30 CFR § 556.604 - What are my rights and obligations as a record title owner?

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§ 556.604 What are my rights and obligations as a record title owner?

(a) As a record title owner, you are responsible for all administrative and operating performance on the lease, including paying any rent and royalty due.


(1) A record title owner owns operating rights to the lease, unless and until he or she severs the operating rights by subleasing them to someone else.

(2) A sublease of operating rights from record title may be for a whole or undivided fractional interest in the entire lease or a described aliquot portion of the lease and/or a depth interval. The sublease creates an operating rights interest in the sublessee, herein referred to as the operating rights owner.

(c) Within any given aliquot, the record title owner may sublease operating rights for up to a maximum of two depth divisions, which may result in a maximum of three different depth intervals. But, if the one, or two, depth divisions to which operating rights are subleased do not include the entire depth of the lease, whatever depth division(s) has not been subleased, remains part of the lessee/sublessor's record title interest. The depth intervals for which operating rights are subleased must be defined by a beginning and ending depth and the ending of one depth level must abut the beginning of the next depth level, with no gap in between.

(d) Every current and prior record title owner is jointly and severally liable, along with all other record title owners and all prior and current operating rights owners, for compliance with all non-monetary terms and conditions of the lease and all regulations issued under OCSLA, as well as for fulfilling all non-monetary obligations, including decommissioning obligations, which accrue while it holds record title interest.

(e) Record title owners that acquired their record title interests through assignment from a prior record title owner are also responsible for remedying all existing environmental or operational problems on any lease in which they own record title interests, with subrogation rights against prior lessees.

(f) For monetary obligations, your obligation depends on the source of the monetary obligation and whether you have retained or severed your operating rights.

(1) With respect to those operating rights that you have retained, you are primarily liable under 30 U.S.C. 1712(a) for your pro-rata share of all other monetary obligations pertaining to that portion of the lease subject to the operating rights you have retained, based on your share of operating rights in that portion of the lease.

(2) With respect to all monetary obligations arising from or in connection with those operating rights that have been severed from your record title interest, your obligation is secondary to that of the sublessee(s) or later assignee(s) of the operating rights that were severed from your record title interest, as prescribed in 30 U.S.C. 1712(a).