30 CFR 1206.262 - Determination of transportation allowances.
(1) For transportation costs incurred by a lessee pursuant to an arm's-length contract, the transportation allowance shall be the reasonable, actual costs incurred by the lessee for transporting the coal under that contract, subject to monitoring, review, audit, and possible future adjustment. The lessee shall have the burden of demonstrating that its contract is arm's-length. The lessee must claim a transportation allowance by reporting it as a separate line entry on the form ONRR-4430.
(2) In conducting reviews and audits, ONRR will examine whether the contract reflects more than the consideration actually transferred either directly or indirectly from the lessee to the transporter for the transportation. If the contract reflects more than the total consideration paid, then the ONRR may require that the transportation allowance be determined in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.
(3) If ONRR determines that the consideration paid pursuant to an arm's-length transportation contract does not reflect the reasonable value of the transportation because of misconduct by or between the contracting parties, or because the lessee otherwise has breached its duty to the lessor to market the production for the mutual benefit of the lessee and the lessor, then ONRR shall require that the transportation allowance be determined in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. When ONRR determines that the value of the transportation may be unreasonable, ONRR will notify the lessee and give the lessee an opportunity to provide written information justifying the lessee's transportation costs.
(4) Where the lessee's payments for transportation under an arm's-length contract are not based on a dollar-per-unit basis, the lessee shall convert whatever consideration is paid to a dollar value equivalent for the purposes of this section.
(b)Non-arm's-length or no contract - (1) If a lessee has a non-arm's-length contract or has no contract, including those situations where the lessee performs transportation services for itself, the transportation allowance will be based upon the lessee's reasonable actual costs. All transportation allowances deducted under a non-arm's-length or no contract situation are subject to monitoring, review, audit, and possible future adjustment. The lessee must claim a transportation allowance by reporting it as a separate line entry on the form ONRR-4430. When necessary or appropriate, ONRR may direct a lessee to modify its estimated or actual transportation allowance deduction.
(2) The transportation allowance for non-arm's-length or no-contract situations shall be based upon the lessee's actual costs for transportation during the reporting period, including 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 depreciable investment in the transportation system multiplied by the rate of return in accordance with paragraph (b)(2)(iv)(B) of this section. Allowable capital costs are generally those for depreciable fixed assets (including costs of delivery and installation of capital equipment) which 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 which the lessee 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 which the lessee can document.
(iii) Overhead 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) A lessee may use either paragraph (b)(2)(iv)(A) or (B) of this section. After a lessee has elected to use either method for a transportation system, the lessee may not later elect to change to the other alternative without approval of ONRR.
(A) To compute depreciation, the lessee may elect to use either a straight-line depreciation method based on the life of equipment or on the life of the reserves which the transportation system services, whichever is appropriate, or a unit of production method. After an election is made, the lessee may not change methods without ONRR approval. A change in ownership of a transportation system shall not alter the depreciation schedule established by the original transporter/lessee for purposes of the allowance calculation. With or without a change in ownership, a transportation system shall be depreciated only once. Equipment shall not be depreciated below a reasonable salvage value.
(B) ONRR shall allow as a cost an amount equal to the allowable capital investment in the transportation system multiplied by the rate of return determined pursuant to paragraph (b)(2)(B)(v) of this section. No allowance shall be provided for depreciation. This alternative shall apply only to transportation facilities first placed in service or acquired after March 1, 1989.
(v) The rate of return must be the industrial rate associated with Standard and Poor's BBB rating. The rate of return must be 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) A lessee may apply to ONRR for exception from the requirement that it compute actual costs in accordance with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section. ONRR will grant the exception only if the lessee has a rate for the transportation approved by a Federal agency or by a State regulatory agency (for Federal leases). ONRR shall deny the exception request if it determines that the rate is excessive as compared to arm's-length transportation charges by systems, owned by the lessee or others, providing similar transportation services in that area. If there are no arm's-length transportation charges, ONRR shall deny the exception request if:
(i) No Federal or State regulatory agency costs analysis exists and the Federal or State regulatory agency, as applicable, has declined to investigate under ONRR timely objections upon filing; and
(ii) The rate significantly exceeds the lessee's actual costs for transportation as determined under this section.
(c)Reporting requirements -
(ii) ONRR may require that a lessee submit arm's-length transportation contracts, production agreements, operating agreements, and related documents. Documents shall be submitted within a reasonable time, as determined by ONRR.
(ii) For new transportation facilities or arrangements, the lessee's initial deduction shall include estimates of the allowable coal transportation costs for the applicable period. Cost estimates shall be based upon the most recently available operations data for the transportation system or, if such data are not available, the lessee shall use estimates based upon industry data for similar transportation systems.
(iv) If the lessee is authorized to use its Federal- or State-agency-approved rate as its transportation cost in accordance with paragraph (b)(3) of this section, it shall follow the reporting requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
(d)Interest and assessments.
(1) If a lessee nets a transportation allowance on form ONRR-4430, the lessee shall be assessed an amount of up to 10 percent of the allowance netted not to exceed $250 per lease sales type code per sales period.
(1) If the actual coal transportation allowance is less than the amount the lessee has taken on form ONRR-4430 for each month during the allowance reporting period, the lessee shall pay additional royalties due plus interest computed under § 1218.202 of this chapter from the date when the lessee took the deduction to the date the lessee repays the difference to ONRR. If the actual transportation allowance is greater than amount the lessee has taken on form ONRR-4430 for each month during the allowance reporting period, the lessee shall be entitled to a credit without interest.
(f)Other transportation cost determinations. The provisions of this section shall apply to determine transportation costs when establishing value using a net-back valuation procedure or any other procedure that requires deduction of transportation costs.