Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 110 Part 2.djvu/922

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110 STAT. 1714 PUBLIC LAW 104-185—AUG. 13, 1996 "(3) For any unit or communitization agreement if all lessees contractually agree to an alternative method of royalty reporting and payment, the lessees may submit such alternative method to the Secretary or the delegated State for approval and make payments in accordance with such approved alternative method so long as such alternative method does not reduce the amount of the royalty obligation. "(4) The Secretary or the delegated State shall grant an exception from the reporting and payment requirements for marginal properties by allowing for any calendar year or portion thereof royalties to be paid each month based on the volume of production sold. Interest shall not accrue on the difference for the entire calendar year or portion thereof between the amount of oil and gas actually sold and the share of production allocated to the lease until the beginning of the month following such calendar year or portion thereof. Any additional royalties dues or overpaid royalties and associated interest shall be paid, refunded, or credited within six months after the end of each calendar year in which royalties are paid based on volumes of production sold. For the purpose of this subsection, the term 'marginal property' means a lease that produces on average the combined equivalent of less than 15 barrels of oil per well per day or 90 thousand cubic feet of gas per well per day, or a combination thereof, determined by dividing the average daily production of crude oil and natural gas from producing wells on such lease by the number of such wells, unless the Secretary, together with the State concerned, determines that a different production is more appropriate. "(5) Not later than two years sifter the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall issue any appropriate demand for all outstanding royalty payment disputes regarding who is required to report and pay royalties on production from units and communitization agreements outstanding on the date of the enactment of this subsection, and collect royalty amounts owed on such production.". (e) PRODUCTION ALLOCATION.— Section 111 of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 U.S.C. 1721), as amended by subsections (a) through (d), is amended by adding at the end the following: "(1) The Secretary shall issue all determinations of allocations of production for units and communitization agreements within 120 days of a request for determination. If the Secretary fails to issue a determination within such 120-day period, the Secretary shall waive interest due on obligations subject to the determination until the end of the month following the month in which the determination is made.". (f) NEW ASSESSMENT TO ENCOURAGE PROPER ROYALTY PAY- MENTS.— (1) IN GENERAL.— The Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 U.S.C. 1721), as amended by section 4(a), is further amended by adding at the end the following: 30 USC 1725. "SEC. 116. ASSESSMENTS. "Beginning eighteen months after the date of enactment of this section, to encourage proper royalty payment the Secretary or the delegated State shall impose assessments on a person who chronically submits erroneous reports under this Act. Assessments under this Act may only be issued as provided for in this section.".