30 U.S. Code § 223 - Leases; amount and survey of land; term of lease; royalties and annual rental
Upon establishing to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Interior that valuable deposits of oil or gas have been discovered within the limits of the land embraced in any permit, the permittee shall be entitled to a lease for one-fourth of the land embraced in the prospecting permit: Provided, That the permittee shall be granted a lease for as much as one hundred and sixty acres of said lands, if there be that number of acres within the permit. The area to be selected by the permittee, shall be in reasonably compact form and, if surveyed, to be described by the legal subdivisions of the public-land surveys; if unsurveyed, to be surveyed by the Government at the expense of the applicant for lease in accordance with rules and regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior, and the lands leased shall be conformed to and taken in accordance with the legal subdivisions of such surveys; deposits made to cover expense of surveys shall be deemed appropriated for that purpose, and any excess deposits may be repaid to the person or persons making such deposit or their legal representatives. Such leases shall be for a term of twenty years upon a royalty of 5 per centum in amount or value of the production and the annual payment in advance of a rental of $1 per acre, the rental paid for any one year to be credited against the royalties as they accrue for that year, and shall continue in force otherwise as prescribed in section 226 of this title for leases issued prior to August 21, 1935. The permittee shall also be entitled to a preference right to a lease for the remainder of the land in his prospecting permit at a royalty of not less than 121/2 per centum in amount or value of the production nor more than the royalty rate prescribed by regulation in force on January 1, 1935, for secondary leases issued under this section, and under such other conditions as are fixed for oil or gas leases issued under section 226 of this title the royalty to be determined by competitive bidding or fixed by such other method as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe: Provided further, That the Secretary shall have the right to reject any or all bids.
Source(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, § 14,41 Stat. 442; Aug. 21, 1935, ch. 599, § 1,49 Stat. 676.)
1935—Act Aug. 21, 1935, inserted “reasonably” before “compact form” and substituted “and shall continue in force otherwise as prescribed in section 226 of this title for leases issued prior to August 21, 1935” and “oil or gas leases issued under section 226 of this title” for “with the right of renewal as prescribed in section 226 of this title” and “oil or gas leases in this chapter”, respectively.
Limitation of Royalty on Discoveries During War Period
Act Dec. 24, 1942, ch. 812, 56 Stat. 1080, limiting royalty obligation of oil or gas lessee who drills well resulting in discovery of new deposit on public domain during the national emergency was repealed by Joint Res. July 25, 1947, ch. 327, § 1,61 Stat. 449.
Outer Continental Shelf; Leases
Grant by Secretary of the Interior of oil, gas, and other mineral leases on submerged lands of outer Continental Shelf, see section 1331 et seq. of Title 43, Public Lands.