30 CFR § 1206.178 - How do I determine a transportation allowance?

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§ 1206.178 How do I determine a transportation allowance?

(a) Determining a transportation allowance under an arm's-length contract.

(1) This paragraph explains how to determine your allowance if you have an arm's-length transportation contract.

(i) If you have an arm's-length contract for transportation of your production, the transportation allowance is the reasonable, actual costs you incur for transporting the unprocessed gas, residue gas and/or gas plant products under that contract. Paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) and (iii) of this section provide a limited exception. You have the burden of demonstrating that your contract is arm's-length. Your allowances also are subject to paragraph (e) of this section. You are required to submit to ONRR a copy of your arm's-length transportation contract(s) and all subsequent amendments to the contract(s) within 2 months of the date ONRR receives your report which claims the allowance on the Form ONRR-2014.

(ii) When either ONRR or a tribe conducts reviews and audits, they will examine whether or not the contract reflects more than the consideration actually transferred either directly or indirectly from you to the transporter of the transportation. If the contract reflects more than the total consideration, then ONRR may require that the transportation allowance be determined under paragraph (b) of this section.

(iii) If ONRR determines that the consideration paid under an arm's-length transportation contract does not reflect the value of the transportation 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 transportation allowance be determined under paragraph (b) of this section. In these circumstances, ONRR will notify you and give you an opportunity to provide written information justifying your transportation costs.

(2) This paragraph explains how to allocate the costs to each product if your arm's-length transportation contract includes more than one product in a gaseous phase and the transportation costs attributable to each product cannot be determined from the contract.

(i) If your arm's-length transportation contract includes more than one product in a gaseous phase and the transportation costs attributable to each product cannot be determined from the contract, the total transportation costs must be allocated in a consistent and equitable manner to each of the products transported. To make this allocation, use the same proportion as the ratio that the volume of each product (excluding waste products which have no value) bears to the volume of all products in the gaseous phase (excluding waste products which have no value). Except as provided in this paragraph, you cannot take an allowance for the costs of transporting lease production that is not royalty bearing without ONRR approval, or without lessor approval on tribal leases.

(ii) As an alternative to paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section, you may propose to ONRR a cost allocation method based on the values of the products transported. ONRR will approve the method if we determine that it meets one of the two following requirements:

(A) The methodology in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section cannot be applied; and

(B) Your proposal is more reasonable than the methodology in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(3) This paragraph explains how to allocate costs to each product if your arm's-length transportation contract includes both gaseous and liquid products and the transportation costs attributable to each cannot be determined from the contract.

(i) If your arm's-length transportation contract includes both gaseous and liquid products and the transportation costs attributable to each cannot be determined from the contract, you must propose an allocation procedure to ONRR. You may use the transportation allowance determined in accordance with your proposed allocation procedure until ONRR decides whether to accept your cost allocation.

(ii) You are required to submit all relevant data to support your allocation proposal. ONRR will then determine the gas transportation allowance based upon your proposal and any additional information ONRR deems necessary.

(4) If your payments for transportation under an arm's-length contract are not based on a dollar per unit price, you must convert whatever consideration is paid to a dollar value equivalent for the purposes of this section.

(5) Where an arm's-length sales contract price includes a reduction for a transportation factor, ONRR will not consider the transportation factor to be a transportation allowance. You may use the transportation factor to determine your gross proceeds for the sale of the product. However, the transportation factor may not exceed 50 percent of the base price of the product without ONRR approval.

(b) Determining a transportation allowance under a non-arm's-length or no contract.

(1) This paragraph explains how to determine your allowance if you have a non-arm's-length transportation contract or no contract.

(i) When you have a non-arm's-length transportation contract or no contract, including those situations where you perform transportation services for yourself, the transportation allowance is based upon your reasonable, allowable, actual costs for transportation as provided in this paragraph.

(ii) All transportation allowances deducted under a non-arm's-length or no contract situation are subject to monitoring, review, audit, and adjustment. You must submit the actual cost information to support the allowance to ONRR on Form ONRR-4295, Gas Transportation Allowance Report, within 3 months after the end of the 12-month period to which the allowance applies. However, ONRR may approve a longer time period. ONRR will monitor the allowance deductions to ensure that deductions are reasonable and allowable. When necessary or appropriate, ONRR may require you to modify your actual transportation allowance deduction.

(2) This paragraph explains what actual transportation costs are allowable under a non-arm's-length contract or no contract situation. The transportation allowance for non-arm's-length or no-contract situations is based upon your actual costs for transportation during the reporting period. Allowable costs include operating and maintenance expenses, overhead, and either depreciation and a return on undepreciated capital investment (in accordance with paragraph (b)(2)(iv)(A) of this section), or a cost equal to the initial depreciable investment in the transportation system multiplied by a rate of return in accordance with paragraph (b)(2)(iv)(B) of this section. Allowable capital costs are generally those costs for depreciable fixed assets (including costs of delivery and installation of capital equipment) that are an integral part of the transportation system.

(i) Allowable operating expenses include operations supervision and engineering, operations labor, fuel, utilities, materials, ad valorem property taxes, rent, supplies, and any other directly allocable and attributable operating expense that you can document.

(ii) Allowable maintenance expenses include maintenance of the transportation system, maintenance of equipment, maintenance labor, and other directly allocable and attributable maintenance expenses that you can document.

(iii) Overhead directly attributable and allocable to the operation and maintenance of the transportation system is an allowable expense. State and Federal income taxes and severance taxes and other fees, including royalties, are not allowable expenses.

(iv) You may use either depreciation with a return on undepreciated capital investment or a return on depreciable capital investment. After you have elected to use either method for a transportation system, you may not later elect to change to the other alternative without ONRR approval.

(A) To compute depreciation, you may elect to use either a straight-line depreciation method based on the life of equipment or on the life of the reserves that the transportation system services, or a unit of production method. Once you make an election, you may not change methods without ONRR approval. A change in ownership of a transportation system will not alter the depreciation schedule that the original transporter/lessee established for purposes of the allowance calculation. With or without a change in ownership, a transportation system may be depreciated only once. Equipment may not be depreciated below a reasonable salvage value. To compute a return on undepreciated capital investment, you will multiply the undepreciated capital investment in the transportation system by the rate of return determined under paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section.

(B) To compute a return on depreciable capital investment, you will multiply the initial capital investment in the transportation system by the rate of return determined under paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section. No allowance will be provided for depreciation. This alternative will apply only to transportation facilities first placed in service after March 1, 1988.

(v) The rate of return is the industrial rate associated with Standard and Poor's BBB rating. The rate of return is the monthly average rate as published in Standard and Poor's Bond Guide for the first month of the reporting period for which the allowance is applicable and is effective during the reporting period. The rate must be redetermined at the beginning of each subsequent transportation allowance reporting period that is determined under paragraph (b)(4) of this section.

(3) This paragraph explains how to allocate transportation costs to each product and transportation system.

(i) The deduction for transportation costs must be determined based on your cost of transporting each product through each individual transportation system. If you transport more than one product in a gaseous phase, the allocation of costs to each of the products transported must be made in a consistent and equitable manner. The allocation should be in the same proportion that the volume of each product (excluding waste products that have no value) bears to the volume of all products in the gaseous phase (excluding waste products that have no value). Except as provided in this paragraph, you may not take an allowance for transporting a product that is not royalty bearing without ONRR approval.

(ii) As an alternative to the requirements of paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, you may propose to ONRR a cost allocation method based on the values of the products transported. ONRR will approve the method upon determining that it meets one of the two following requirements:

(A) The methodology in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section cannot be applied; and

(B) Your proposal is more reasonable than the method in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section.

(4) Your transportation allowance under this paragraph (b) must be determined based upon a calendar year or other period if you and ONRR agree to an alternative.

(5) If you transport both gaseous and liquid products through the same transportation system, you must propose a cost allocation procedure to ONRR. You may use the transportation allowance determined in accordance with your proposed allocation procedure until ONRR issues its determination on the acceptability of the cost allocation. You are required to submit all relevant data to support your proposal. ONRR will then determine the transportation allowance based upon your proposal and any additional information ONRR deems necessary.

(c) Using the alternative transportation calculation when you have a non-arm's-length or no contract.

(1) As an alternative to computing your transportation allowance under paragraph (b) of this section, you may use as the transportation allowance 10 percent of your gross proceeds but not to exceed 30 cents per MMBtu.

(2) Your election to use the alternative transportation allowance calculation in paragraph (c)(1) of this section must be made at the beginning of a month and must remain in effect for an entire calendar year. Your first election will remain in effect until the end of the succeeding calendar year, except for elections effective January 1 that will be effective only for that calendar year.

(d) Reporting your transportation allowance.

(1) If ONRR requests, you must submit all data used to determine your transportation allowance. The data must be provided within a reasonable period of time that ONRR will determine.

(2) You must report transportation allowances as a separate entry on Form ONRR-2014. ONRR may approve a different reporting procedure on allottee leases, and with lessor approval on tribal leases.

(e) Adjusting incorrect allowances. If for any month the transportation allowance you are entitled to is less than the amount you took on Form ONRR-2014, you are required to report and pay additional royalties due, plus interest computed under § 1218.54 of this chapter from the first day of the first month you deducted the improper transportation allowance until the date you pay the royalties due. If the transportation allowance you are entitled to is greater than the amount you took on Form ONRR-2014 for any royalties during the reporting period, you are entitled to a credit. No interest will be paid on the overpayment.

(f) Determining allowable costs for transportation allowances. Lessees may include, but are not limited to, the following costs in determining the arm's-length transportation allowance under paragraph (a) of this section or the non-arm's-length transportation allowance under paragraph (b) of this section:

(1) Firm demand charges paid to pipelines. You must limit the allowable costs for the firm demand charges to the applicable rate per MMBtu multiplied by the actual volumes transported. You may not include any losses incurred for previously purchased but unused firm capacity. You also may not include any gains associated with releasing firm capacity. If you receive a payment or credit from the pipeline for penalty refunds, rate case refunds, or other reasons, you must reduce the firm demand charge claimed on the Form ONRR-2014. You must modify the Form ONRR-2014 by the amount received or credited for the affected reporting period.

(2) Gas supply realignment (GSR) costs. The GSR costs result from a pipeline reforming or terminating supply contracts with producers to implement the restructuring requirements of FERC orders in 18 CFR part 284.

(3) Commodity charges. The commodity charge allows the pipeline to recover the costs of providing service.

(4) Wheeling costs. Hub operators charge a wheeling cost for transporting gas from one pipeline to either the same or another pipeline through a market center or hub. A hub is a connected manifold of pipelines through which a series of incoming pipelines are interconnected to a series of outgoing pipelines.

(5) Gas Research Institute (GRI) fees. The GRI conducts research, development, and commercialization programs on natural gas related topics for the benefit of the U.S. gas industry and gas customers. GRI fees are allowable provided such fees are mandatory in FERC-approved tariffs.

(6) Annual Charge Adjustment (ACA) fees. FERC charges these fees to pipelines to pay for its operating expenses.

(7) Payments (either volumetric or in value) for actual or theoretical losses. This paragraph does not apply to non-arm's-length transportation arrangements.

(8) Temporary storage services. This includes short duration storage services offered by market centers or hubs (commonly referred to as “parking” or “banking”), or other temporary storage services provided by pipeline transporters, whether actual or provided as a matter of accounting. Temporary storage is limited to 30 days or less.

(9) Supplemental costs for compression, dehydration, and treatment of gas. ONRR allows these costs only if such services are required for transportation and exceed the services necessary to place production into marketable condition required under § 1206.174(h).

(g) Determining nonallowable costs for transportation allowances. Lessees may not include the following costs in determining the arm's-length transportation allowance under paragraph (a) of this section or the non-arm's-length transportation allowance under paragraph (b) of this section:

(1) Fees or costs incurred for storage. This includes storing production in a storage facility, whether on or off the lease, for more than 30 days.

(2) Aggregater/marketer fees. This includes fees you pay to another person (including your affiliates) to market your gas, including purchasing and reselling the gas, or finding or maintaining a market for the gas production.

(3) Penalties you incur as shipper. These penalties include, but are not limited to the following:

(i) Over-delivery cash-out penalties. This includes the difference between the price the pipeline pays you for over-delivered volumes outside the tolerances and the price you receive for over-delivered volumes within tolerances.

(ii) Scheduling penalties. This includes penalties you incur for differences between daily volumes delivered into the pipeline and volumes scheduled or nominated at a receipt or delivery point.

(iii) Imbalance penalties. This includes penalties you incur (generally on a monthly basis) for differences between volumes delivered into the pipeline and volumes scheduled or nominated at a receipt or delivery point.

(iv) Operational penalties. This includes fees you incur for violation of the pipeline's curtailment or operational orders issued to protect the operational integrity of the pipeline.

(4) Intra-hub transfer fees. These are fees you pay to hub operators for administrative services (e.g., title transfer tracking) necessary to account for the sale of gas within a hub.

(5) Other nonallowable costs. Any cost you incur for services you are required to provide at no cost to the lessor.

(h) Other transportation cost determinations. You must follow the provisions of this section to determine transportation costs when establishing value using either a net-back valuation procedure or any other procedure that allows deduction of actual transportation costs.

[64 FR 43515, Aug. 10, 1999, as amended at 73 FR 15891, Mar. 26, 2008]

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