30 U.S. Code § 251 - Leases to claimants of withdrawn lands; terms and conditions; acreage; annual rentals and royalties; fraud of claimants
Any bona fide occupant or claimant of oil or gas bearing lands in the Territory of Alaska, who, or whose predecessors in interest, prior to withdrawal had complied otherwise with the requirements of the mining laws, but had made no discovery of oil or gas in wells and who prior to withdrawal had made substantial improvements for the discovery of oil or gas on or for each location or had prior to February 25, 1920 expended not less than $250 in improvements on or for each location shall be entitled, upon relinquishment or surrender to the United States within one year from February 25, 1920, or within six months after final denial or withdrawal of application for patent, to a lease or leases, under this chapter covering such lands, not exceeding five leases in number and not exceeding an aggregate of one thousand two hundred and eighty acres in each: Provided, That the annual lease rentals for lands in the Territory of Alaska not within any known geological structure of a producing oil or gas field and the royalty payments from production of oil or gas sold or removed from such lands shall be identical with those prescribed for such leases covering similar lands in the States of the United States, except that leases which may issue pursuant to applications or offers to lease such lands, which applications or offers were filed prior to and were pending on May 3, 1958, shall require the payment of 25 cents per acre as lease rental for the first year of such leases; but the aforesaid exception shall not apply in any way to royalties to be required under leases which may issue pursuant to offers or applications filed prior to May 3, 1958.
The Secretary of the Interior shall neither prescribe nor approve any cooperative or unit plan of development or operation nor any operating, drilling, or development contract establishing different royalty or rental rates for Alaska lands than for similar lands within the States of the United States.
No claimant for a lease who has been guilty of any fraud or who had knowledge or reasonable grounds to know of any fraud, or who has not acted honestly and in good faith, shall be entitled to any of the benefits of this section.
1958—Pub. L. 85–505 struck out provisions which related to prospecting permits, provided that the annual lease rentals and royalty payments shall be identical with those prescribed for leases covering similar lands in the States of the United States, permitted a payment of 25 cents per acre as lease rental for the first year of the lease in those leases issued pursuant to applications or offers filed prior to and pending on May 3, 1958, and prohibited the Secretary from prescribing or approving any cooperative or unit plan of development or operation or any operating, drilling, or development contract establishing different royalty or rental rates for Alaska lands than for similar lands within the States of the United States.
Admission of Alaska into the Union was accomplished Jan. 3, 1959, on issuance of Proc. No. 3269, Jan. 3, 1959, 24 F.R. 81, 73 Stat. c16, as required by sections 1 and 8(c) of Pub. L. 85–508, July 7, 1958, 72 Stat. 339, set out as notes preceding section 21 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.