(a) In general
The Secretary shall conduct an expeditious program of competitive leasing of oil and gas in the Reserve in accordance with this Act.
(b) Mitigation of adverse effects
Activities undertaken pursuant to this Act shall include or provide for such conditions, restrictions, and prohibitions as the Secretary deems necessary or appropriate to mitigate reasonably foreseeable and significantly adverse effects on the surface resources of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
(c) Land use planning; BLM wilderness study
The provisions of section 1712 and section 1782 of title 43 shall not be applicable to the Reserve.
(d) First lease sale
The; 1 first lease sale shall be conducted within twenty months of December 12, 1980: Provided, That the first lease sale shall be conducted only after publication of a final environmental impact statement if such is deemed necessary under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
The withdrawals established by section 6502 of this title are rescinded for the purposes of the oil and gas leasing program authorized under this section.
(f) Bidding systems
Bidding systems used in lease sales shall be based on bidding systems included in section 205(a)(1)(A) through (H) 2 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 (92 Stat. 629).
(g) Geological structures
Lease tracts may encompass identified geological structures.
(h) Size of lease tracts
The size of lease tracts may be up to sixty thousand acres, as determined by the Secretary.
(1) In general
Each lease shall be issued for an initial period of not more than 10 years, and shall be extended for so long thereafter as oil or gas is produced from the lease in paying quantities, oil or gas is capable of being produced in paying quantities, or drilling or reworking operations, as approved by the Secretary, are conducted on the leased land.
(2) Renewal of leases with discoveries
At the end of the primary term of a lease the Secretary shall renew for an additional 10-year term a lease that does not meet the requirements of paragraph (1) if the lessee submits to the Secretary an application for renewal not later than 60 days before the expiration of the primary lease and the lessee certifies, and the Secretary agrees, that hydrocarbon resources were discovered on one or more wells drilled on the leased land in such quantities that a prudent operator would hold the lease for potential future development.
(3) Renewal of leases without discoveries
At the end of the primary term of a lease the Secretary shall renew for an additional 10-year term a lease that does not meet the requirements of paragraph (1) if the lessee submits to the Secretary an application for renewal not later than 60 days before the expiration of the primary lease and pays the Secretary a renewal fee of $100 per acre of leased land, and—
(A) the lessee provides evidence, and the Secretary agrees that, the lessee has diligently pursued exploration that warrants continuation with the intent of continued exploration or future potential development of the leased land; or
(B) all or part of the lease—
(i) is part of a unit agreement covering a lease described in subparagraph (A); and
(ii) has not been previously contracted out of the unit.
This subsection applies to a lease that is in effect on or after August 8, 2005.
(5) Expiration for failure to produce
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, if no oil or gas is produced from a lease within 30 years after the date of the issuance of the lease the lease shall expire.
No lease issued under this section covering lands capable of producing oil or gas in paying quantities shall expire because the lessee fails to produce the same due to circumstances beyond the control of the lessee.
(j) Unit agreements
(1) In general
For the purpose of conservation of the natural resources of all or part of any oil or gas pool, field, reservoir, or like area, lessees (including representatives) of the pool, field, reservoir, or like area may unite with each other, or jointly or separately with others, in collectively adopting and operating under a unit agreement for all or part of the pool, field, reservoir, or like area (whether or not any other part of the oil or gas pool, field, reservoir, or like area is already subject to any cooperative or unit plan of development or operation), if the Secretary determines the action to be necessary or advisable in the public interest. In determining the public interest, the Secretary should consider, among other things, the extent to which the unit agreement will minimize the impact to surface resources of the leases and will facilitate consolidation of facilities.
In making a determination under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with and provide opportunities for participation by the State of Alaska or a Regional Corporation (as defined in section 1602 of title 43) with respect to the creation or expansion of units that include acreage in which the State of Alaska or the Regional Corporation has an interest in the mineral estate.
(3) Production allocation methodology
(A) The Secretary may use a production allocation methodology for each participating area within a unit that includes solely Federal land in the Reserve.
(B) The Secretary shall use a production allocation methodology for each participating area within a unit that includes Federal land in the Reserve and non-Federal land based on the characteristics of each specific oil or gas pool, field, reservoir, or like area to take into account reservoir heterogeneity and area variation in reservoir producibility across diverse leasehold interests. The implementation of the foregoing production allocation methodology shall be controlled by agreement among the affected lessors and lessees.
(4) Benefit of operations
Drilling, production, and well reworking operations performed in accordance with a unit agreement shall be deemed to be performed for the benefit of all leases that are subject in whole or in part to such unit agreement.
If separate tracts cannot be independently developed and operated in conformity with an established well spacing or development program, any lease, or a portion thereof, may be pooled with other lands, whether or not owned by the United States, under a communitization or drilling agreement providing for an apportionment of production or royalties among the separate tracts of land comprising the drilling or spacing unit when determined by the Secretary of the Interior (in consultation with the owners of the other land) to be in the public interest, and operations or production pursuant to such an agreement shall be deemed to be operations or production as to each such lease committed to the agreement.
(k) Exploration incentives
(1) In general
(A) Waiver, suspension, or reduction
To encourage the greatest ultimate recovery of oil or gas or in the interest of conservation, the Secretary may waive, suspend, or reduce the rental fees or minimum royalty, or reduce the royalty on an entire leasehold (including on any lease operated pursuant to a unit agreement), whenever (after consultation with the State of Alaska and the North Slope Borough of Alaska and the concurrence of any Regional Corporation for leases that include land that was made available for acquisition by the Regional Corporation under the provisions of section 1431(o) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act) in the judgment of the Secretary it is necessary to do so to promote development, or whenever in the judgment of the Secretary the leases cannot be successfully operated under the terms provided therein.
This paragraph applies to a lease that is in effect on or after August 8, 2005..1
(2) Suspension of operations and production
The Secretary may direct or assent to the suspension of operations and production on any lease or unit.
(3) Suspension of payments
If the Secretary, in the interest of conservation, shall direct or assent to the suspension of operations and production on any lease or unit, any payment of acreage rental or minimum royalty prescribed by such lease or unit likewise shall be suspended during the period of suspension of operations and production, and the term of such lease shall be extended by adding any such suspension period to the lease.
All receipts from sales, rentals, bonuses, and royalties on leases issued pursuant to this section shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States: Provided, That 50 percent thereof shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury semiannually, as soon thereafter as practicable after March 30 and September 30 each year, to the State of Alaska for: (1) planning; (2) construction, maintenance, and operation of essential public facilities; and (3) other necessary provisions of public service: Provided further, That in the allocation of such funds, the State shall give priority to use by subdivisions of the State most directly or severely impacted by development of oil and gas leased under this Act.
Any agency of the United States and any person authorized by the Secretary may conduct geological and geophysical explorations in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska which do not interfere with operations under any contract maintained or granted previously. Any information acquired in such explorations shall be subject to the conditions of 43 U.S.C. 1352(a)(1)(A).
(n) Environmental impact statements
(1) Judicial review
Any action seeking judicial review of the adequacy of any program or site-specific environmental impact statement under section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332) concerning oil and gas leasing in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska shall be barred unless brought in the appropriate District Court within 60 days after notice of the availability of such statement is published in the Federal Register.
(2) Initial lease sales
The detailed environmental studies and assessments that have been conducted on the exploration program and the comprehensive land-use studies carried out in response to sections 3 6505(b) and (c) of this title shall be deemed to have fulfilled the requirements of section 102(2)(c) 4 of the National Environmental Policy Act (Public Law 91–190) [42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)], with regard to the first two oil and gas lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska: Provided, That not more than a total of 2,000,000 acres may be leased in these two sales: Provided further, That any exploration or production undertaken pursuant to this section shall be in accordance with section 6504(a) of this title.
As soon as practicable after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall issue regulations to implement this section.
(p) Waiver of administration for conveyed lands
(1) In general
Notwithstanding section 1613(g) of title 43—
(A) the Secretary of the Interior shall waive administration of any oil and gas lease to the extent that the lease covers any land in the Reserve in which all of the subsurface estate is conveyed to the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (referred to in this subsection as the "Corporation");
(B)(i) in a case in which a conveyance of a subsurface estate described in subparagraph (A) does not include all of the land covered by the oil and gas lease, the person that owns the subsurface estate in any particular portion of the land covered by the lease shall be entitled to all of the revenues reserved under the lease as to that portion, including, without limitation, all the royalty payable with respect to oil or gas produced from or allocated to that portion;
(ii) in a case described in clause (i), the Secretary of the Interior shall—
(I) segregate the lease into 2 leases, 1 of which shall cover only the subsurface estate conveyed to the Corporation; and
(II) waive administration of the lease that covers the subsurface estate conveyed to the Corporation; and
(iii) the segregation of the lease described in clause (ii)(I) has no effect on the obligations of the lessee under either of the resulting leases, including obligations relating to operations, production, or other circumstances (other than payment of rentals or royalties); and
(C) nothing in this subsection limits the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to manage the federally-owned surface estate within the Reserve.
(Pub. L. 94–258, title I, §107, formerly Pub. L. 96–514, title I, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2964; Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, §402(41), Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3360; Pub. L. 105–83, title I, §128, Nov. 14, 1997, 111 Stat. 1568; renumbered Pub. L. 94–258, title I, §107, and amended Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §347(a)(2), (b), Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 704.)
REFERENCES IN TEXT
This Act, referred to in subsecs. (a), (b), (i)(5), and (l) is Pub. L. 94–258, Apr. 5, 1976, 90 Stat. 303, known as the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976, which enacted this chapter and section 7420 of Title 10, Armed Forces, and amended section 6244 of this title and sections 7421 to 7436 and 7438 of Title 10. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6501 of this title and Tables.
December 12, 1980, referred to in subsec. (d), was in the original "the date of enactment of this Act", which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 96–514, which enacted this section, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, referred to in subsec. (d), is Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 55 (§4321 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of this title and Tables.
Section 205(a)(1)(A) through (H) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978, referred to in subsec. (f), probably should have been a reference to section 8(a)(1)(A) through (H) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345), as amended by section 205(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 (Pub. L. 95–372), which is classified to section 1337(a)(1)(A)–(H) of Title 43, Public Lands. Subpar. (H) of section 8(a)(1) of act Aug. 7, 1953, was redesignated subpar. (I) and a new subpar. (H) was added by Pub. L. 104–58, title III, §303, Nov. 28, 1995, 109 Stat. 565.
Section 1431(o) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, referred to in subsec. (k)(1)(A), is section 1431(o) of title XIV of Pub. L. 96–487, Dec. 2, 1980, 94 Stat. 2542, which was not classified to the Code.
Section, which consisted of the matter under the heading "Exploration of National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska" in title I of Pub. L. 96–514, as amended, prior to being renumbered section 107 of Pub. L. 94–258, was formerly classified to section 6508 of this title.
A prior section 107 of Pub. L. 94–258 was renumbered 108 and is classified to section 6507 of this title.
2005—Pub. L. 109–58 amended section catchline and revised and restructured text into subsecs. (a) to (p). Amendments by Pub. L. 109–58, §347(b)(2) to (7), were executed by disregarding the second set of closed quotation marks in each such paragraph to reflect the probable intent of Congress. Prior to amendment, text related to competitive leasing of oil and gas and consisted of four undesignated pars.
1997—Pub. L. 105–83, in first par., substituted cls. (8) to (11) and two concluding provisos for "(8) each lease shall be issued for an initial period of up to ten years, and shall be extended for so long thereafter as oil or gas is produced from the lease in paying quantities, or as drilling or reworking operations, as approved by the Secretary, are conducted thereon; and (9) all receipts from sales, rentals, bonuses, and royalties on leases issued pursuant to this Act shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States: Provided, That 50 per centum thereof shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury semiannually, as soon as practicable after March 30 and September 30 each year, to the State of Alaska for (a) planning, (b) construction, maintenance, and operation of essential public facilities, and (c) other necessary provisions of public service: Provided further, That in the allocation of such funds, the State shall give priority to use by subdivisions of the State most directly or severely impacted by development of oil and gas leased under this Act."
1984—Pub. L. 98–620 struck out provision in third par. that required that any proceeding on such action be assigned for hearing at the earliest possible date and be expedited by the Court.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1984 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 98–620 not applicable to cases pending on Nov. 8, 1984, see section 403 of Pub. L. 98–620, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1657 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.