(a) Certification. The applicable royalty rate shall be used by the operator/payor when submitting the required royalty reports/payments to ONRR. By submitting royalty reports/payments using the royalty rate reduction benefits of this program, the operator certifies that the production rate for the qualifying and subsequent 12-month period was not subject to manipulation for the purpose of obtaining the benefit of a royalty rate reduction, and the royalty rate was calculated in accordance with the instructions and procedures in these regulations.
(b)Record retention. For seven years after production on which the operator claims a royalty rate reduction for stripper well properties, the operator must retain and make available to BLM for inspection all documents on which the calculation of the applicable royalty rate under this section relies.
(c) Agency action. If a royalty rate is improperly calculated, the MMS will calculate the correct rate and inform the operator/payors. Any additional royalties due are payable immediately upon notification. Late payment or underpayment charges will be assessed in accordance with 30 CFR 218.102. The BLM may terminate a royalty rate reduction if it is determined that the production rate was manipulated by the operator for the purpose of receiving a royalty rate reduction. Terminations of royalty rate reductions will be effective on the effective date of the royalty rate reduction resulting from the manipulated production rate (i.e., the termination will be retroactive to the effective date of the improper reduction). The operator/payor shall pay the difference in royalty resulting from the retroactive application of the unmanipulated rate. Late payment or underpayment charges will be assessed in accordance with 30 CFR 218.102.