applicable delegated State's responsibilities under this Act after the Secretary's or delegated State's written request.

      (C) In seeking records, the Secretary or the applicable delegated State shall afford the lessee or its designee a reasonable period of time after a written request by the Secretary or a delegated State in which to provide such records prior to issuance of a subpoena.

    (3) MISREPRESENTATION OR CONCEALMENT.- The intentional misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of evading the payment of an obligation in which case the limitation period shall be tolled for the period of such misrepresentation or such concealment.

    (4) ORDER TO PERFORM RESTRUCTURED ACCOUNTING.-

      (A)

        (i) The issuance of a notice under subparagraph (D) that the lessee or its designee has not substantially complied with the requirement to perform a restructured accounting shall toll the limitation period with respect to the obligation which is the subject of the notice only for the period beginning on the date the lessee or its designee receives the notice and ending 120 days after the date on which (I) the Secretary or the applicable delegated State receives written notice that the accounting or other requirement has been performed, or (II) a court has determined in a final decision that the lessee is not required to perform the accounting, whichever occurs first.

        (ii) If the lessee or its designee initiates an administrative appeal or judicial proceeding to contest an order to perform a restructured accounting issued under subparagraph(B)(i), the limitation period in subsection (b) shall be tolled from the date the lessee or its designee received the order until a final, nonappealable decision is issued in any such proceeding.

      (B)

        (i) The Secretary or the applicable delegated State may issue an order to perform a restructured accounting to a lessee or its designee when the Secretary or such delegated State determines during an audit of a lessee or its designee that the lessee or its designee should recalculate royalty due on an obligation based upon the Secretary's or the delegated State's finding that the lessee or its designee has made identified underpayments or overpayments which are demonstrated by the Secretary or the delegated State to be based upon repeated, systemic reporting errors for a significant number of leases or a single lease for a significant number of reporting months with the same type of error which constitutes a pattern of violations and which are likely to result in either significant underpayments or overpayments.

        (ii) The power of the Secretary to issue an order to perform a restructured accounting may not be delegated below the most senior career professional position having responsibility for the royalty management program, which position is currently designated as the `Associate Director for Royalty Management', and may not be delegated to any other person. If a State has been delegated authority pursuant to section 205 of this Act, the State, acting through the highest ranking State official having ultimate authority over the collection of royalties from leases on Federal lands within the State, may issue such order to perform, which may not be delegated to any other person. An order to perform a restructured accounting shall-

          (I) be issued within a reasonable period of time from when the audit identifies the systemic, reporting errors;

          (II) specify the reasons and factual bases for such order;

          (III) be specifically identified as an `order to perform a restructured accounting';

          (IV) provide the lessee or its designee a reasonable period of time (but not less than 60 days) within which to perform the restructured accounting; and

          (V) provide the lessee or its designee 60 days within which to file an administrative appeal of the order to perform a restructured accounting.

      (C) An order to perform a restructured accounting shall not mean or be construed to include any other action by or on behalf of the Secretary or a delegated State.

      (D) If a lessee or its designee fails to substantially comply with the requirement to perform a restructured accounting pursuant to this subsection, a notice shall be issued to the lessee or its designee that the lessee or its designee has not substantially complied with the requirements to perform a restructured accounting. A lessee or its designee shall be given a reasonable time within which to perform the restructured accounting. Such notice may be issued under this section only by an Assistant Secretary of the Interior or an acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior who is a schedule C employee (as defined by section 213.3301 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations) and may not be delegated to any other person. If a State has been delegated authority pursuant to section 205, the State, acting through the highest State official having ultimate authority over the collection of royalties from leases on Federal lands within the State, may issue such notice, which may not be delegated to any other person.

(e) TERMINATION OF LIMITATIONS PERIOD.-An action or an enforcement of an obligation by the Secretary or delegated State or a lessee or its designee shall be barred under this section prior to the running of the seven-year period provided in subsection (b) in the event-

    (1) the Secretary or a delegated State has notified the lessee or its designee in writing that a time period is closed to further audit; or

    (2) the Secretary or a delegated State and a lessee or its designee have so agreed in writing.

For purposes of this subsection, notice to, or an agreement by, the designee shall be binding on any lessee who is liable pursuant to section 102(a) for obligations that are the subject of the notice or agreement.

(f) RECORDS REQUIRED FOR DETERMINING COLLECTIONS.- Records required pursuant to section 103 of this Act by the Secretary or any delegated State for the purpose of determining obligations due and compliance with any applicable mineral leasing law, lease provision, regulation or order with respect to oil and gas leases from Federal lands or the Outer Continental Shelf shall be maintained for the same period of time during which a judicial proceeding or demand may be commenced under subsection (b). If a judicial proceeding or demand is timely commenced, the record holder shall maintain such records until the final nonappealable decision in such judicial proceeding is made, or with respect to that demand is rendered, unless the Secretary or the applicable delegated State authorizes in writing an earlier release of the requirement to maintain such records. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, under no circumstance shall a record holder be required to maintain or produce any record relating to an obligation for any time period which is barred by the applicable limitation in this section. In connection with any hearing, administrative proceeding, inquiry, investigation, or audit by the Secretary or a delegated State under this Act, the Secretary or the delegated State shall minimize the submission of multiple or redundant information and make a good faith effort to locate records previously submitted by a lessee or a designee to the Secretary or the delegated State, prior to requiring the lessee or the designee to provide such records.

(g) TIMELY COLLECTIONS.-In order to most effectively utilize resources available to the Secretary to maximize the collection of oil and gas receipts from lease obligations to the Treasury within the seven-year period of limitations, and consequently to maximize the State share of such receipts, the Secretary should not perform or require accounting, reporting, or audit activities if the Secretary and the State concerned determine that the cost of conducting or requiring the activity exceeds the expected amount to be collected by the activity, based on the most current 12 months of activity. This subsection shall not provide a defense to a demand or an order to perform a restructured accounting. To the maximum extent possible, the Secretary and delegated States shall reduce costs to the United States Treasury and the States by discontinuing requirements for unnecessary or duplicative data and other information, such as separate allowances and payor information, relating to obligations due. If the Secretary and the State concerned determine that collection will result sooner, the Secretary or the applicable delegated State may waive or forego interest in whole or in part.

(h) APPEALS AND FINAL AGENCY ACTION.-

    (1) 33-MONTH PERIOD.-Demands or orders issued by the Secretary or a delegated State are subject to administrative appeal in accordance with the regulations of the Secretary. No State shall impose any conditions which would hinder a lessee's or its designee's immediate appeal of an order to the Secretary or the Secretary's designee. The Secretary shall issue a final decision in any administrative proceeding, including any administrative proceedings pending on the date of enactment of this section, within 33 months from the date such proceeding was commenced or 33 months from the date of such enactment, whichever is later. The 33-month period may be extended by any period of time agreed upon in writing by the Secretary and the appellant.

    (2) Effect of failure to issue decision.-If no such decision has been issued by the Secretary within the 33-month period referred to in paragraph (1)-

      (A) the Secretary shall be deemed to have issued and granted a decision in favor of the appellant as to any nonmonetary obligation and any monetary obligation the principal amount of which is less than $10,000; and

      (B) the Secretary shall be deemed to have issued a final decision in favor of the Secretary, which decision shall be deemed to affirm those issues for which the agency rendered a decision prior to the end of such period, as to any monetary obligation the principal amount of which is $10,000 or more, and the appellant shall have a right to judicial review of such deemed final decision in accordance with title 5 of the United States Code.

(i) COLLECTIONS OF DISPUTED AMOUNTS DUE.-To expedite collections relating to disputed obligations due within the seven-year period beginning on the date the obligation became due, the parties shall hold not less than one settlement consultation and the Secretary and the State concerned may take such action as is appropriate to compromise and settle a disputed obligation, including waiving or reducing interest and allowing offsetting of obligations among leases.

(j) ENFORCEMENT OF A CLAIM FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW.-In the event a demand subject to this section is properly and timely commenced, the obligation which is the subject of the demand may be enforced beyond the seven-year limitations period without being barred by this statute of limitations. In the event a demand subject to this section is properly and timely commenced, a judicial proceeding challenging the final agency action with respect to such demand shall be deemed timely so long as such judicial proceeding is commenced within 180 days from receipt of notice by the lessee or its designee of the final agency action.

(k) IMPLEMENTATION OF FINAL DECISION.- In the event a judicial proceeding or demand subject to this section is timely commenced and thereafter the limitation period in this section lapses during the pendency of such proceeding, any party to such proceeding shall not be barred from taking such action as is required or necessary to implement a final unappealable judicial or administrative decision, including any action required or necessary to implement such decision by the recovery or recoupment of an underpayment or overpayment by means of refund or credit.

(l) Stay of Payment Obligation Pending Review.-Any person ordered by the Secretary or a delegated State to pay any obligation (other than an assessment) shall be entitled to a stay of such payment without bond or other surety instrument pending an administrative or judicial proceeding if the person periodically demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that such person is financially solvent or otherwise able to pay the obligation. In the event the person is not able to so demonstrate, the Secretary may require a bond or other surety instrument satisfactory to cover the obligation. Any person ordered by the Secretary or a delegated State to pay an assessment shall be entitled to a stay without bond or other surety instrument.

Sec. 116. ASSESSMENTS.

Beginning eighteen months after the date of enactment of this section, to encourage proper royalty payment the Secretary or the delegated State shall impose assessments on a person who chronically submits erroneous reports under this Act. Assessments under this Act may only be issued as provided for in this section.

Sec. 117. ALTERNATIVES FOR MARGINAL PROPERTIES.

(a) DETERMINATION OF BEST INTERESTS OF STATE CONCERNED AND THE UNITED STATES.-The Secretary and the State concerned, acting in the best interests of the United States and the State concerned to promote production, reduce administrative costs, and increase net receipts to the United States and the States, shall jointly determine, on a case by case basis, the amount of what marginal production from a lease or leases or well or wells, or parts thereof, shall be subject to a prepayment under subsection (b) or regulatory relief under subsection (c). If the State concerned does not consent, such prepayments or regulatory relief shall not be made available under this section for such marginal production: Provided, That if royalty payments from a lease or leases, or well or wells are not shared with any State, such determination shall be made solely by the Secretary.

(b) PREPAYMENT OF ROYALTY.-

    (1) IN GENERAL.-Notwithstanding the provisions of any lease to the contrary, for any lease or leases or well or wells identified by the Secretary and the State concerned pursuant to subsection (a), the Secretary is authorized to accept a prepayment for royalties in lieu of monthly royalty payments under the lease for the remainder of the lease term if the affected lessee so agrees. Any prepayment agreed to by the Secretary, State concerned and lessee which is less than an average $500 per month in total royalties shall be effectuated under this section not earlier than two years after the date of enactment of this section and, any prepayment which is greater than an average $500 per month in total royalties shall be effectuated under this section not earlier than three years after the date of enactment of this section. The Secretary and the State concerned may condition their acceptance of the prepayment authorized under this section on the lessee's agreeing to such terms and conditions as the Secretary and the State concerned deem appropriate and consistent with the purposes of this Act. Such terms may-

      (A) provide for prepayment that does not result in a loss of revenue to the United States in present value terms;

      (B) include provisions for receiving additional prepayments or royalties for developments in the lease or leases or well or wells that deviate significantly from the assumptions and facts on which the valuation is determined; and

      (C) require the lessee or its designee to provide such periodic production reports as may be necessary to allow the Secretary and the State concerned to monitor production for the purposes of subparagraph (B).

    (2) STATE SHARE.-A prepayment under this section shall be shared by the Secretary with any State or other recipient to the same extent as any royalty payment for such lease.

    (3) SATISFACTION OF OBLIGATION.-Except as may be provided in the terms and conditions established by the Secretary under subsection (b), a lessee or its designee who makes a prepayment under this section shall have satisfied in full the lessee's obligation to pay royalty on the production stream sold from the lease or leases or well or wells.

(c) ALTERNATIVE ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING REQUIREMENTS.-Within one year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary or the delegated State shall provide accounting, reporting, and auditing relief that will encourage lessees to continue to produce and develop properties subject to subsection (a): Provided, That such relief will only be available to lessees in a State that concurs, which concurrence is not required if royalty payments from the lease or leases or well or wells are not shared with any State. Prior to granting such relief, the Secretary and, if appropriate, the State concerned shall agree that the type of marginal wells and relief provided under this paragraph is in the best interest of the United States and, if appropriate, the State concerned.

TITLE II - STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES

APPLICATION OF TITLE

Sec. 201. This title shall apply only with respect to oil and gas leases on Federal lands or Indian lands. Nothing in this title shall be construed to apply to any lease on the Outer Continental Shelf.

COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS

Sec. 202. (a) The Secretary is authorized to enter into a cooperative agreement or agreements with any State or Indian tribe to share oil or gas royalty management information, to carry out inspection, auditing, investigation or enforcement (not including the collection of royalties, civil or criminal penalties or other payments) activities under this Act in cooperation with the Secretary, and to carry out any other activity described in section 108 of this Act. The Secretary shall not enter into any such cooperative agreement with a State with respect to any such activities on Indian lands, except with the permission of the Indian tribe involved.

(b) Except as provided in section 203, and pursuant to a cooperative agreement-

    (1) each State shall, upon request, have access to all royalty accounting information in the possession of the Secretary respecting the production, removal, or sale of oil or gas from leases on Federal lands within the State; and

    (2) each Indian tribe shall, upon request, have access to all royalty accounting information in the possession of the Secretary respecting the production, removal, or sale of oil or gas from leases on Indian lands under the jurisdiction of such tribe.

Information shall be made available under paragraphs (1) and (2) soon as practicable after it comes into the possession of the Secretary. Effective October 1, 1983, such information shall be made available under paragraphs (1) and (2) not later than 30 days after such information comes into the possession of the Secretary.

(c) Any cooperative agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977, and shall contain such terms and conditions as the Secretary deems appropriate and consistent with the purposes of this Act, including, but not limited to, a limitation on the use of Federal assistance to those costs which are directly required to carry out the agreed upon activities

INFORMATION

SEC. 203. (a) Trade secrets, proprietary and other confidential information shall be made available by the Secretary, pursuant to a cooperative agreement, to a State or Indian tribe upon request only if-

    (1) such State or Indian tribe consents in writing to restrict the dissemination of the information to those who are directly involved in an audit or investigation under this Act and who have a need to know;

    (2) such State or tribe accepts liability for wrongful disclosure;

    (3) in the case of a State, such State demonstrates that such information is essential to the conduct of an audit or investigation or to litigation under section 204; and

    (4) in the case of an Indian tribe, such tribe demonstrates that such information is essential to the conduct of an audit or investigation and waives sovereign immunity by express consent for wrongful disclosure by such tribe.

(b) The United States shall not be liable for the wrongful disclosure by any individual, State, or Indian tribe of any information provided to such individual, State, or Indian tribe pursuant to any cooperative agreement or a delegation, authorized by this Act.

(c) Whenever any individual, State, or Indian tribe has obtained possession of information pursuant to a cooperative agreement authorized by this section, or any individual or State has obtained possession of information pursuant to a delegation under section 205, the individual shall be subject to the same provisions of law with respect to the disclosure of such information as would apply to an officer or employee of the United States or of any department or agency thereof and the State or Indian tribe shall be subject to the same provisions of law with respect to the disclosure of such information as would apply to the United States or any department or agency thereof. No State or State officer or employee who receives trade secrets, proprietary information, or other confidential information under this Act may be required to disclose such information under State law.

STATE SUITS UNDER FEDERAL LAW

Sec. 204. (a)

    (1) A State may commence a civil action under this section against any person to recover any royalty, interest, or civil penalty which the State believes is due, based upon credible evidence, with respect to any oil and gas lease on Federal lands located within the State.

    (2)

      (A) No action may be commenced under paragraph (1) prior to 90 days after the State has given notice in writing to the Secretary of the payment required. Such 90-day limitation may be waived by the Secretary on a case-by-case basis.

      (B) If, within the 90-day period specified in subparagraph (A), the Secretary issues a demand for the payment concerned, no action may be commenced under paragraph (1) with respect to such payment during a 45-day period after issuance of such demand. If, during such 45-day period, the Secretary receives payment in full, no action may be commenced under paragraph (1).

      (C) If the Secretary refers the case to the Attorney General of the United States within the 45-day period referred to in subparagraph (B) or within 10 business days after the expiration of such 45-day period, no action may be commenced under paragraph (1) if the Attorney General, within 45 days after the date of such referral, commences, and thereafter diligently prosecutes, a civil action in a court of the United States with respect to the payment concerned.

    (3) The State shall notify the Secretary and the Attorney General of the United States of any suit filed by the State under this section.

    (4) A court in issuing any final order in any action brought under paragraph (1) may award costs of litigation including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, to any party in such action if the court determines such an award is appropriate.

(b) An action brought under subsection (a) of this section may be brought only in a United States district court for the judicial district in which the lease site or the leasing activity complained of is located. Such district court shall have jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the parties, to require compliance or order payment in any such action.

(c)

    (l) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any civil penalty recovered by a State under subsection (a) shall be retained by the State and may be expended in such manner and for such purposes as the State deems appropriate.

    (2) Any rent, royalty, or interest recovered by a State under subsection (a) shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States in the same manner, and subject to the same requirements, as are applicable in the case of any rent, royalty, or interest collected by an officer or employee of the United States, except that such amounts shall be deposited in the Treasury not later than 10 days after receipt by the State.

DELEGATION TO STATES

Sec. 205. DELEGATION OF ROYALTY COLLECTION AND RELATED ACTIVITIES

(a) Upon written request of any State, the Secretary is authorized to delegate , in accordance with the provisions of this section, all or part of the authorities and responsibilities of the Secretary under this Act to:

    (1) conduct inspections, audits, and investigations;

    (2) receive and process production and financial reports;

    (3) correct erroneous report data;

    (4) perform automated verification; and

    (5) issue demands, subpoenas, and orders to perform restructured accounting, for royalty management enforcement purposes, to any State with respect to all Federal land within the State.

(b) After notice and opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary is authorized to delegate such authorities and responsibilities granted under this section as the State has requested, if the Secretary finds that-

    (1) it is likely that the State will provide adequate resources to achieve the purposes of this Act;

    (2) the State has demonstrated that it will effectively and faithfully administer the rules and regulation of the Secretary under this Act in accordance with the requirements of subsections (c) and (d) of this section;

    (3) such delegation will not create an unreasonable burden on any lessee;

    (4) the State agrees to adopt standardized reporting procedures prescribed by the Secretary for royalty and production accounting purposes, unless the State and all affected parties (including the Secretary) otherwise agree;

    (5) the State agrees to follow and adhere to regulations and guidelines issued by the Secretary pursuant to the mineral leasing laws regarding valuation of production; and

    (6) where necessary for a State to have authority to carry out and enforce a delegated activity, the State agrees to enact such laws and promulgate such regulations as are consistent with relevant Federal laws and regulations with respect to the Federal lands within the State.

(c) After notice and opportunity for hearing, the Secretary shall issue a ruling as to the consistency of a State's proposal with the provisions of this section and regulations under subsection (d) within 90 days after submission of such proposal. In any unfavorable ruling, the Secretary shall set forth the reasons therefor and state whether the Secretary will agree to delegate to the State if the State meets the conditions set forth in such ruling.

(d) After consultation with State authorities, the Secretary by rule shall promulgate, within 12 months after the date of enactment of this section, standards and regulations pertaining to the authorities and responsibilities to be delegated under subsection (a), including standards and regulations pertaining to-

    (1) audits to be performed;

    (2) records and accounts to be maintained;

    (3) reporting procedures to be required by the States under this section;

    (4) receipt and processing of production and financial reports;

    (5) correction of erroneous report data;

    (6) performance of automated verification;

    (7) issuance of standards and guidelines in order to avoid duplication of effort;

    (8) transmission of report data to the Secretary; and

    (9) issuance of demands, subpoenas, and orders to perform restructured accounting, for royalty accounting purposes.

Such standards and regulations shall be designed provide reasonable assurance that a uniform and effective royalty management system will prevail among the States. The records and accounts under section (2) shall be sufficient to allow the Secretary to monitor the performance of any State under this section.

(e) If, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary finds that any State to which any authority and responsibility of the Secretary has been delegated under this section is in violation of any requirement of this section or any rule thereunder, or that an affirmative finding by the Secretary under subsection (b) can no longer be made, the Secretary may revoke such delegation. If, after providing written notice to a delegated State and a reasonable opportunity to take corrective action requested by the Secretary, the Secretary determines that the State has failed to issue a demand or order to a Federal lessee within the State, that such failure may result in an underpayment of an obligation due the United States by such lessee, and that such underpayment may be uncollected without Secretarial intervention, the Secretary may issue such demand or order in accordance with the provisions of this Act prior to or absent the withdrawal of the delegated authority.

(f) subject to appropriations, the Secretary shall compensate any State for those costs which may be necessary to carry out the delegated activities under this Section. Payment shall be made no less than every quarter during the fiscal year. Compensation to a State may not exceed the Secretary's reasonable anticipated expenditures for performance of such delegated activities by the Secretary. Such costs shall be allocated for the purpose of section 35(b) of the Act entitled "An act to promote the mining coal, phosphate, oil, oil shale, gas and sodium on the public domain", approved February 25, 1920 (commonly known as the Mineral Leasing Act) (30 U.S.C. 191 (b)) to the administration and enforcement of laws providing for the leasing of any onshore lands or interests in lands owned by the United States. Any further allocation of costs under section 35(b) made by the Secretary for oil and gas activities, other than those costs to compensate States for delegated activities under this Act, shall be only those costs associated with onshore oil and gas activities and may not include any duplication of costs allocated pursuant to the previous sentence. Nothing in this section affects the Secretary's authority to make allocations under section 35(b) for non-oil and gas mineral activities. All moneys received from sales, bonuses, rentals, royalties, assessments and interest, including money claimed to be due and owing pursuant to a delegation under this section, shall be payable and paid to the Treasury of the United States.

(g) Any action of the Secretary to approve or disapprove a proposal submitted by a State under this section shall be subject to judicial review in the United States district court which includes the capital of the State submitting the proposal.

(h) Any State operating pursuant to a delegation existing on the date of enactment of this Act may continue to operate under the terms and conditions of the delegation, except to the extent that a revision of the existing agreement is adopted pursuant to this section.

SHARED CIVIL PENALTIES

SEC. 206. An amount equal to 50 per centum of any civil penalty collected by the Federal Government under this Act resulting from activities conducted by a State or Indian tribe pursuant to a cooperative agreement under section 202 or a State under a delegation under section 205, shall be payable to such State or tribe. Such amount shall be deducted from any compensation due such State or Indian tribe under section 202 or such State under section 205.

TITLE III - GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECRETARIAL AUTHORITY

SEC. 301. (a) The Secretary shall prescribe such rules and regulations as he deems reasonably necessary to carry out this Act.

(b) Rules and regulations issued to implement this Act shall be issued in conformity with section 553 of title 5 of the United States Code, notwithstanding section 553(a)(2) of that title.

(c) In addition to entering into cooperative agreements or delegation of authority authorized under this Act, the Secretary may contract with such non-Federal Government inspectors, auditors, and other persons as he deems necessary to aid in carrying out his functions under this Act and its implementation. With respect to his auditing and enforcement functions under this Act, the Secretary shall coordinate such functions so as to avoid to the maximum extent practicable, subjecting lessees, operators, or other persons to audits or investigations of the same subject matter by more than one auditing or investigating entity at the same time.

REPORTS

SEC. 302. (a) The Secretary shall submit to the Congress an annual report on the implementation of this Act. The information to be included in the report and the format of the report shall be developed by the Secretary after consulting with the Committees on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives and on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate. The Secretary shall also report on the progress of the Department in reconciling account balances.

(b) Commencing with fiscal year 1984, the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior shall conduct a biennial audit of the Federal royalty management system. The Inspector General shall submit the results of such audit to the Secretary and to the Congress.

STUDY OF OTHER MINERALS

Sec. 303. (a) The Secretary shall study the question of the adequacy of royalty management for coal, uranium and other energy and nonenergy minerals on Federal and Indian lands. The study shall include proposed legislation if the Secretary determines that such legislation is necessary to ensure prompt and proper collection of revenues owed to the United States, the States and Indian tribes or Indian allottees from the sale, lease or other disposal of such minerals.

(b) The study required by subsection (a) of this section shall be submitted to Congress not later than one year from the date of the enactment of this Act.

RELATION TO OTHER LAWS

SEC. 304. (a) The penalties and authorities provided in this Act are supplemental to, and not in derogation of, any penalties or authorities contained in any other provision of law.

(b) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to reduce the responsibilities of the Secretary to ensure prompt and proper collection of revenues from coal, uranium and other energy and nonenergy minerals on Federal and Indian lands, or to restrain the Secretary from entering into cooperative agreements or other appropriate arrangements with States and Indian tribes to share royalty management responsibilities and activities for such minerals under existing authorities.

(c) Except as expressly provided in subsection 302(b), nothing in this Act shall be construed to enlarge, diminish, or otherwise affect the authority or responsibility of the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior or of the Comptroller General of the United States:

(d) No provision of this Act impairs or affects lands and interests in land entrusted to the Tennessee Valley Authority.

EFFECTIVE DATE

SEC. 305. The provisions of this Act shall apply to oil and gas leases issued before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act, except that in the case of a lease issued before such date, no provision of this Act or any rule or regulation prescribed tinder this Act shall alter the express and specific provisions of such a lease.

FUNDING

Sec. 306. Effective October 1, 1983, there are hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act, including such sums as may be necessary for the cooperative agreements, contracts, and delegations authorized by this Act: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect or impair any authority to enter into contracts or make payments under any other provision of law.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Sec. 307. Except in the case of fraud, any action to recover penalties under this Act shall be barred unless the action is commenced within 6 years after the date of the act or omission which is the basis for the action.

EXPANDED ROYALTY OBLIGATIONS

SEC. 308. Any lessee is liable for royalty payments on oil or gas lost or wasted from a lease site when such loss or waste is due to negligence on the part of the operator of the lease, or due to the failure to comply with any rule or regulation, order or citation issued under this Act or any mineral leasing law.

SEVERABILITY

SEC. 309. If any provision of this Act or the applicability thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this Act and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

TITLE IV - REINSTATEMENT OF LEASES AND CONVERSION
OF UNPATENTED OIL PLACER CLAIMS

AMENDMENT OF MINERAL LANDS LEASING ACT OF 1920

SEC. 401. Section 31 of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 188) is amended by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (j) and by inserting after subsection (c) the following new subsections:

"(d)

    (l) Where any oil and gas lease issued pursuant to section 17(b) or section 17(c) of this Act or the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands (30 U.S.C. 351 et seq.) has been, or is hereafter, terminated automatically by operation of law under this section for failure to pay on or before the anniversary date the full amount of the rental due, and such rental is not paid or tendered within twenty days thereafter, and it is shown to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Interior that such failure was justifiable or not due to lack of reasonable diligence on the part of the lessee, or, no matter when the rental is paid after termination, it is shown to the satisfaction of the Secretary that such failure was inadvertent, the Secretary may reinstate the lease as of the date of termination for the unexpired portion of the primary term of the original lease or any extension thereof remaining at the date of termination, and so long thereafter as oil or gas is produced in paying quantities. In any case where a lease is reinstated under this subsection and the Secretary finds that the reinstatement of such lease

      (A) occurs after the expiration of the primary term or any extension thereof, or

      (B) will not afford the lessee a reasonable opportunity to continue operations under the lease, the Secretary may, at his discretion, extend the term of such lease for such period as he deems reasonable, but in no event for more than two years from the date the Secretary authorizes the reinstatement and so long thereafter as oil or gas is produced in paying quantities.

    "(2) No lease shall be reinstated under paragraph (1) of this subsection unless-

      "(A) with respect to any lease that terminated under subsection (b) of this section prior to enactment of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982:

        (i) the lessee tendered rental prior to enactment of such Act and the final determination that the lease terminated was made by the Secretary or a court less than three years before enactment of such Act, and

        (ii) a petition for reinstatement together with the required back rental and royalty accruing from the date of termination, is filed with the Secretary on or before the one hundred and twentieth day after enactment of such Act, or

      "(B) with respect to any lease that terminated under subsection (b) of this section on or after enactment of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982, a petition for reinstatement together with the required back rental and royalty accruing from the date of termination is filed on or before the earlier of-

        "(i) sixty days after the lessee receives from the Secretary notice of termination, whether by return of check or by any other form of actual notice, or

        "(ii) fifteen months after termination of the lease.

"(e) Any reinstatement under subsection (d) of this section shall be made on if these conditions are met:

    "(1) no valid lease, whether still in existence or not, shall have been issued affecting any of the lands covered by the terminated lease prior to the filing of such petition: Provided, however, That after receipt of a petition for reinstatement, the Secretary shall not issue any new lease affecting any of the lands covered by such terminated lease for a reasonable period, as determined in accordance with regulations issued by him;

    "(2) payment of back rentals and either the inclusion in a reinstated lease issued pursuant to the provisions of section 17(b) of this Act of a requirement for future rentals at a rate of not less than $10 per acre per year, or the inclusion in a reinstated lease issued pursuant to the provisions of section 17(c) of this Act of a requirement that future rentals shall be at a rate not less than $5 per acre per year, all as determined by the Secretary;

    "(3)

      (A) payment of back royalties and the inclusion in a reinstated lease issued pursuant to the provisions of section 17(b) of this Act of a requirement for future royalties at a rate of not less than 16% percent computed on a sliding scale based upon the average production per well per day, at a rate which shall be not less than 4 percentage points greater than the competitive royalty schedule then in force and used for royalty determination for competitive leases issued pursuant to such section as determined by the Secretary: Provided, That royalty on such reinstated lease shall be paid on all production removed or sold from such lease subsequent to the termination of the original lease;

      "(B) payment of back royalties and inclusion in a reinstate,, lease issued pursuant to the provisions of section 17(c) of this Act of a requirement for future royalties at a rate not less than 16% percent: Provided, That royalty on such reinstated lease shall be paid on all production removed or sold from such lease subsequent to the cancellation or termination of the original lease; and

    "(4) notice of the proposed reinstatement of a terminated lease, including the terms and conditions of reinstatement, shall be published in the Federal Register at least thirty days in advance of the reinstatement.

A copy of said notice, together with information concerning rental, royalty, volume of production, if any, and any other matter which the Secretary deemed significant in making this determination to reinstate, shall be furnished to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate at least thirty days in advance of the reinstatement. The lessee of a reinstated lease shall reimburse the Secretary for the administrative costs of reinstating the lease, but not to exceed $500. In addition the lessee shall reimburse the Secretary for the cost of publication in the Federal Register of the notice of proposed reinstatement.

"(f) Where an 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, has been or is hereafter deemed 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 of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1744), and it is shown to the satisfaction of the Secretary that such failure was inadvertent, justifiable, or not due to lack of reasonable diligence on the part of the owner, the Secretary 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 this Act, to be effective from the statutory date the claim was deemed conclusively abandoned. Issuance of such a lease shall be conditioned upon:

    "(1) a petition for issuance of a noncompetitive oil and gas lease, together with the required rental and royalty, including back rental and royalty accruing from the statutory date of abandonment of the oil placer mining claim , being filed with the Secretary-

      "(A) with respect to any claim deemed conclusively abandoned on or before the date of enactment of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982, on or before the one hundred and twentieth day after such date of enactment, or

      (B) with respect to any claim deemed conclusively abandoned after such date of enactment, on or before the one hundred and twentieth day after final notification by the Secretary or a court of competent jurisdiction of the determination of the abandonment of the oil placer mining claim;

    "(2) a valid lease not having been issued affecting any of the lands covered by the abandoned oil placer mining claim prior to the filing of such petition: Provided, however, That after the filing of a petition for issuance of a lease under this subsection, the Secretary shall not issue any new lease affecting any of the lands covered by such abandoned oil placer mining claim for a reasonable period, as determined in accordance with regulations issued by him;

    "(3) a requirement in the lease for payment of rental, including back rentals accruing from the statutory date of abandonment of the oil placer mining claim, of not less than $5 per acre per year;

    "(4) a requirement in the lease for payment of royalty on production removed or sold from the oil placer mining claim, including all royalty on production made subsequent to the statutory date the claim was deemed conclusively abandoned, of not less than 12½ percent; and

    "(5) compliance with the notice and reimbursement of costs provisions of paragraph (4) of subsection (e) but addressed to the petition covering the conversion of an abandoned unpatented oil placer mining claim to a noncompetitive oil and gas lease.

"(g)

    (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a reinstated lease shall be treated as a competitive or a noncompetitive oil and gas lease in the same manner as the original lease issued pursuant to section 17(b) or 17(c) of this Act.

    "(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the issuance of a lease in lieu of an abandoned patented oil placer mining claim shall be treated as a noncompetitive oil and gas lease issued pursuant to section 17(c) of this Act.

"(h) The minimum royalty provisions of section 17(j) and the provisions of section 39 of this Act shall be applicable to leases issued pursuant to subsections (d) and (f) of this section.

"(i)

    (l) In acting on a petition to issue a noncompetitive, oil and gas lease, under subsection (f) of this section or in response to a request filed after issuance of such a lease, or both, the Secretary is authorized to reduce the royalty on such lease if in his judgment it is equitable to do so or the circumstances warrant such relief due to uneconomic or other circumstances which could cause undue hardship or premature termination of production.

    "(2) In acting on a petition for reinstatement pursuant to subsection (d) of this section or in response to a request filed after reinstatement, or both, the Secretary is authorized to reduce the royalty in that reinstated lease on the entire leasehold or any tract or portion thereof segregated for royalty purposes if, in his judgment, there are uneconomic or other circumstances which could cause undue hardship or premature termination of production; or because of any written action of the United States, its agents or employees, which preceded, and was a major consideration in, the lessee's expenditure of funds to develop the property under the lease after the rent had become due and had not been paid; or if in the judgment of the Secretary it is equitable to do so for any reason.".

Approved January 12, 1983.

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