30 CFR § 1206.174 - How do I value gas production when an index-based method cannot be used?

§ 1206.174 How do I value gas production when an index-based method cannot be used?

(a) Situations in which an index-based method cannot be used.

(1) Gas production must be valued under this section in the following situations.

(i) Your lease is not in an index zone (or ONRR has excluded your lease from an index zone).

(ii) If your lease is in an index zone and you sell your gas under an arm's-length dedicated contract, then the value of your gas is the higher of the value received under the dedicated contract determined under § 1206.174(b) or the value under § 1206.172.

(iii) Also use this section to value any other gas production that cannot be valued under § 1206.172, as well as gas plant products, and to value components of the gas stream that have no Btu value (for example, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, etc.).

(2) The value for royalty purposes of gas production subject to this subpart is the value of gas determined under this section less applicable allowances determined under this subpart.

(3) You must determine the value of gas production that is processed and is subject to accounting for comparison using the procedure in § 1206.176.

(4) This paragraph applies if your lease has a major portion provision. It also applies if your lease does not have a major portion provision but the lease provides for the Secretary to determine value.

(i) The value of production you must initially report and pay is the value determined in accordance with the other paragraphs of this section.

(ii) ONRR will determine the major portion value and notify you in the Federal Register of that value. The value of production for royalty purposes for your lease is the higher of either the value determined under this section which you initially used to report and pay royalties, or the major portion value calculated under this paragraph (a)(4). If the major portion value is higher, you must submit an amended Form ONRR-2014 to ONRR by the due date specified in the written notice from ONRR of the major portion value. Late-payment interest under § 1218.54 of this chapter on any underpayment will not begin to accrue until the date the amended Form ONRR-2014 is due to ONRR.

(iii) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4)(iv) of this section, ONRR will calculate the major portion value for each designated area (which are the same designated areas as under § 1206.173) using values reported for unprocessed gas and residue gas on Form ONRR-2014 for gas produced from leases on that Indian reservation or other designated area. ONRR will array the reported prices from highest to lowest price. The major portion value is that price at which 25 percent (by volume) of the gas (starting from the highest) is sold. ONRR cannot unilaterally change the major portion value after you are notified in writing of what that value is for your leases.

(iv) ONRR may calculate the major portion value using different data than the data described in paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section or data to augment the data described in paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section. This may include price data reported to the State tax authority or price data from leases ONRR has reviewed in the designated area. ONRR may use this alternate or the augmented data source beginning with production on the first day of the month following the date ONRR publishes notice in the Federal Register that it is calculating the major portion using a method in this paragraph (a)(4)(iv) of this section.

(b) Arm's-length contracts.

(1) The value of gas, residue gas, or any gas plant product you sell under an arm's-length contract is the gross proceeds accruing to you or your affiliate, except as provided in paragraphs (b)(1)(ii)-(iv) of this section.

(i) You have the burden of demonstrating that your contract is arm's-length.

(ii) In conducting reviews and audits for gas valued based upon gross proceeds under this paragraph, ONRR will examine whether or not your contract reflects the total consideration actually transferred either directly or indirectly from the buyer to you or your affiliate for the gas, residue gas, or gas plant product. If the contract does not reflect the total consideration, then ONRR may require that the gas, residue gas, or gas plant product sold under that contract be valued in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section. Value may not be less than the gross proceeds accruing to you or your affiliate, including the additional consideration.

(iii) If ONRR determines for gas valued under this paragraph that the gross proceeds accruing to you or your affiliate under an arm's-length contract do not reflect the value of the gas, residue gas, or gas plant products because of misconduct by or between the contracting parties, or because you otherwise have breached your duty to the lessor to market the production for the mutual benefit of you and the lessor, then ONRR will require that the gas, residue gas, or gas plant product be valued under paragraphs (c)(2) or (3) of this section. In these circumstances, ONRR will notify you and give you an opportunity to provide written information justifying your value.

(iv) This paragraph applies to situations where a pipeline purchases gas from a lessee according to a cash-out program under a transportation contract. For all over-delivered volumes, the royalty value is the price the pipeline is required to pay for volumes within the tolerances for over-delivery specified in the transportation contract. Use the same value for volumes that exceed the over-delivery tolerances even if those volumes are subject to a lower price specified in the transportation contract. However, if ONRR determines that the price specified in the transportation contract for over-delivered volumes is unreasonably low, the lessees must value all over-delivered volumes under paragraph (c)(2) or (3) of this section.

(2) ONRR may require you to certify that your arm's-length contract provisions include all of the consideration the buyer pays, either directly or indirectly, for the gas, residue gas, or gas plant product.

(c) Non-arm's-length contracts. If your gas, residue gas, or any gas plant product is not sold under an arm's-length contract, then you must value the production using the first applicable method of the following three methods:

(1) The gross proceeds accruing to you under your non-arm's-length contract sale (or other disposition other than by an arm's-length contract), provided that those gross proceeds are equivalent to the gross proceeds derived from, or paid under, comparable arm's-length contracts for purchases, sales, or other dispositions of like-quality gas in the same field (or, if necessary to obtain a reasonable sample, from the same area). For residue gas or gas plant products, the comparable arm's-length contracts must be for gas from the same processing plant (or, if necessary to obtain a reasonable sample, from nearby plants). In evaluating the comparability of arm's-length contracts for the purposes of these regulations, the following factors will be considered: price, time of execution, duration, market or markets served, terms, quality of gas, residue gas, or gas plant products, volume, and such other factors as may be appropriate to reflect the value of the gas, residue gas, or gas plant products.

(2) A value determined by consideration of other information relevant in valuing like-quality gas, residue gas, or gas plant products, including gross proceeds under arm's-length contracts for like-quality gas in the same field or nearby fields or areas, or for residue gas or gas plant products from the same gas plant or other nearby processing plants. Other factors to consider include prices received in spot sales of gas, residue gas or gas plant products, other reliable public sources of price or market information, and other information as to the particular lease operation or the salability of such gas, residue gas, or gas plant products.

(3) A net-back method or any other reasonable method to determine value.

(d) Supporting data. If you determine the value of production under paragraph (c) of this section, you must retain all data relevant to the determination of royalty value.

(1) Such data will be subject to review and audit, and ONRR will direct you to use a different value if we determine upon review or audit that the value you reported is inconsistent with the requirements of these regulations.

(2) You must make all such data available upon request to the authorized ONRR or Indian representatives, to the Office of the Inspector General of the Department, or other authorized persons. This includes your arm's-length sales and volume data for like-quality gas, residue gas, and gas plant products that are sold, purchased, or otherwise obtained from the same processing plant or from nearby processing plants, or from the same or nearby field or area.

(e) Improper values. If ONRR determines that you have not properly determined value, you must pay the difference, if any, between royalty payments made based upon the value you used and the royalty payments that are due based upon the value ONRR established. You also must pay interest computed on that difference under § 1218.54 of this chapter. If you are entitled to a credit, ONRR will provide instructions on how to take that credit.

(f) Value guidance. You may ask ONRR for guidance in determining value. You may propose a valuation method to ONRR. Submit all available data related to your proposal and any additional information ONRR deems necessary. ONRR will promptly review your proposal and provide you with a non-binding determination of the guidance you request.

(g) Minimum value of production.

(1) For gas, residue gas, and gas plant products valued under this section, under no circumstances may the value of production for royalty purposes be less than the gross proceeds accruing to the lessee (including its affiliates) for gas, residue gas and/or any gas plant products, less applicable transportation allowances and processing allowances determined under this subpart.

(2) For gas plant products valued under this section and not valued under § 1206.173, the alternative methodology for dual accounting, the minimum value of production for each gas plant product is as follows:

(i) Leases in certain States and areas have specific minimum values.

(A) For production from leases in Colorado in the San Juan Basin, New Mexico, and Texas, the monthly average minimum price reported in commercial price bulletins for the gas plant product at Mont Belvieu, Texas, minus 8.0 cents per gallon.

(B) For production in Arizona, in Colorado outside the San Juan Basin, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, the monthly average minimum price reported in commercial price bulletins for the gas plant product at Conway, Kansas, minus 7.0 cents per gallon;

(ii) You may use any commercial price bulletin, but you must use the same bulletin for all of the calendar year. If the commercial price bulletin you are using stops publication, you may use a different commercial price bulletin for the remaining part of the calendar year; and (iii) If you use a commercial price bulletin that is published monthly, the monthly average minimum price is the bulletin's minimum price. If you use a commercial price bulletin that is published weekly, the monthly average minimum price is the arithmetic average of the bulletin's weekly minimum prices. If you use a commercial price bulletin that is published daily, the monthly average minimum price is the arithmetic average of the bulletin's minimum prices for each Wednesday in the month.

(h) Marketable condition/Marketing. You are required to place gas, residue gas, and gas plant products in marketable condition and market the gas for the mutual benefit of the lessee and the lessor at no cost to the Indian lessor. When your gross proceeds establish the value under this section, that value must be increased to the extent that the gross proceeds have been reduced because the purchaser, or any other person, is providing certain services to place the gas, residue gas, or gas plant products in marketable condition or to market the gas, the cost of which ordinarily is your responsibility.

(i) Highest obtainable price or benefit. For gas, residue gas, and gas plant products valued under this section, value must be based on the highest price a prudent lessee can receive through legally enforceable claims under its contract. Absent contract revision or amendment, if you fail to take proper or timely action to receive prices or benefits to which you are entitled, you must pay royalty at a value based upon that obtainable price or benefit. Contract revisions or amendments must be in writing and signed by all parties to an arm's-length contract. If you make timely application for a price increase or benefit allowed under your contract but the purchaser refuses, and you take reasonable measures, which are documented, to force purchaser compliance, you will owe no additional royalties unless or until monies or consideration resulting from the price increase or additional benefits are received. This paragraph is not intended to permit you to avoid your royalty payment obligation in situations where your purchaser fails to pay, in whole or in part, or timely, for a quantity of gas, residue gas, or gas plant product.

(j) Non-binding ONRR reviews. Notwithstanding any provision in these regulations to the contrary, no review, reconciliation, monitoring, or other like process that results in an ONRR redetermination of value under this section will be considered final or binding against the Federal Government or its beneficiaries until the audit period is formally closed.

(k) Confidential information. Certain information submitted to ONRR to support valuation proposals, including transportation allowances and processing allowances, may be exempted from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, or other Federal law. Any data specified by law to be privileged, confidential, or otherwise exempt, will be maintained in a confidential manner in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. All requests for information about determinations made under this subpart must be submitted in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act regulation of the Department of the Interior, 43 CFR part 2.

[64 FR 43515, Aug. 10, 1999, as amended at 65 FR 62614, Oct. 19, 2000]

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