42 U.S. Code § 15904 - Incentives for natural gas production from deep wells in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico

(a) Royalty incentive regulations for ultra deep gas wells
(1) In general
Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, in addition to any other regulations that may provide royalty incentives for natural gas produced from deep wells on oil and gas leases issued pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), the Secretary shall issue regulations granting royalty relief suspension volumes of not less than 35 billion cubic feet with respect to the production of natural gas from ultra deep wells on leases issued in shallow waters less than 400 meters deep located in the Gulf of Mexico wholly west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes west longitude. Regulations issued under this subsection shall be retroactive to the date that the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.
(2) Suspension volumes
The Secretary may grant suspension volumes of not less than 35 billion cubic feet in any case in which—
(A) the ultra deep well is a sidetrack; or
(B) the lease has previously produced from wells with a perforated interval the top of which is at least 15,000 feet true vertical depth below the datum at mean sea level.
(3) Definitions
In this subsection:
(A) Ultra deep well
The term “ultra deep well” means a well drilled with a perforated interval, the top of which is at least 20,000 true vertical depth below the datum at mean sea level.
(B) Sidetrack
(i) In general The term “sidetrack” means a well resulting from drilling an additional hole to a new objective bottom-hole location by leaving a previously drilled hole.
(ii) Inclusion The term “sidetrack” includes—
(I) drilling a well from a platform slot reclaimed from a previously drilled well;
(II) re-entering and deepening a previously drilled well; and
(III) a bypass from a sidetrack, including drilling around material blocking a hole or drilling to straighten a crooked hole.
(b) Royalty incentive regulations for deep gas wells
Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, in addition to any other regulations that may provide royalty incentives for natural gas produced from deep wells on oil and gas leases issued pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), the Secretary shall issue regulations granting royalty relief suspension volumes with respect to production of natural gas from deep wells on leases issued in waters more than 200 meters but less than 400 meters deep located in the Gulf of Mexico wholly west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes west longitude. The suspension volumes for deep wells within 200 to 400 meters of water depth shall be calculated using the same methodology used to calculate the suspension volumes for deep wells in the shallower waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and in no case shall the suspension volumes for deep wells within 200 to 400 meters of water depth be lower than those for deep wells in shallower waters. Regulations issued under this subsection shall be retroactive to the date that the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.
(c) Limitations
The Secretary may place limitations on the royalty relief granted under this section based on market price. The royalty relief granted under this section shall not apply to a lease for which deep water royalty relief is available.

Source

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, § 344,Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 702.)
References in Text

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1) and (b), is act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§ 1331 et seq.) of chapter 29 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1331 of Title 43 and Tables.

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