(1)The Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to lease to any person or corporation qualified under this chapter any deposits of oil shale, and gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons) belonging to the United States and the surface of so much of the public lands containing such deposits, or land adjacent thereto, as may be required for the extraction and reduction of the leased minerals, under such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this chapter, as he may prescribe.
(2)No lease hereunder shall exceed 5,760 acres of land, to be described by the legal subdivisions of the public-land surveys, or if unsurveyed, to be surveyed by the United States, at the expense of the applicant, in accordance with regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior.
(3)Leases may be for indeterminate periods, upon such conditions as may be imposed by the Secretary of the Interior, including covenants relative to methods of mining, prevention of waste, and productive development.
(4)For the privilege of mining, extracting, and disposing of the oil or other minerals covered by a lease under this section the lessee shall pay to the United States such royalties as shall be specified in the lease and an annual rental, payable at the beginning of each year, at the rate of $2.00 per acre per annum, for the lands included in the lease, the rental paid for any one year to be credited against the royalties accruing for that year; such royalties to be subject to readjustment at the end of each twenty-year period by the Secretary of the Interior. For the purpose of encouraging the production of petroleum products from shales the Secretary may, in his discretion, waive the payment of any royalty and rental during the first five years of any lease. Any person having a valid claim to such minerals under existing laws on January 1, 1919, shall, upon the relinquishment of such claim, be entitled to a lease under the provisions of this section for such area of the land relinquished as shall not exceed the maximum area authorized by this section to be leased to an individual or corporation. No claimant for a lease who has been guilty of any fraud or who had knowledge or reasonable grounds to know of any fraud, or who has not acted honestly and in good faith, shall be entitled to any of the benefits of this section. No one person, association, or corporation shall acquire or hold more than 50,000 acres of oil shale leases in any one State. For gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons) no person, association, or corporation shall acquire or hold more than seven thousand six hundred eighty acres in any one State without respect to the number of leases.
(5)No lease issued under this section shall be included in any chargeability limitation associated with oil and gas leases.
(b) Offer for lease; deposits other than oil shale; questioned validity because of location; preference rights
If an offer for a lease under the provisions of this section for deposits other than oil shale is based upon a mineral location, the validity of which might be questioned because the claim was based on a placer location rather than on a lode location, or vice versa, the offeror shall have a preference right to a lease if the offer is filed not more than one year after September 2, 1960.
(c) 1 Multiple use principal leases; gilsonite including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons
With respect to gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons) a lease under the multiple use principle may issue notwithstanding the existence of an outstanding lease issued under any other provision of this chapter.
(c) 1 Offsite leases
(1)The Secretary may within the State of Colorado lease to the holder of the Federal oil shale lease known as Federal Prototype Tract C–a additional lands necessary for the disposal of oil shale wastes and the materials removed from mined lands, and for the building of plants, reduction works, and other facilities connected with oil shale operations (which lease shall be referred to hereinafter as an “offsite lease”). The Secretary may only issue one offsite lease not to exceed six thousand four hundred acres. An offsite lease may not serve more than one Federal oil shale lease and may not be transferred except in conjunction with the transfer of the Federal oil shale lease that it serves.
(2)The Secretary may issue one offsite lease of not more than three hundred and twenty acres to any person, association or corporation which has the right to develop oil shale on non-Federal lands. An offsite lease serving non-Federal oil shale land may not serve more than one oil shale operation and may not be transferred except in conjunction with the transfer of the non-Federal oil shale land that it serves. Not more than two offsite leases may be issued under this paragraph.
(3)An offsite lease shall include no rights to any mineral deposits.
(4)The Secretary may issue offsite leases after consideration of the need for such lands, impacts on the environment and other resource values, and upon a determination that the public interest will be served thereby.
(5)An offsite lease for lands the surface of which is under the jurisdiction of a Federal agency other than the Department of the Interior shall be issued only with the consent of that other Federal agency and shall be subject to such terms and conditions as it may prescribe.
(6)An offsite lease shall be for such periods of time and shall include such lands, subject to the acreage limitations contained in this subsection, as the Secretary determines to be necessary to achieve the purposes for which the lease is issued, and shall contain such provisions as he determines are needed for protection of environmental and other resource values.
(7)An offsite lease shall provide for the payment of an annual rental which shall reflect the fair market value of the rights granted and which shall be subject to such revisions as the Secretary, in his discretion, determines may be needed from time to time to continue to reflect the fair market value.
(8)An offsite lease may, at the option of the lessee, include provisions for payments in any year which payments shall be credited against any portion of the annual rental for a subsequent year to the extent that such payment is payable by the Secretary of the Treasury under section
191 of this title to the State within the boundaries of which the leased lands are located. Such funds shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury to the appropriate State in accordance with section
191 of this title, and such funds shall be distributed by the State only to those counties, municipalities, or jurisdictional subdivisions impacted by oil shale development and/or where the lease is sited.
(9)An offsite lease shall remain subject to leasing under the other provisions of this chapter where such leasing would not be incompatible with the offsite lease.
(d) Considerations governing issuance of offsite lease
In recognition of the unique character of oil shale development:
(1)In determining whether to offer or issue an offsite lease under subsection (c) of this section, the Secretary shall consult with the Governor and appropriate State, local, and tribal officials of the State where the lands to be leased are located, and of any additional State likely to be affected significantly by the social, economic, or environmental effects of development under such lease, in order to coordinate Federal and State planning processes, minimize duplication of permits, avoid delays, and anticipate and mitigate likely impacts of development.
(2)The Secretary may issue an offsite lease under subsection (d)  after consideration of
(A) the need for leasing,
(B) impacts on the environment and other resource values,
(C) socioeconomic factors, and
(D) information from consultations with the Governors of the affected States.
(3)Before determining whether to offer an offsite lease under subsection (c) of this section, the Secretary shall seek the recommendation of the Governor of the State in which the lands to be leased are located as to whether or not to lease such lands, what alternative actions are available, and what special conditions could be added to the proposed lease to mitigate impacts. The Secretary shall accept the recommendations of the Governor if he determines that they provide for a reasonable balance between the national interest and the State’s interests. The Secretary shall communicate to the Governor, in writing, and publish in the Federal Register the reasons for his determination to accept or reject such Governor’s recommendations.
2005—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–58designated first to third sentences as pars. (1) to (3), respectively, substituted “5,760” for “five thousand one hundred and twenty” in par. (2), designated fourth to eighth sentences as par. (4) and substituted “rate of $2.00 per acre” for “rate of 50 cents per acre”, “No one person” for “Not more than one lease shall be granted under this section to any one person”, and “shall acquire or hold more than 50,000 acres of oil shale leases in any one State. For” for “except that with respect to leases for”, and added par. (5).
1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–78substituted “and gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons)” and “gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons)” for “native asphalt, solid and semisolid bitumen, and bituminous rock (including oil-impregnated rock or sands from which oil is recoverable only by special treatment after the deposit is mined or quarried)”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–78substituted “gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons)” for “native asphalt, solid and semisolid bitumen, and bituminous rock (including oil-impregnated rock or sands from which oil is recoverable only by special treatment after the deposit is mined or quarried)”.
1960—Pub. L. 86–705designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsecs. (b) and (c). Other changes included addition of native asphalt, solid and semisolid bitumen, and bituminous rock within the scope of the section, and insertion of the limitation upon such holdings.
Transfer of Functions
Functions of Secretary of the Interior to promulgate regulations under this chapter relating to establishment of diligence requirements for operations conducted on Federal leases, setting of rates for production of Federal leases, and specifying of procedures, terms, and conditions for acquisition and disposition of Federal royalty interests taken in kind, transferred to Secretary of Energy by section
7152(b) of Title
42, The Public Health and Welfare. Section
7152(b) of Title
42 was repealed by Pub. L. 97–100, title II, § 201,Dec. 23, 1981, 95 Stat. 1407, and functions of Secretary of Energy returned to Secretary of the Interior. See House Report No. 97–315, pp. 25, 26, Nov. 5, 1981.
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