30 CFR § 551.14 - Protecting and disclosing data and information submitted to BOEM under a permit.

§ 551.14 Protecting and disclosing data and information submitted to BOEM under a permit.

(a)Disclosure of data and information to the public by BOEM.

(1) In making data and information available to the public, the Regional Director will follow the applicable requirements of:

(i) The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552);

(ii) The implementing regulations at 43 CFR part 2;

(iii) The Act; and

(iv) The regulations at 30 CFR parts 550 and 552.

(2) Except as specified in this section or in 30 CFR parts 550 and 552, if the Regional Director determines any data or information is exempt from public disclosure under this paragraph (a), BOEM will not provide the data and information to any State or to the executive of any local government or to the public, unless you and all third parties agree to the disclosure.

(3) BOEM will keep confidential the identity of third party recipients of data and information collected under a permit. BOEM will not release the identity unless you and the third parties agree to the disclosure.

(4) When you detect any significant hydrocarbon occurrences or environmental hazards on unleased lands during drilling operations, the Regional Director will immediately issue a public announcement. The announcement must further the National interest, but without unduly damaging your competitive position.

(b)Timetable for release of G&G data and information related to oil, gas, and sulphur that BOEM acquires. Except for high-resolution data and information released under 30 CFR 550.197(b)(2), BOEM will release or disclose acquired data and information in accordance with paragraphs (b)(1) through (7) of this section.

(1) If the data and information are not related to a deep stratigraphic test, BOEM will release them to the public in accordance with the following table:

If you or a third party submit and BOEM retains . . . The Regional Director will release them to the public . . .
(i) Geological data and information, 10 years after BOEM issued the permit.
(ii) Geophysical data, 50 years after BOEM issued the permit.
(iii) Geophysical information processed or reprocessed less than 20 years after BOEM issued the germane permit, 25 years after BOEM issued the permit.
(iv) Geophysical information processed or reprocessed 20 or more years after BOEM issued the germane permit, 25 years after BOEM issued the permit; or, if you or a third party applied for an extension of the proprietary term, 5 years after BOEM approved the application for an extension. In any case BOEM will release the information no later than 50 years after BOEM issued the permit.

(2)Permittees and third parties may apply to BOEM for an extension of the 25-year proprietary term for geophysical information reprocessed 20 or more years after BOEM issued the germane permit. You must submit the application to BOEM within 90 days after completion of the reprocessing, except during the initial 1-year grace period as provided in paragraph (b)(5) below. Filing locations are listed in § 551.5(d). Your application must include:

(i) Name and address of the permittee or third party;

(ii) Product name;

(iii) Identification of the geophysical information area;

(iv) Identification of originating permit number and date;

(v) Description of reprocessing performed;

(vi) Identification of the date of completion of reprocessing the geophysical information;

(vii) Certification that the product meets the definition of processed geophysical information and that all other information in the application is accurate; and

(viii) Signature and date.

(3) With each new reprocessing of permitted data, you may apply for an extension of up to 5 years. However, the maximum proprietary term for geophysical information is 50 years after the permit was issued. Once the maximum term is reached, the BOEM Regional Director will release the information to the public.

(4)Geophysical information processed or reprocessed 20 or more years after the germane permit was issued and granted the extension will be subject to submission, inspection, and selection criteria under § 551.12 and reimbursement criteria identified under § 551.13.

(5) There was a 1-year grace period, that started September 14, 2009, that allowed permittees and third parties sufficient time to meet the above requirements and apply for all eligible extensions. During that time, BOEM did not release geophysical information which was reprocessed 20 or more years after the date that the germane permit was issued.

(6) Since September 14, 2010, BOEM has resumed releasing eligible reprocessed information. If an application for extension was not filed, not filed on time, or not approved by BOEM, the original 25-year proprietary term applies to the release date of the reprocessed geophysical information.

(7) If the data and information are related to a deep stratigraphic test, BOEM will release them to the public at the earlier of the following times:

(i) Twenty-five years after you complete the test; or

(ii) If a lease sale is held after you complete a test well, 60-calendar days after BOEM issues the first lease, any portion of which is located within 50 geographic miles (92.7 kilometers) of the test.

(8) BOEM may allow limited inspection, but only by persons with a direct interest in related BOEM decisions and issues in specific geographic areas, and who agree in writing to its confidentiality, of G&G data and information submitted under this part that BOEM uses to:

(i) Make unitization determinations on two or more leases;

(ii) Make competitive reservoir determinations;

(iii) Ensure proper plans of development for competitive reservoirs;

(iv) Promote operational safety;

(v) Protect the environment;

(vi) Make field determinations; or

(vii) Determine eligibility for royalty relief.

(c)Procedure that BOEM follows to disclose acquired data and information to a contractor for reproduction, processing, and interpretation.

(1) When practical, the Regional Director will advise the person who submitted data and information under § 551.11 or § 551.12 of the intent to disclose the data or information to an independent contractor or agent.

(2) The person so notified will have at least 5 working days to comment on the action.

(3) When the Regional Director advises the person who submitted the data and information, all other owners of the data or information will be considered to have been so notified.

(4) Before disclosure, the contractor or agent must sign a written commitment not to sell, trade, license, or disclose data or information to anyone without the Regional Director's consent.

(d)Sharing data and information with coastal States.

(1) When BOEM solicits nominations for leasing lands located within 3 geographic miles (5.6 kilometers) of the seaward boundary of any coastal State, the Regional Director, in accordance with 30 CFR 552.7(a)(4) and (b) and subsections 8(g) and 26(e) of the Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(g) and 1352(e)), will provide the Governor with:

(i) All information on the geographical, geological, and ecological characteristics of the areas and regions BOEM proposes to offer for lease;

(ii) An estimate of the oil and gas reserves in the areas proposed for leasing; and

(iii) An identification of any field, geological structure, or trap on the OCS within 3 geographic miles (5.6 kilometers) of the seaward boundary of the State.

(2) After receiving nominations for leasing an area of the OCS within 3 geographic miles of the seaward boundary of any coastal State, BOEM will carry out a tentative area identification according to 30 CFR part 556, subparts D and E. At that time, the Regional Director will consult with the Governor to determine whether any tracts further considered for leasing may contain any oil or gas reservoirs that underlie both the OCS and lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State.

(3) Before a sale, if a Governor requests, the Regional Director, in accordance with 30 CFR 552.7(a)(4) and (b) and sections 8(g) and 26(e) of the Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(g) and 1352(e)), will share with the Governor information that identifies potential and/or proven common hydrocarbon bearing areas within 3 geographic miles of the seaward boundary of that State.

(4) Information received and knowledge gained by a State official under paragraph (d) of this section is subject to applicable confidentiality requirements of:

(i) The Act; and

(ii) The regulations at 30 CFR parts 550, 551, and 552.