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contained in any Report of Production.
(h) No bid for a lease may be submitted if the Secretary finds, after notice and hearing, that the bidder is not meeting due diligence requirements on other OCS leases.
[44 FR 38276, June 29, 1979, as amended at 45 FR 69175, Oct. 17, 1980; 47 FR 25971, June 16, 1982. Redesignated at 47 FR 47006, Oct. 22, 1982]
§ 256.47 Award of leases.
(a) Sealed bids received in response to the notice of lease sale shall be opened at the place, date and hour specified in the notice. The opening of bids is for the sole purpose of publicly announcing and recording the bids received and no bids shall be accepted or rejected at that time.
(b) The United States reserves the right to reject any and all bids received for any tract, regardless of the amount offered.
(c) In the event the highest bids are tie bids, the tie bidders (unless they would be disqualified under § 256.35(b) of this part, or disqualified under § 256.44 of this part if their bids had been joint bids) may file with the Director, within 15 days after notification, an agreement to accept the lease jointly; otherwise all bids shall be rejected.
(d) Pursuant to section 8(c) of the Act, the Attorney General may review the results of the lease sale prior to the acceptance of bids and issuance of leases.
(e)(1) The decision of the authorized officer on bids shall be the final action of the Department, subject only to reconsideration by the Secretary, pursuant to written request, of the rejection of the high bid. The delegation of review authority to the Office of Hearings and Appeals shall not be applicable to decisions on high bids for leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.
(2) In the final notice of sale, the Secretary may identify tracts or blocks which are subject to another nation's claims of jurisdiction and control which conflict with those of the United States, or which are subject to defense-related activities that may be incompatible with mineral exploration/development activities. For a
tract or block so identified, the authorized officer must accept or reject the bid within the time specified in the notice of sale. For a tract not so identified, the authorized officer must accept or reject the bid within 90 days after the date on which bids are opened. Any bid not accepted within the prescribed time shall be considered rejected.
(3) Any high bidder whose bid is rejected by the authorized officer may, within 15 days of such rejection, file with the Secretary, with a copy to the authorized officer, a written request for reconsideration accompanied by a statement of reasons. The Secretary shall respond in writing either affirming or reversing the decision of the authorized officer.
(f) Written notice of the authorized officer's action shall be transmitted promptly to those bidders whose deposits have been held. If a bid is accepted, such notice shall transmit three copies of the lease to the successful bidder. As provided in § 218.155, the bidder shall, not later than the 11th business day after receipt of the lease, execute the lease, pay the first-year's rental, and unless deferred, pay the balance of the bonus bid. The bidder shall also file a bond as required in § 256.58 of this title. Deposits and any interest accrued shall be refunded on high bids subsequently rejected.
(g) If the successful bidder fails to execute the lease within the prescribed time or otherwise comply with the applicable regulations the deposit shall be forfeited and disposed of as other receipts under the act.
(h) If, before the lease is executed on behalf of the United States, the land which would be subject to the lease is withdrawn or restricted from leasing, all deposits and any interest due shall be refunded.
(i) If the awarded lease is executed by an agent acting on behalf of the bidder, the lease shall be accompanied by evidence that the bidder authorized the agent to execute the lease. When three copies of the lease are executed and returned to the authorized officer, the lease shall be executed on behalf of the United States, and one fully ex
ecuted copy shall be transmitted to the successful bidder.
(j) No lease or permit shall be issued for any area within 15 statute miles of the boundaries of the Point Reyes Wilderness in California unless the State of California allows exploration, development or production activities in the adjacent navigable waters of the State under section 11(h) of the Act.
[44 FR 38276, June 29, 1979, as amended at 47 FR 25972, June 16, 1982. Redesignated at 47 FR 47006, Oct. 22, 1982, and amended at 49 FR 8606, Mar. 8, 1984; 49 FR 10056, Mar. 16, 1984; 50 FR 47378, Nov. 18, 1985]
§ 256.58 Acceptable bonds.
(a) The successful bidder, prior to the issuance of an oil and gas or sulphur lease, shall furnish the authorized officer a corporate surety bond in the sum of $50,000 conditioned on compliance with all the terms and conditions of the lease. Such bond shall not be required if the bidder already maintains or furnishes a bond in the sum of $300,000 conditioned on compliance with the terms of oil and gas and sulphur leases held by the bidder on the OCS for the area in which the lease to be issued is situated.
(b) For the purposes of this section, there are four areas:
(1) The Gulf of Mexico;
(2) The area offshore the Pacific Coast States of California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii;
(3) The area offshore the Coast of Alaska; and
(4) The area offshore the Atlantic Coast.
(c) A separate bond shall be required for each area. An operator's bond in the same amount may be substituted at any time for the lessee's bonds.
(d) If, as the result of a default, the surety on a Mineral Lease Bond makes payment to the United States of any indebtedness under a lease secured by the bond, the face amount of such bond and the surety's liability shall be reduced by the amount of such payment.
(e) A new bond in the amount of $300,000 shall be posted within 6 months or such shorter period as the authorized officer may direct after a default. In lieu of the $300,000 bond required in this paragraph, a separate bond for each lease may be filed within the time period authorized. Failure to post a new bond shall, at the discretion of the authorized officer, be the basis of cancellation of all leases covered by the defaulted bond, except to the extent a separate bond in lieu of the $300,000 bond required by this paragraph has been filed within the time authorized.
(f) With the approval of the Secretary, the Director may provide at the time of the notice of lease sale that (1) the successful bidder for a lease where payment of any part of the cash bonus has been deferred pursuant to 43 U.S.C. 1337(a)(2), as implemented by 30 CFR 256.32(d), shall furnish the authorized officer a corporate surety bond in the amount of the cash bonus deferred conditioned on payment of the cash bonus deferred according to the notice of lease sale; and (2) the high bidder for a lease where the decision to accept the high bid has been deferred, pursuant to 43 U.S.C. 1337(a)(1), as implemented by 30 CFR 256.47(e)(2), shall furnish the authorized officer a corporate surety bond in the amount of the bid not already remitted, conditioned on payment of the
§ 256.62 Assignment of leases or interests therein.
(a) Subject to the approval of the authorized officer, leases, or any undivided interest therein, may be assigned in whole, or as to any officially designated subdivision, to anyone qualified under § 256.35(b) of this part to hold a lease.
(b) An assignment shall be void if it is made pursuant to any prelease agreement described in § 256.44(c) of this part that would cause a bid to be disqualified.
(c) Any approved assignment shall be deemed to be effective on the first day of the lease month following its filing in the appropriate office of the MMS, unless at the request of the parties, an earlier date is specified in the approval.
(d) The assignor shall be liable for all obligations under the lease accruing prior to the approval of the assignment.
(e) The assignee shall be liable for all obligations under the lease subsequent to the effective date of an assignment, and shall comply with all regulations issued under the Act.
§ 256.64 Requirements for filing of transfers.
(a)(1) All instruments of transfer of a lease or of an interest therein as to any officially designated subdivision, including operating rights, subleases and assignments of record interest, shall be filed in triplicate for approval within 90 days from the date of final execution. They shall include a statement over the transferee's own signature with respect to citizenship and qualifications similar to that required of a lessee and shall contain all of the terms and conditions agreed upon by the parties thereto. Carried working interests, overriding royalty interests or payments out of production may be created or transferred without requirement for filing or approval.
(2) An application for approval of any instrument required to be filed shall not be accepted unless accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $25. Any document not required to be filed by these regulations but submitted for record purposes shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $25 per lease affected. Such documents may be rejected at the discretion of the authorized officer.
(b) An attorney in fact, in behalf of the holder of a lease, operating rights or sublease, shall furnish evidence of authority to execute the assignment or application for approval and the statement required by § 256.46 of this part.
(c) Where an assignment creates a segregated lease, a bond shall be furnished in the amount prescribed in § 256.58 of this part. Where an assignment does not create separate leases, the assignee, if the assignment so provides and the surety consents, may become a joint principal on the bond with the assignor.
(d) An heir or devisee of a deceased holder of a lease, or any interest therein, shall be recognized as the lawful successor to such lease or interest, if evidence of status as an heir or devisee is furnished in the form of:
(1) A certified copy of an appropriate order or decree of the court having jurisdiction of the distribution of the estate or,
(2) If no court action is necessary, the statements of two disinterested parties having knowledge of the facts or a certified copy of the will.
(e) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, the heirs or devisees shall file statements that they are the persons named as successors to the estate with evidence of their qualifications as provided in § 256.46 of this part.
(f) In the event an heir or devisee is unable to qualify to hold the lease or interest, the heir or devisee shall be recognized as the lawful successor of the deceased and be entitled to hold the lease for a period of not to exceed 2 years from the date of death of the predecessor in interest.
(g) Each obligation under any lease and under the regulations in this part shall inure to the heirs, executors, administrators, successors, or assignees of the lessee.
(h) Where the proposed assignment or transfer is by a person who, at the time of acquisition of an interest in the lease, was on the List of Restricted Joint Bidders, and that assignment or transfer is of less than the entire interest of the assignor or transferor, to a person or persons on the same List of Restricted Joint Bidders, the assignor or transferor shall file a copy, prior to approval of the assignment, of all agreements applicable to the acquisition of that lease or a fractional interest.
§ 256.65 Attorney General review.
Prior to the approval of an assignment or transfer, the Secretary shall consult with and give due consideration to the views of the Attorney General. The Secretary may act on an assignment or transfer if the Attorney General has not responded to the request for consultation within 30 days of said request.
§ 256.67 Separate filings for assignments.
A separate instrument of assignment shall be filed for each lease. When transfers to the same person, association or corporation, involving more than one lease are filed at the same time for approval, one request for approval and one showing as to the
qualifications of the assignee shall be sufficient.
§ 256.68 Effect of assignment of a particular tract.
(a) When an assignment is made of all the record title to a portion of the acreage in lease, the assigned and retained portions become segregated into separate and distinct leases. In such a case, the assignee becomes a lessee of the Government as to the segregated tract that is the subject of assignment, and is bound by the terms of the lease as though the lease had been obtained from the United States in the assignee's own name, and the assignment, after its approval, shall be the basis of a new record. Royalty. minimum royalty and rental provisions of the original lease shall apply separately to each segregated portion.
(b) For assignments of a portion of an oil and gas lease approved after the effective date of ths section, each segregated lease shall continue in full force and effect for the primary term of the original lease and so long thereafter as oil or gas is produced from that segregated portion of the leased area in paying quantities or drillng or well reworking operations as approved by the Secretary are conducted.
(c) For those assignments approved prior to the effective date of this section, each segregated lease shall continue in full force and effect for the primary term of the original lease and so long thereafter as oil and gas may be produced from the original leased area in paying quantities or drilling or well reworking operations, as approved by the Secretary, are conducted.
§ 256.70 Extension of lease by drilling or well reworking operations.
The term of a lease shall be extended beyond the primary term so long as drilling or well reworking operations are approved by the Secretary according to the conditions set forth in 30 CFR 250.13.
[44 FR 38276, June 29, 1979, as amended at 55 FR 32908, Aug. 13, 1990]
§ 256.71 Directional drilling.
In accordance with an approved exploration plan or development and
production plan, a lease may be mainained in force by directional wells drilled under the leased area from surFace locations on adjacent or adjoining and not covered by the lease. In such circumstances, drilling shall be considered to have commenced on the leased area when drilling is commenced on the adjacent or adjoining land for the purpose of directional drilling under the leased area through any directional well surfaced on adjacent or adjoining land. Production, drillling or reworking of any such directional well shall be considered production or drilling or reworking operations on the leased area for all purposes of the lease.
Compensatory payments as pro
If an oil and gas lessee makes compensatory payments and if the lease is not being maintained in force by other production of oil or gas in paying quantities or by other approved drilling or reworking operations, such payments shall be considered as the equivalent of production in paying quantities for all purposes of the lease.
[44 FR 38276, June 29, 1979. Redesignated at 47 FR 47006, Oct. 22, 1982, and amended at 54 FR 50617, Dec. 8, 1989]
Effect of suspensions on lease
§ 256.73 term.
(a) If the Regional Supervisor directs the suspension of either operations or production, or both, under the provisions of 30 CFR 250.10(a), (b)(2) through (b)(7), or (c) with respect to any lease in its primary term, the primary term of the lease shall be extended by a period equivalent to the period of the suspension.
(b) If the Regional Supervisor orders or approves the suspension of either operations or production, or both, under the provision for 30 CFR 250.10(a), (b)(2) through (b)(7), or (c) with respect to any lease extended beyond its primary term, the term of the lease shall not be deemed to expire so long as the suspension remains in effect.
[44 FR 38276, June 29, 1979; 44 FR 55380, Sept. 26, 1979. Redesignated at 47 47006, Oct. 22, 1982, and amended at 54 FR 50617, Dec. 8, 1989]
Subpart K-Termination of Leases
§ 256.76 Relinquishment of leases or parts of leases.
A lease or any officially designated subdivision thereof may be surrendered by the record title holder by filing a written relinquishment, in triplicate, with the appropriate OCS office of the MMS. No filing fee is required. A relinquishment shall take effect on the date it is filed subject to the continued obligation of the lessee and the surety to make all payments due, including any accrued rentals, royalties and deferred bonuses and to abandon all wells and condition or remove all platforms and other facilities on the land to be relinquished to the satisfaction of the Director.
Cancellation of leases.
(a) Any nonproducing lease issued under the act may be cancelled by the authorized officer whenever the lessee fails to comply with any provision of the act or lease or applicable regulations, if such failure to comply continues for 30 days after mailing of notice by registered or certified letter to the lease owner at the owner's record post office address. Any such cancellation is subject to judicial review as provided in section 23(b) of the Act.
(b) Producing leases issued under the Act may be cancelled by the Secretary whenever the lessee fails to comply with any provision of the Act, applicable regulations or the lease only after judicial proceedings as prescribed by section 5(d) of the Act.
(c) Any lease issued under the Act, whether producing or not, shall be canceled by the authorized officer upon proof that it was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, and after notice and opportunity to be heard has been afforded to the lessee.
(d) Pursuant to section 5(a) of the Act, the Secretary may cancel a lease when:
(1) Continued activity pursuant to such lease would probably cause serious harm or damage to life, property, any mineral, national security or defense, or to the marine, coastal or human environment;