30 CFR § 1206.180 - How do I determine an actual processing allowance?

§ 1206.180 How do I determine an actual processing allowance?

(a) Determining a processing allowance if you have an arms's-length processing contract.

(1) This paragraph explains how you determine an allowance under an arm's-length processing contract.

(i) The processing allowance is the reasonable actual costs you incur to process the gas 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. You are required to submit to ONRR a copy of your arm's-length contract(s) and all subsequent amendments to the contract(s) within 2 months of the date ONRR receives your first report that deducts the allowance on the Form ONRR-2014.

(ii) When ONRR conducts reviews and audits, we will examine whether the contract reflects more than the consideration actually transferred either directly or indirectly from you to the processor for the processing. If the contract reflects more than the total consideration, then ONRR may require that the processing allowance be determined under paragraph (b) of this section.

(iii) If ONRR determines that the consideration paid under an arm's-length processing contract does not reflect the value of the processing 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 processing 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 processing costs.

(2) If your arm's-length processing contract includes more than one gas plant product and the processing costs attributable to each product can be determined from the contract, then the processing costs for each gas plant product must be determined in accordance with the contract. You may not take an allowance for the costs of processing lease production that is not royalty-bearing.

(3) If your arm's-length processing contract includes more than one gas plant product and the processing costs attributable to each product cannot be determined from the contract, you must propose an allocation procedure to ONRR. You may use your proposed allocation procedure until ONRR issues its determination. You are required to submit all relevant data to support your proposal. ONRR will then determine the processing allowance based upon your proposal and any additional information ONRR deems necessary. You may not take a processing allowance for the costs of processing lease production that is not royalty-bearing.

(4) If your payments for processing 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.

(b) Determining a processing allowance if you have a non-arm's-length contract or no contract.

(1) This paragraph applies if you have a non-arm's-length processing contract or no contract, including those situations where you perform processing for yourself.

(i) If you have a non-arm's-length contract or no contract, the processing allowance is based upon your reasonable actual costs of processing as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(ii) All processing 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-4109, Gas Processing Allowance Summary Report, within 3 months after the end of the 12-month period for which the allowance applies. ONRR may approve a longer time period. ONRR will monitor the allowance deduction to ensure that deductions are reasonable and allowable. When necessary or appropriate, ONRR may require you to modify your processing allowance.

(2) The processing allowance for non-arm's-length or no-contract situations is based upon your actual costs for processing 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 processing plant 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 processing plant.

(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 the lessee can document.

(ii) Allowable maintenance expenses include maintenance of the processing plant, 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 processing plant is an allowable expense. State and Federal income taxes and severance taxes, including royalties, are not allowable expenses.

(iv) You may use either depreciation with a return on undepreciable capital investment or a return on depreciable capital investment. After you elect to use either method for a processing plant, 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 processing plant 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 processing plant will not alter the depreciation schedule that the original processor/lessee established for purposes of the allowance calculation. However, for processing plants you or your affiliate purchase that do not have a previously claimed ONRR depreciation schedule, you may treat the processing plant as a newly installed facility for depreciation purposes. A processing plant may be depreciated only once, regardless of whether there is a change in ownership. Equipment may not be depreciated below a reasonable salvage value. To compute a return on undepreciated capital investment, you must multiply the undepreciable capital investment in the processing plant by the rate of return determined under paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section.

(B) To compute a return on depreciable capital investment, you must multiply the initial capital investment in the processing plant 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 plants 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 for which the allowance is applicable. The rate must be redetermined at the beginning of each subsequent calendar year.

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

(4) The processing allowance for each gas plant product must be determined based on your reasonable and actual cost of processing the gas. You must base your allocation of costs to each gas plant product upon generally accepted accounting principles. You may not take an allowance for the costs of processing lease production that is not royalty-bearing.

(c) Reporting your processing allowance.

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

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

(d) Adjusting incorrect processing allowances. If for any month the gas processing allowance you are entitled to is less than the amount you took on Form ONRR-2014, you are required to pay additional royalties, plus interest computed under § 1218.54 of this chapter from the first day of the first month you deducted a processing allowance until the date you pay the royalties due. If the processing allowance you are entitled is greater than the amount you took on Form ONRR-2014, you are entitled to a credit. However, no interest will be paid on the overpayment.

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

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

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