The purpose of this section is to promote natural gas production from the natural gas hydrate resources on the outer Continental Shelf and Federal lands in Alaska by providing royalty incentives.
The Secretary may grant royalty relief in accordance with this section for natural gas produced from gas hydrate resources under an eligible lease.
A lease shall be an eligible lease for purposes of this section if—
(A) it is issued under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), or is an oil and gas lease issued for onshore Federal lands in Alaska;
(B) it is issued prior to January 1, 2016; and
(C) production under the lease of natural gas from gas hydrate resources commences prior to January 1, 2018.
The Secretary shall conduct a rulemaking and grant royalty relief under this section as a suspension volume if the Secretary determines that such royalty relief would encourage production of natural gas from gas hydrate resources from an eligible lease. The maximum suspension volume shall be 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas per lease. Such relief shall be in addition to any other royalty relief under any other provision applicable to the lease that does not specifically grant a gas hydrate production incentive. Such royalty suspension volume shall be applied to any eligible production occurring on or after the date of publication of the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking.
The Secretary may place limitations on royalty relief granted under this section based on market price.
This section shall apply to any eligible lease issued before, on, or after August 8, 2005.
The Secretary shall publish the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking within 180 days after August 8, 2005, and complete the rulemaking implementing this section within 365 days after August 8, 2005.
Such regulations shall define the term "gas hydrate resources" to include both the natural gas content of gas hydrates within the hydrate stability zone and free natural gas trapped by and beneath the hydrate stability zone.
Not later than 365 days after August 8, 2005, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, shall carry out a review of, and submit to Congress a report on, further opportunities to enhance production of natural gas from gas hydrate resources on the outer Continental Shelf and on Federal lands in Alaska through the provision of other production incentives or through technical or financial assistance.
(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §353, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 714.)
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2)(A), is act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§1331 et seq.) of chapter 29 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1301 of Title 43 and Tables.