Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967

 

Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967

Contents

Part I — Preliminary

1.Short title2

2.Commencement2

3.Repeal2

5.Terms used2

6A.Effect of alteration of inshore area16

Part II — General

6.Act to be construed subject to State’s legislative powers18

7.Application of Act18

7AA.Disapplication of State occupational safety and health laws19

7A.Geothermal resources area in, or extending into, other areas19

7B.Petroleum pool in, or extending into, other areas22

8.Position on Earth’s surface30

9.Petroleum, geothermal energy resources and geothermal energy declared to be property of Crown31

10.Reservations in Crown grants and leases31

11.Minister may search for petroleum or geothermal energy resources32

11A.Property rights in recovered petroleum and geothermal energy32

12.Land may be resumed33

13.Governor to have right of pre‑emption of petroleum in emergency34

14.Land comprised in permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence may be entered for certain purposes35

15.Authority conferred by permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence36

15A.Consent of Minister required for entry on reserves for purposes of exploration etc.36

16.Consent of owner or trustees required in certain cases for exploration etc.37

17.Compensation to owners and occupiers of private land38

18.Owner of private land in vicinity of permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area may be entitled to compensation39

19.Compensation for further damage40

20.Holder of permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence not to commence operations on private land until compensation tendered or agreed upon40

21.Compensation payable to lessee of pastoral lease, lease for timber purposes or lease for use and benefit of Aboriginal inhabitants for damage to improvements and consequential damage41

22.Determination of partial compensation42

23.Security for compensation42

24.Matters for which compensation not payable42

24A.Liability for payment of compensation to native title holders43

25.Delegation44

Part III  Mining for petroleum, geothermal energy resources and geothermal energy

Division 1 — Preliminary

26.Term used: State45

27.Graticulation of Earth’s surface and constitution of blocks45

28.Reservation of blocks46

28A.Issue of permits etc. in marine reserves47

Division 2 — Permits and drilling reservations

29.Exploration for petroleum and geothermal energy resources restricted48

30.Advertisement of blocks48

31.Application for permit49

32A.More than one permit application for same block or blocks50

32.Grant or refusal of permit in relation to application51

33A.Withdrawal of application52

33B.Application continued after withdrawal of joint applicant52

33C.Effect of withdrawal or lapse of s. 30 application53

33.Application for permit in respect of surrendered etc. blocks54

34.Application fee etc.56

35.Consideration of application56

36.Request by applicant for grant of permit in respect of advertised block57

37.Grant of permit on request58

37A.Permit for 2 or more blocks may be divided into 2 or more permits59

37B.Grant of boundary-change permit60

38.Rights conferred by permit65

39.Term of permit65

40.Application for renewal of permit67

41.Application for renewal of permit to be in respect of reduced area67

42A.Certain permits cannot be renewed more than twice69

42B.Limits on renewal of boundary-change permits70

42.Grant or refusal of renewal of permit71

43.Conditions of permit73

43A.Advertisement of blocks for drilling reservations75

43B.Application for drilling reservation76

43CA.More than one drilling reservation application for same block or blocks77

43C.Grant or refusal in relation to applications for drilling reservations78

43DA.Withdrawal of application80

43DB.Application continued after withdrawal of joint applicant80

43DC.Effect of withdrawal or lapse of s. 43A application81

43D.Rights conferred by drilling reservation81

43E.Term of drilling reservation82

43F.Extension of term of drilling reservation82

44.Discovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources to be notified etc.84

46.Nomination of blocks as location85

47.Declaration of location87

48.Immediately adjoining blocks90

Division 2A — Retention leases

48A.Application by permittee or holder of drilling reservation for lease91

48B.Grant or refusal of lease in relation to application92

48BA.Application of s. 48A and 48B where permit is transferred95

48CA.Application by licensee for lease96

48CB.Grant or refusal of lease in relation to application by licensee98

48CC.Application of s. 48CA and 48CB if licence is transferred100

48CD.Grant of petroleum retention lease as result of change to boundary of offshore area100

48C.Rights conferred by lease103

48D.Term of lease103

48E.Notice of intention to cancel lease104

48F.Application for renewal of lease105

48G.Grant or refusal of renewal of lease106

48H.Conditions of lease110

48J.Discovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources to be notified111

48K.Directions by Minister on discovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources112

Division 3 — Production licences

49.Recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources in State113

50.Application by permittee for licence113

50A.Application by lessee for licence116

51.Application for licence under s. 50 or 50A, requirements for117

52.Determination of rate of royalty118

53.Notification as to grant of licence119

54.Grant of licence120

54A.Application of s. 51 to 54 where permit etc. transferred121

55.Variation of licence area122

56.Determination of permit as to blocks not taken up by licensee122

57.Application for licence in respect of surrendered etc. blocks125

58.Application fee etc. for s. 57 applications128

59.Request by applicant for grant of licence129

60.Grant of licence on request131

61.Licence for 2 or more blocks may be divided into 2 or more licences131

61A.Grant of petroleum production licence as result of change to boundary of offshore area133

62.Rights conferred by licence136

62A.Geothermal energy recovery development plans136

62B.Variation of approved development plans137

63.Term of licence138

64A.Termination of licence if no operations for 5 years138

64.Application for renewal of licence140

65.Grant or refusal of renewal of licence141

66.Conditions of licence144

67.Storage of petroleum underground145

68.Directions as to recovery of petroleum146

69.Unit development147

Division 3A — Petroleum titles and geothermal titles may subsist in respect of same blocks

69A.Petroleum titles and geothermal titles may subsist in respect of same blocks151

Division 4 — Registration of instruments

69J.Term used: title154

70.Register of certain instruments to be kept154

71.Memorials to be entered of permits determined etc.155

72.Approval and registration of transfers156

73.Entries in Register on devolution of title158

75.Approval of dealings creating interests etc. in existing titles159

75A.Approval of dealings in future interests etc.164

76.True consideration to be shown in transfer or dealing165

77.Minister not concerned with certain matters166

78.Power of Minister to require information as to transfers or dealings166

79.Production and inspection of documents167

80.Inspection of Register and instruments167

81.Evidentiary provisions168

81A.Minister may make corrections to, and entries in, Register168

82.Application to State Administrative Tribunal for orders169

84.Offences connected with Register and certain documents170

85.Assessment of fee payable under Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Registration Fees) Act 1967170

86.Exemption from duty171

Division 5 — General

88.Notice of grants of permits etc. to be published171

89.Date of effect of certain surrenders, cancellations and variations172

90.Commencement of works172

91.Work practices173

91A.Conditions relating to insurance176

91B.Conditions prohibiting entry on certain land177

92.Maintenance etc. of property177

93.Operation of s. 91, 91A and 92 subject to this Act and other laws178

95.Directions by Minister178

96.Compliance with directions181

97.Variation and suspension of, and exemption from compliance with, conditions182

97A.Variation of petroleum title by including area as result of change to boundary of offshore area184

98.Surrender of permits etc.190

99.Cancellation of permits etc.191

100.Cancellation of permit etc. not affected by other provisions193

101.Removal of property etc. by permittee etc.194

102.Removal of property etc. by Minister196

105.Special prospecting authorities196

106.Access authorities200

107.Removal, disposal or sale of property205

109.Minister etc. may require information to be furnished etc.207

110.Power to examine on oath208

111.Failing to furnish information etc.208

112A.Safety zones208

113.Discovery of water to be notified209

115.Records etc. to be kept210

116A.Data management: regulations210

116.Scientific investigations211

117.Interference with other rights etc.211

117A.Interfering with petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation212

118.Inspectors213

119.Powers of inspectors213

119A.Protection from liability for wrongdoing214

121.Continuing offences215

122.Crimes and other offences215

123.Orders for forfeiture etc. in respect of certain offences216

124.Power of Attorney General to direct disposal of goods217

125.Time for bringing proceedings for offences217

126.Judicial notice217

126A.Evidentiary matters217

127.Service of documents219

127A.Service of documents on 2 or more permittees etc.220

Division 6 — Transitional provisions

128.Terms used222

129.This Division prevails over other provisions222

130.Cessation of operation of former provisions223

131.Prohibition on granting of instruments under former provisions after commencing day223

132.Rights of holders of existing prescribed instruments223

133.Holders of existing instruments may be granted permits under this Part224

134.Transitional provisions relating to Barrow Island lease225

134A.Application of former provisions after coming into operation of variation agreement226

71.Interpretation226

72. Statements, information and records227

73.Powers of officers227

74.Royalty a debt due to the State227

75.Offences227

117.Application of regulations to Barrow Island lease227

135.Certain portions of blocks to be blocks229

136.Certain petroleum exploration or recovery activities not prohibited by s. 29 or 49230

Division 7 — Fees and royalties

137.Permit and drilling reservation fees230

137A.Lease fees231

138.Licence fees231

139.Time of payment of fees231

140.Penalty for late payment of fees232

141.Fees and penalties debts due to Crown232

142.Royalty232

143.Reduction of royalty in certain cases234

144.Royalty not payable in certain cases235

144A.Royalty value237

145.Ascertainment of value of petroleum or geothermal energy237

146.Ascertainment of well‑head237

147.Ascertainment of quantity of petroleum or geothermal energy recovered238

148.Payment of royalty and penalty for late payment238

149.Royalty or late payment amount is debt due to Crown239

Part IIIA — Occupational safety and health

149A.Occupational safety and health (Sch. 1)240

149B.Regulations relating to occupational safety and health240

149C.Minister’s occupational safety and health functions241

Part IVA  Release of information

Division 1 — Preliminary

150A.Terms used242

Division 2 — Protection of confidentiality of information and samples

Subdivision 1 — Information and samples obtained by the Minister

150B.Protection of confidentiality of information obtained by Minister243

150C.Protection of confidentiality of samples obtained by Minister243

150D.Information or samples obtained by Minister can be made available to certain persons244

Subdivision 2 — Information and samples obtained by another Minister

150E.Protection of confidentiality of information obtained by another Minister244

150F.Protection of confidentiality of samples obtained by another Minister245

150G.Information or samples obtained by another Minister can be made available to certain persons245

Subdivision 3 — Miscellaneous

150H.Fees245

Part IV — Miscellaneous

150.Jurisdiction of Magistrates Court247

151.Special case may be reserved for Supreme Court247

152.Certain things are not personal property for purposes of Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Commonwealth)248

153.Regulations248

154.Further transitional provisions251

Schedule 1 — Occupational safety and health

Division 1 — Introduction

1.Objects253

2.Simplified outline253

3.Terms used255

4.Operator must ensure presence of operator’s representative257

5.Safety and health of persons using accommodation amenity258

6.Contractor258

Division 2 — Occupational safety and health

Subdivision 1 — Duties relating to occupational safety and health

7.Duties of operator259

8.Duties of persons in control of parts of petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation261

9.Duties of employers262

10.Duties of manufacturers in relation to plant and substances263

11.Duties of suppliers of facilities, plant and substances265

12.Duties of persons erecting facilities or installing plant267

13.Duties of persons in relation to occupational safety and health267

14.Reliance on information supplied or results of research268

Subdivision 2 — Regulations relating to occupational safety and health

15.Regulations relating to occupational safety and health270

Division 3 — Workplace arrangements

Subdivision 1 — Introduction

16.Simplified outline272

Subdivision 2 — Designated work groups

17.Establishment of designated work groups by request272

18.Establishment of designated work groups at initiative of operator273

19.Variation of designated work groups by request274

20.Variation of designated work groups at initiative of operator275

21.Referral of disagreement to reviewing authority276

22.Manner of grouping members of workforce277

Subdivision 3 — Safety and health representatives

23.Selection of safety and health representatives278

24.Election of safety and health representatives278

25.List of safety and health representatives279

26.Members of designated work group must be notified of selection etc. of safety and health representative280

27.Term of office280

28.Training of safety and health representatives280

29.Resignation etc. of safety and health representatives281

30.Disqualification of safety and health representatives282

31.Deputy safety and health representatives283

32.Powers of safety and health representatives283

33.Assistance by consultant285

34.Access to information286

35.Obligations and liabilities of safety and health representatives287

36.Provisional improvement notices287

37.Effect of provisional improvement notice289

38.Duties of operator and other employers in relation to safety and health representatives290

Subdivision 4 — Safety and health committees

39.Safety and health committees292

40.Functions of safety and health committees293

41.Duties of operator and other employers in relation to safety and health committees294

Subdivision 5 — Emergency procedures

42.Action by safety and health representatives295

43.Directions to perform other work297

Subdivision 6 — Exemptions

44.Exemptions297

Division 4 — Inspections

Subdivision 1 — Introduction

45.Simplified outline298

46.Powers, functions and duties of inspectors298

Subdivision 2 — Inspections

47.Inspections299

Subdivision 3 — Powers of inspectors in relation to the conduct of inspections

48.Powers of entry and search — places at which petroleum operations or geothermal energy operations are carried on300

49.Powers of entry and search — regulated business premises (other than places where petroleum operations or geothermal energy operations carried on)301

50.Powers of entry and search — premises (other than regulated business premises)302

51.Warrant to enter premises (other than regulated business premises)303

52.Obstructing or hindering inspector304

53.Power to require assistance and information304

54.Power to require answering of questions and production of documents or articles305

55.Privilege against self‑incrimination307

56.Power to take possession of plant, take samples of substances etc.307

57.Power to direct that workplace etc. not be disturbed309

58.Power to issue prohibition notices310

59.Compliance with prohibition notice311

60.Power to issue improvement notices312

61.Compliance with improvement notice314

62.Notices not to be tampered with or removed314

Subdivision 4 — Reports on inspections

63.Reports on inspections315

Subdivision 5 — Reviews of inspectors’ decisions

64.Reviews of inspectors’ decisions316

65.Powers of reviewing authority on review319

Division 5 — Referrals to the Tribunal

66.Decision may be referred to Tribunal319

67.Determination by Tribunal320

68.Effect of pending review by Tribunal321

69.Jurisdiction of Tribunal321

Division 6 — General

70.Notifying and reporting accidents and dangerous occurrences322

71.Records of accidents and dangerous occurrences to be kept323

72.Codes of practice323

73.Use of codes of practice in proceedings323

74.Interference etc. with equipment etc.324

75.No charges to be levied on members of workforce324

76.Victimisation325

77.Institution of prosecutions326

78.Conduct of directors, employees and agents327

79.Act not to give rise to other liabilities etc.328

80.Circumstances preventing compliance may be defence to prosecution328

81.Regulations — general328

Schedule 2 — Further transitional provisions

Division 1 — Provisions for Petroleum and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 2010

1.Terms used330

2.Section 41(5) (permit renewals)330

3.Section 112 (release of information)330

Notes

Compilation table332

Uncommenced provisions table336

Other notes336

Defined terms

 

Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967

An Act relating to the exploration for, and the exploitation of, petroleum resources, geothermal energy resources, and certain other resources, within certain lands of the State; to repeal the Petroleum Act 1936, and for incidental and other purposes.

[Long title amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 4.]

Part I  Preliminary

1.Short title

This Act may be cited as the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967.

[Section 1 amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 5.]

2.Commencement

This Act or any provision thereof shall come into operation on such date or such dates as are respectively fixed by proclamation.

3.Repeal

The Petroleum Act 1936 is repealed.

[4.Deleted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 4.]

5.Terms used

(1)In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears —

access authority means —

(a)a petroleum access authority; or

(b)a geothermal access authority;

application for a primary licence means an application for the grant or variation of a petroleum production licence under section 50(1) or (2) or 50A(1) or (2) and primary licence means a licence granted on such an application;

application for a secondary licence means an application under section 50(3) or 50A(3) and secondary licence means a licence granted on such an application;

approved means approved by the Minister;

approved development plan, in relation to a geothermal production licence, means the geothermal energy recovery development plan approved under section 62A that applies to the licence and includes that plan as varied under section 62B;

Barrow Island lease has the meaning given in section 128;

block means a block constituted as provided by section 27 or 135;

boundary-change permit means a petroleum exploration permit granted under section 37B;

Commonwealth Act means the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (Commonwealth);

Commonwealth lease means a petroleum retention lease as defined in the Commonwealth Act section 7;

Commonwealth licence means a fixed‑term petroleum production licence as defined in the Commonwealth Act section 7;

Commonwealth permit means a petroleum exploration permit as defined in the Commonwealth Act section 7;

construct includes “place” and construction has a corresponding meaning;

Crown land means all land in the State —

[(a)deleted]

(b)which has not been lawfully granted or contracted to be granted in fee simple; or

(c)which is not held under lease for any purpose except under —

(i)a pastoral lease within the meaning of the Land Administration Act 1997, or a lease otherwise granted for grazing purposes only; or

(ii)a lease for timber purposes; or

(iii)a lease for the use and benefit of the Aboriginal inhabitants,

and includes —

(d)any land reserved, declared or otherwise dedicated under the Land Administration Act 1997 or any other written law; and

(e)without limiting paragraph (d), State forests and timber reserves within the meaning of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984; and

[(f), (g)deleted]

(h)all land between —

(i)high and low‑water mark on the sea shore and on the margin of tidal rivers; and

(ii)low‑water mark referred to in subparagraph (i) and the inner limit of the territorial sea of Australia;

document includes any map, book, record or writing;

drilling reservation means —

(a)a petroleum drilling reservation; or

(b)a geothermal drilling reservation;

facility means a structure for or in connection with carrying out a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

geothermal access authority means a geothermal access authority under Part III;

geothermal drilling reservation means a geothermal drilling reservation referred to in section 43D(2);

geothermal energy means thermal energy that results from natural geological processes and is contained in geothermal energy resources;

geothermal energy operation means —

(a)an operation to explore for geothermal energy resources, and the carrying on of such operations and the execution of such works as are necessary for that purpose;

(b)an operation to drill for geothermal energy resources, and the carrying on of such operations and the execution of such works as are necessary for that purpose;

(c)an operation to recover geothermal energy, and the carrying on of such operations and the execution of such works as are necessary for that purpose;

(d)any other kind of operation that is prescribed by the regulations to be a geothermal energy operation for the purposes of this definition,

but does not include an operation of a kind that is prescribed by the regulations not to be a geothermal energy operation for the purposes of this definition;

geothermal energy resources means subsurface rock or other subterranean substances that contain geothermal energy and, where the context so requires, includes the geothermal energy contained in those resources;

geothermal exploration permit means a permit that confers the authority referred to in section 38(2);

geothermal lease area means the area constituted by the blocks that are the subject of a geothermal retention lease;

geothermal lessee means the registered holder of a geothermal retention lease;

geothermal licensee means the registered holder of a geothermal production licence;

geothermal permit area means the area constituted by the blocks that are the subject of a geothermal exploration permit;

geothermal permittee means the registered holder of a geothermal exploration permit;

geothermal production licence means a geothermal production licence under Part III;

geothermal resources area means a discrete area that contains geothermal energy resources;

geothermal retention lease means a geothermal retention lease under Part III;

geothermal special prospecting authority means a geothermal special prospecting authority under Part III;

good oil‑field practice means all those things that are generally accepted as good and safe in the carrying on of exploration for petroleum, or in the operations for the recovery of petroleum, as the case may be;

granted, in relation to a boundary-change permit, a petroleum retention lease under section 48CD or a petroleum production licence under section 61A, means taken to have been granted;

graticular section means a section referred to in section 27;

holder of a drilling reservation means the registered holder of a drilling reservation;

inspector means a person appointed under section 118;

lease means —

(a)a petroleum retention lease; or

(b)a geothermal retention lease;

lease area means the area constituted by the blocks that are the subject of a lease;

lessee means the registered holder of a lease;

licence means —

(a)a petroleum production licence; or

(b)a geothermal production licence;

licence area means the area constituted by the blocks that are the subject of a licence;

licensee means the registered holder of a licence;

listed OSH law means —

(a)section 117A; or

(b)Schedule 1; or

(c)a regulation made for the purposes of Schedule 1; or

(d)a regulation made for the purposes of section 149B; or

(e)any other written law relating to occupational safety and health matters that is prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph;

location means a block or blocks in respect of which a declaration under section 47 is in force;

offshore area has the meaning given in the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 section 4;

oil shale includes naturally occurring hydrocarbons that are or may be contained in rocks from which they cannot be recovered otherwise than by mining those rocks as oil shale;

operator —

(a)in relation to an operation to explore for petroleum or geothermal energy resources or the carrying on of such operations or the execution of such works as are necessary for that purpose, in a permit area, means the registered holder of the permit for that area;

(b)in relation to an operation to drill for petroleum or geothermal energy resources or the carrying on of such operations or the execution of such works as are necessary for that purpose, in a drilling reservation area, means the registered holder of the drilling reservation for that area;

(c)in relation to an operation to explore for petroleum or geothermal energy resources or the carrying on of such operations or the execution of such works as are necessary for that purpose, in a lease area, means the registered holder of the lease for that area;

(d)in relation to —

(i)an operation to recover petroleum or geothermal energy in a licence area or to recover petroleum or geothermal energy from a licence area in another area; or

(ii)an operation to explore for petroleum or geothermal energy resources in a licence area; or

(iii)the carrying on of such operations or the execution of such works in a licence area as are necessary for those purposes,

means the registered holder of the licence for that area;

(e)in relation to an operation for the mining, obtaining or production of petroleum under the Barrow Island lease as renewed, substituted or varied, means the lessee as defined in section 128;

(f)in relation to a petroleum exploration operation or geothermal energy resources exploration operation specified in a special prospecting authority, means the registered holder of the special prospecting authority;

(g)in relation to a petroleum exploration operation or geothermal energy resources exploration operation or an operation related to the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy in or from an area specified in an access authority, means the registered holder of the access authority;

(h)in relation to the injection of petroleum into a natural underground reservoir, means a person (other than the Minister) who is a party to an agreement under section 67(1), or who has the Minister’s approval under section 67(2), in respect of that injection;

(i)in relation to the injection of carbon dioxide, as defined in section 3 of the Barrow Island Act 2003, into an underground reservoir or other subsurface formation, means a person who has the BI Act Minister’s approval under section 13 of that Act, in respect of that injection;

(j)in relation to any other kind of operation that is prescribed by the regulations to be a petroleum operation for the purposes of the definition of petroleum operation, means the person prescribed by the regulations to be the operator of such a petroleum operation for the purposes of this definition;

(k)in relation to any other kind of operation that is prescribed by the regulations to be a geothermal energy operation for the purposes of the definition of geothermal energy operation, means the person prescribed by the regulations to be the operator of such a geothermal energy operation for the purposes of this definition;

other protected person, in relation to a geothermal energy operation, means a person who is at or near a place where the geothermal energy operation is being carried on at the invitation of, or with the express or implied consent of —

(a)the operator of the geothermal energy operation; or

(b)a person in control of a part of the geothermal energy operation;

other protected person, in relation to a petroleum operation, means a person who is at or near a place where the petroleum operation is being carried on at the invitation of, or with the express or implied consent of —

(a)the operator of the petroleum operation; or

(b)a person in control of a part of the petroleum operation;

partly cancelled means — in relation to a permit, drilling reservation or licence — cancelled as to one or more but not all of the blocks the subject of the permit, drilling reservation or licence;

partly determined, in relation to a permit, drilling reservation or lease, means determined as to one or more but not all of the blocks the subject of the permit, drilling reservation or lease;

permit means —

(a)a petroleum exploration permit; or

(b)a geothermal exploration permit;

permit area means —

(a)a petroleum permit area; or

(b)a geothermal permit area;

permittee means the registered holder of a permit;

petroleum means —

(a)any naturally occurring hydrocarbon, whether in a gaseous, liquid or solid state; or

(b)any naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbons, whether in a gaseous, liquid or solid state; or

(c)any naturally occurring mixture of one or more hydrocarbons, whether in a gaseous, liquid or solid state, and one or more of the following, that is to say, hydrogen sulphide, nitrogen, helium and carbon dioxide,

and includes any petroleum as defined by paragraph (a), (b) or (c) that has been returned to a natural reservoir, but excludes oil shale;

petroleum access authority means a petroleum access authority under Part III;

petroleum drilling reservation means a petroleum drilling reservation referred to in section 43D(1);

petroleum exploration permit means a permit that confers the authority referred to in section 38(1);

petroleum lease area means the area constituted by the blocks that are the subject of a petroleum retention lease;

petroleum lessee means the registered holder of a petroleum retention lease;

petroleum licensee means the registered holder of a petroleum production licence;

petroleum operation means —

(a)an operation to explore for petroleum, and the carrying on of such operations and the execution of such works as are necessary for that purpose;

(b)an operation to drill for petroleum, and the carrying on of such operations and the execution of such works as are necessary for that purpose;

(c)an operation to recover petroleum, and the carrying on of such operations and the execution of such works as are necessary for that purpose;

(d)an operation for the mining, obtaining or production of petroleum under the Barrow Island lease as renewed, substituted or varied;

(e)the injection of petroleum into a natural underground reservoir;

(f)the injection of carbon dioxide, as defined in section 3 of the Barrow Island Act 2003, into an underground reservoir or other subsurface formation;

(g)any other kind of operation that is prescribed by the regulations to be a petroleum operation for the purposes of this definition,

but does not include an operation of a kind that is prescribed by the regulations not to be a petroleum operation for the purposes of this definition;

petroleum permit area means the area constituted by the blocks that are the subject of a petroleum exploration permit;

petroleum permittee means the registered holder of a petroleum exploration permit;

petroleum pool means a naturally occurring discrete accumulation of petroleum;

petroleum production licence means a petroleum production licence under Part III;

petroleum retention lease means a petroleum retention lease under Part III;

petroleum special prospecting authority means a petroleum special prospecting authority under Part III;

primary entitlement means —

(a)in relation to a permittee, the number of blocks —

(i)forming part of a location in the permit area in respect of which that permittee may make an application under section 50(1); or

(ii)forming a location in the permit area in respect of which that permittee may make an application under section 50(1a);

and

(b)in relation to a lessee, the number of blocks in the lease area in respect of which that lessee may make an application under section 50A(1) or (1a);

private land means any land which has been or may hereafter be alienated from the Crown for any estate of freehold, or is or may hereafter be the subject of any conditional purchase agreement, or of any lease or concession with or without the right of acquiring the fee simple thereof, other than —

(a)a pastoral lease within the meaning of the Land Administration Act 1997, or a lease otherwise granted for grazing purposes only; or

(b)a lease for timber purposes; or

(c)a lease for the use and benefit of the Aboriginal inhabitants;

recovery, of geothermal energy, includes the recovery of any geothermal energy resources necessary to recover geothermal energy;

Register means the Register kept by the Minister in pursuance of Division 4 of Part III;

registered holder, in relation to a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority, means the person whose name is for the time being shown in the Register as being the holder of the permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority;

regulations means regulations made under section 153;

relinquished area means —

(a)in relation to a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence that has expired — the area constituted by the blocks in respect of which the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence was in force but has not been renewed; and

(b)in relation to a permit, drilling reservation, or lease that has been wholly determined or partly determined — the area constituted by the blocks as to which the permit, drilling reservation or lease was so determined; and

(c)in relation to a permit, drilling reservation or licence that has been wholly cancelled or partly cancelled —the area constituted by the blocks as to which the permit, drilling reservation or licence was so cancelled; and

(ca)in relation to a lease that has been wholly cancelled — the area constituted by the blocks in respect of which the lease was in force; and

(d)in relation to a special prospecting authority or access authority that has been surrendered or cancelled or has expired — the area constituted by the blocks in respect of which that authority was in force;

royalty period, in relation to a permit, drilling reservation or licence, means —

(a)the period from and including the date from which the permit, drilling reservation or licence has effect to the end of the month of the year during which that date occurs; and

(b)each month thereafter;

royalty value has the meaning applicable under section 144A(1) or (2);

special prospecting authority means —

(a)a petroleum special prospecting authority; or

(b)a geothermal special prospecting authority;

structure means any fixed, moveable or floating structure or installation and includes a pipeline, pumping station, tank station and valve station;

vessel means a vessel used in navigation, other than air navigation, and includes a barge or other vessel;

well means a hole in the Earth’s crust made by drilling, boring or any other means in connection with exploration for petroleum or geothermal energy resources or operations for the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy, but does not include a seismic shot hole;

wholly cancelled, in relation to a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, means cancelled as to all the blocks the subject of the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence;

wholly determined, in relation to a permit, drilling reservation or lease, means determined as to all the blocks the subject of the permit, drilling reservation or lease.

(2)In this Act, a reference to the term of a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority is a reference to the period during which the permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority remains in force and a reference to the date of expiration of a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority is a reference to the day on which the permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority ceases to be in force.

(3)In this Act, a reference to a year of the term of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is a reference to a period of one year commencing on the day on which the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, as the case may be, comes into force or on any anniversary of that day.

(4)In this Act, a reference to the renewal, or to the grant of a renewal, of a permit is a reference to the grant of a permit in respect of all or some of the blocks specified in the first‑mentioned permit to commence on the day after the date of expiration of the first‑mentioned permit or on the day after the date of expiration of the permit granted upon a previous renewal of the first‑mentioned permit.

(4a)In this Act, a reference to the renewal, or to the grant of a renewal, of a lease is a reference to the grant of a lease in respect of the blocks in respect of which the first‑mentioned lease was in force to commence on the day after the date of expiration of the first‑mentioned lease or on the day after the date of expiration of the lease granted upon a previous renewal of the first‑mentioned lease.

(5)In this Act, a reference to the renewal, or to the grant of a renewal, of a licence in respect of the blocks specified in the licence is a reference to the grant of a licence in respect of those blocks to commence on the day after the date of expiration of the first‑mentioned licence or on the day after the date of expiration of the licence granted upon a previous renewal of the first‑mentioned licence.

(5a)In this Act a reference to the extension of a drilling reservation in relation to the blocks specified in the drilling reservation is a reference to the grant of a drilling reservation in respect of those blocks to commence on the day after the date of expiration of the first‑mentioned drilling reservation or on the day after the date of expiration of the previous extension, if any, of the first‑mentioned drilling reservation.

(6)In this Act, a reference to a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or access authority is a reference to the permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or access authority as varied for the time being under this Act.

(7)Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1), the Minister for the time being charged with the administration of the Mining Act 1978 may, in the event of a dispute whether a particular substance is or is not oil shale, decide whether that substance is or is not oil shale for the purposes of this Act and the Mining Act 1978 and his decision in the matter shall be final.

(8)The power conferred by this Act to make, grant or issue any instrument shall, unless the contrary intention appears, be construed as including a power exercisable in the like manner and subject to the like conditions, if any, to repeal, rescind, revoke, amend or vary any such instrument.

(9)Notes in this Act are provided to assist understanding and do not form part of the Act.

[Section 5 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 31; No. 12 of 1990 s. 5; No. 78 of 1990 s. 4; No. 11 of 1994 s. 4; No. 28 of 1994 s. 5; No. 31 of 1997 s. 141; No. 17 of 1999 s. 21; No. 13 of 2005 s. 4; No. 35 of 2007 s. 6 and 85; No. 42 of 2010 s. 4; No. 7 of 2017 s. 4.]

6A.Effect of alteration of inshore area

(1)In this section —

Commonwealth instrument means an instrument under the Commonwealth Act that confers, in relation to the offshore area, some or all of the rights that a permit, lease or licence confers in relation to the inshore area;

inshore area means the area that comes within paragraph (h) of the definition of Crown land in section 5(1).

(2)This section applies to a change to the boundary of the inshore area whether occurring before, on or after the day on which the Petroleum and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 2010 section 5 comes into operation.

(3)If —

(a)a permit, lease or licence has been granted on the basis that an area (the affected area) is within the inshore area; and

(b)as a result of a change to boundary of the inshore area, the affected area ceases to be within the inshore area,

this Act applies in relation to the permit, lease or licence as if the affected area were still within the inshore area.

(4)Subsection (3) continues to apply in relation to the affected area only while the permit, lease or licence remains in force.

(5)If —

(a)a Commonwealth instrument has been granted on the basis that an area (the second affected area) is within the offshore area; and

(b)as a result of a change to the boundary of the inshore area the second affected area —

(i)ceases to be within the offshore area; and

(ii)falls within the inshore area,

then this Act does not apply to the second affected area.

(6)Subsection (5) continues to apply in relation to the second affected area only while the Commonwealth instrument remains in force.

[Section 6A inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 5; amended: No. 7 of 2017 s. 5.]

Part II  General

6.Act to be construed subject to State’s legislative powers

This Act shall be read and construed subject to the limits of the legislative powers of the State and so as not to exceed those powers, to the intent that, where any enactment thereof, but for this section, would be construed as being in excess of those powers, it shall nevertheless be a valid enactment to the extent to which it is not in excess of those powers.

7.Application of Act

(1)This Act applies to all natural persons, whether Australian citizens or not, and whether resident in the State or not, and to all corporations, whether incorporated or carrying on business in the State or not.

(2)The conferral by or under this Act or by any permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority of rights over any land to which Part III of the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority Act 1972 applies does not prevent or in any way affect the application of section 31 of that Act to any person exercising those rights.

(3)The taking or use of any water for the purposes of any operations carried out under the authority of a permit, drilling reservation, access authority, special prospecting authority, lease or licence is subject to the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.

(4)This Act does not apply to operations for the recovery of geothermal energy —

(a)that are carried out for the purposes of a small scale ground source heat pump used at or near the source of the geothermal energy; or

(b)that involve small scale recovery of geothermal energy not for a commercial purpose; or

(c)that are of a kind prescribed by the regulations.

(5)Without limiting subsection (4)(b), the regulations may specify whether the small scale recovery of geothermal energy in prescribed circumstances or for a prescribed reason is or is not for a commercial purpose.

[Section 7 amended: No. 107 of 1982 s. 6; No. 12 of 1990 s. 6; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 7.]

7AA.Disapplication of State occupational safety and health laws

(1)The prescribed occupational safety and health laws do not apply in relation to —

(a)a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(b)a person engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation or any other protected person.

(2)In this section —

prescribed occupational safety and health laws means any laws of the State relating to occupational safety and health (whether or not they also relate to other matters) that are prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.

[Section 7AA inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 5; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 86.]

7A.Geothermal resources area in, or extending into, other areas

(1)The provisions of this section have effect for the purposes of this Act (including any Act with which this Act is incorporated) and of licences (whether granted before or after the commencement of this section).

(2)Where a well‑head is situated in a licence area or in an area in respect of which a geothermal access authority is in force (in this subsection called an access authority area) and the well from that well‑head is inclined so as to enter a geothermal resources area, being an area that does not extend to that licence area or access authority area, at a place within an adjoining licence area of the same licensee or registered holder of the geothermal access authority, any geothermal energy recovered through that well shall be deemed to have been recovered in that adjoining licence area under the geothermal production licence in respect of that area.

(3)Where a geothermal resources area is partly in one licence area and partly in an adjoining licence area of the same licensee and geothermal energy is recovered from that geothermal resources area through a well or wells in one or both of the licence areas, there shall be deemed to have been recovered in each of the licence areas, under the geothermal production licence in respect of that area, such proportion of all geothermal energy so recovered as may reasonably be treated as being derived from that area, having regard to the nature and probable extent of the geothermal resources area, and the respective proportions shall be determined in accordance with subsection (4).

(4)The proportions to be determined for the purposes of subsection (3) may be determined by agreement between the licensee and the Minister or, in the absence of agreement, may be determined by the Supreme Court on the application of the licensee or the Minister.

(5)Where a geothermal resources area is partly in a licence area and partly in another area in which the licensee has authority under another written law or a law of another State to explore for geothermal energy resources or recover geothermal energy, and geothermal energy is recovered from that geothermal resources area through a well or wells in the licence area, the other area or both, there shall be deemed to have been recovered in the licence area such proportion of all geothermal energy so recovered as may reasonably be treated as being derived from the licence area, having regard to the nature and probable extent of the geothermal resources area, and that proportion shall be determined in accordance with subsection (6).

(6)The proportion to be determined for the purposes of subsection (5) may be determined —

(a)in the case of a licensee having authority under another written law, by agreement between —

(i)that licensee; and

(ii)the Minister; and

(iii)if the other written law is administered by a Minister of the Crown other than the Minister, that Minister of the Crown,

or, in the absence of agreement, may be determined by the Supreme Court on the application of that licensee, the Minister, or the Minister of the Crown (if any) referred to in subparagraph (iii); or

(b)in the case of a licensee having authority under a law of another State, by agreement between —

(i)that licensee; and

(ii)the Minister; and

(iii)the State Minister administering the law of the other State,

or, in the absence of agreement, may be determined by the Supreme Court on the application of that licensee, the Minister or the State Minister referred to in subparagraph (iii).

(7)Where —

(a)a geothermal resources area is partly in a licence area and partly in another area, whether in the State or not, in respect of which another person has authority, whether under this Act or another written law or under the law of another State, to explore for geothermal energy resources or recover geothermal energy; and

(b)a unit development agreement in accordance with section 69 is in force between the licensee and that other person; and

(c)geothermal energy is recovered from that geothermal resources area through a well or wells in the licence area, the other area or both,

there shall be deemed to have been recovered in the licence area such proportion of all geothermal energy so recovered as is specified in, or determined in accordance with, the agreement referred to in paragraph (b).

(8)In this section —

(a)a reference to a geothermal production licence includes a reference to a geothermal exploration permit and a geothermal retention lease; and

(b)a reference to a licensee is a reference to the registered holder of a geothermal production licence and includes a reference to a geothermal permittee and a geothermal lessee; and

(c)a reference to a licence area is a reference to the area constituted by the blocks that are the subject of a geothermal production licence and includes a reference to a geothermal permit area and a geothermal lease area; and

(d)a reference to a State includes a reference to the Northern Territory; and

(e)a reference to the Supreme Court is a reference to the Supreme Court of the State, or of one of the States, in which the petroleum pool is wholly or partly situated.

[Section 7A inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 7; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 8; No. 7 of 2017 s. 6.]

7B.Petroleum pool in, or extending into, other areas

(1)The provisions of this section have effect for the purposes of this Act (including any Act with which this Act is incorporated) and of licences (whether granted before or after the commencement of this section).

(2)If a well‑head is situated in a licence area or in an area in respect of which a petroleum access authority is in force (in this subsection called an access authority area) and the well from that well‑head is inclined so as to enter a petroleum pool, being a pool that does not extend to that licence area or access authority area, at a place within an adjoining licence area of the same licensee or registered holder of the petroleum access authority, any petroleum recovered through that well is taken to have been recovered in that adjoining licence area under the petroleum production licence in respect of that area.

(3)If a petroleum pool is partly in one licence area and partly in an adjoining licence area of the same licensee and petroleum is recovered from that pool through a well or wells in one or both of the licence areas, there is taken to have been recovered in each of the licence areas, under the petroleum production licence in respect of that area, such proportion of all petroleum so recovered as may reasonably be treated as being derived from that area, having regard to the nature and probable extent of the pool, and the respective proportions are to be determined in accordance with subsection (4).

(4)The proportions to be determined for the purposes of subsection (3) may be determined by agreement between the licensee and the Minister or, in the absence of agreement, may be determined by the Supreme Court on the application of the licensee or the Minister.

(5)If a petroleum pool is partly in a licence area and partly in another area in which the licensee has authority under another written law or a law of another State or the Commonwealth to explore for, or recover, petroleum, and petroleum is recovered from that pool through a well or wells in the licence area, the other area or both, there is taken to have been recovered in the licence area such proportion of all petroleum so recovered as may reasonably be treated as being derived from the licence area, having regard to the nature and probable extent of the pool, and that proportion is to be determined in accordance with subsection (6).

(6)The proportion to be determined for the purposes of subsection (5) may be determined —

(a)in the case of a licensee having authority under another written law, by agreement between —

(i)that licensee; and

(ii)the Minister; and

(iii)if the other written law is administered by a Minister of the Crown other than the Minister, that Minister of the Crown,

or, in the absence of agreement, may be determined by the Supreme Court on the application of that licensee, the Minister, or the Minister of the Crown (if applicable) referred to in subparagraph (iii); or

(b)in the case of a licensee having authority under a law of another State, by agreement between —

(i)that licensee; and

(ii)the Minister; and

(iii)the State Minister administering the law of the other State,

or, in the absence of agreement, may be determined by the Supreme Court on the application of that licensee, the Minister or the State Minister referred to in subparagraph (iii); or

(c)in the case of a licensee having authority under a law of the Commonwealth, by agreement between —

(i)that licensee; and

(ii)the Minister; and

(iii)the Joint Authority,

or, in the absence of agreement, may be determined by the Supreme Court on the application of that licensee, the Minister or the Joint Authority.

(7)In subsection (6) —

Joint Authority has the meaning given in the Commonwealth Act section 7.

(8)If —

(a)an agreement is in force to explore for, or recover, petroleum between —

(i)a licensee, the Minister and, if the other written law mentioned in this subparagraph is administered by a Minister of the Crown other than the Minister, that Minister of the Crown in relation to a petroleum pool that is partly in the licence area and partly in another area (the other area) in which the licensee has authority under another written law; or

(ii)a licensee, the Minister and the State Minister administering a law of another State in relation to a petroleum pool that is partly in the licence area and partly in another area (the other area) in which the licensee has authority under the law of the other State; or

(iii)a licensee, the Minister and the Joint Authority in relation to a petroleum pool that is partly in the licence area and partly in another area (the other area) in which the licensee has authority under a law of the Commonwealth;

and

(b)the agreement contains a provision (the apportionment provision) that provides that, for the purposes of this section, there is taken to be recovered in the licence area a specified proportion of all of the petroleum recovered from the petroleum pool; and

(c)assuming that petroleum were recovered from the part of the seabed that is within the areal and vertical extents specified in the agreement, the specified proportion would be consistent with such proportion of all petroleum so recovered as may reasonably be treated as being derived from the licence area, having regard to the nature and probable extent of the petroleum in that part of the seabed; and

(d)the agreement contains a provision to the effect that if it becomes apparent that the areal and vertical extents of the petroleum pool, as specified in the agreement, comprise or are likely to comprise more than one petroleum pool, the apportionment set out in the apportionment provision will apply to the petroleum recovered from any or all of those petroleum pools, regardless of their location but within those areal and vertical extents; and

(e)after the time of the making of the agreement, it becomes apparent that the areal and vertical extents of the petroleum pool, as specified in the agreement, comprise, or are likely to comprise, 2 or more petroleum pools; and

(f)petroleum is recovered from any of those petroleum pools through a well or wells in the licence area, the other area or both,

then —

(g)for the purposes of this Act, there is taken to have been recovered in the licence area such proportion of all petroleum so recovered as is specified in the apportionment provision; and

(h)subsection (5) does not apply to any of those petroleum pools.

(9)The question of whether there is or was a petroleum pool covered by subsection (8)(a) is to be determined on the basis of information known at the time of the making of the relevant agreement referred to in that provision.

(10)The question of whether subsection (8)(c) applies is to be determined on the basis of information known at the time of the commencement of the apportionment provision.

(11)The location of any of the 2 or more petroleum pools mentioned in subsection (8)(e) is immaterial.

(12)If  —

(a)at a particular time after the commencement of this section, a petroleum pool is partly in a licence area and partly in another area (the other area) in which the licensee has authority under another written law or a law of another State or the Commonwealth to explore for, or recover, petroleum; and

(b)at that time, an agreement is made between —

(i)if the licensee has authority under another written law — the licensee, the Minister and, if the other written law is administered by a Minister of the Crown other than the Minister, that Minister of the Crown; or

(ii)if the licensee has authority under a law of another State — the licensee, the Minister and the State Minister administering the law of the other State; or

(iii)if the licensee has authority under a law of the Commonwealth — the licensee, the Minister and the Joint Authority;

and

(c)the agreement specifies a part of the seabed by reference to its areal and vertical extents; and

(d)the areal and vertical extents of the specified part consist of —

(i)the whole or a part of the licence area; and

(ii)the whole or a part of the other area;

and

(e)the areal and vertical extents of the specified part include the petroleum pool; and

(f)the agreement contains a provision (the apportionment provision) that provides that, for the purposes of this section, there is taken to be recovered in the licence area a specified proportion of all of the petroleum recovered from the specified part; and

(g)assuming that petroleum were recovered from the specified part, the specified proportion would be consistent with such proportion of all petroleum so recovered as may reasonably be treated as being derived from the licence area, having regard to the nature and probable extent of the petroleum in the specified part; and

(h)petroleum is recovered from the specified part through a well or wells in the licence area, the other area or both,

then —

(i)for the purposes of this Act, there is taken to have been recovered in the licence area such proportion of all petroleum so recovered as is specified in the apportionment provision; and

(j)subsection (5) does not apply to a petroleum pool located in the specified part.

(13)The question of whether there is or was a petroleum pool covered by subsection (12)(a) at a particular time is to be determined on the basis of information known at that time.

(14)The question of whether subsection (12)(g) applies is to be determined on the basis of information known at the time of the commencement of the apportionment provision.

(15)If —

(a)a petroleum pool is partly in a licence area and partly in another area, whether in the State or not, in respect of which another person has authority, whether under this Act or another written law or under the law of another State or the Commonwealth, to explore for or recover petroleum; and

(b)a unit development agreement in accordance with section 69 is in force between the licensee and that other person; and

(c)petroleum is recovered from that pool through a well or wells in the licence area, the other area or both,

there is taken to have been recovered in the licence area such proportion of all petroleum so recovered as is specified in, or determined in accordance with, the agreement referred to in paragraph (b).

(16)In this section —

(a)a reference to a petroleum production licence includes a reference to a petroleum exploration permit and a petroleum retention lease; and

(b)a reference to a licensee is a reference to the registered holder of a petroleum production licence and includes a reference to a petroleum permittee and a petroleum lessee; and

(c)a reference to a licence area is a reference to the area constituted by the blocks that are the subject of a petroleum production licence and includes a reference to a petroleum permit area and a petroleum lease area; and

(d)a reference to a State includes a reference to the Northern Territory; and

(e)a reference to the Supreme Court is a reference to the Supreme Court of the State, or of one of the States, in which the petroleum pool is wholly or partly situated.

[Section 7B inserted: No. 7 of 2017 s. 7.]

8.Position on Earth’s surface

(1)Where, for the purposes of this Act, or for the purposes of an instrument under this Act, it is necessary to determine the position on the surface of the Earth of a point, line or area, that position is to be determined by reference to the prescribed Australian datum.

(2)A datum may be prescribed for all or some of the purposes referred to in subsection (1), and different datums may be prescribed for different purposes.

(3)Regulations that prescribe a datum for a purpose referred to in subsection (1), or amend that datum or prescribe another datum to replace that datum, may make any transitional or savings provisions that are necessary or convenient to be made —

(a)in relation to permits, drilling reservations, leases, licences, special prospecting authorities or access authorities granted before the regulations take effect; or

(b)in relation to applications for permits, drilling reservations, leases, licences, special prospecting authorities or access authorities pending when the regulations take effect; or

(c)for any other purpose.

(4)Regulations referred to in subsection (3) may modify or otherwise affect the operation of this Act.

[Section 8 inserted: No. 54 of 2000 s. 7(2); amended: No. 13 of 2005 s. 16(1).]

9.Petroleum, geothermal energy resources and geothermal energy declared to be property of Crown

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any Act, or in any grant, lease, or other instrument of title, whether made or issued before or after the commencement of this Act, all petroleum, geothermal energy resources and geothermal energy on or below the surface of all land within this State, whether alienated in fee simple or not so alienated from the Crown, are and shall be deemed always to have been the property of the Crown.

[Section 9 amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 9.]

10.Reservations in Crown grants and leases

Every —

(a)Crown grant and lease under any Act relating to Crown land issued before the coming into operation of this Act shall be deemed to have contained; and

(b)Crown grant, transfer of Crown land in fee simple, and lease under any Act relating to Crown land issued on or after the coming into operation of this Act shall contain, or if not containing those reservations, be deemed to contain,

a reservation of all petroleum, geothermal energy resources and geothermal energy on or below the surface of the land comprised therein, and also a reservation of the right of access, subject to and in accordance with the provisions hereinafter contained, for the purpose of searching for and for the operations of obtaining petroleum, geothermal energy resources and geothermal energy in any part of the land.

[Section 10 amended: No. 31 of 1997 s. 76(1); No. 35 of 2007 s. 10.]

11.Minister may search for petroleum or geothermal energy resources

(1)The Minister may by his officers, agents, or workmen search for petroleum or geothermal energy resources, and conduct all operations deemed necessary for or incidental to searching for, obtaining, refining, or disposing of petroleum, geothermal energy resources or geothermal energy produced in Western Australia; and, for such purposes, may enter upon and occupy, either temporarily or permanently —

(a)any vacant Crown land; or

(b)any other land.

(2)Where any of the powers conferred by subsection (1) has been exercised in relation to land referred to in paragraph (b) of that subsection, compensation is payable to the occupier of the land and to any person having an estate or interest therein for any interference with the use of the land by the occupier, with operations carried on thereon or for any damage to or interference with any improvement on the land.

(3)Any claim for payment of compensation under this section shall be made, dealt with, and determined under and in accordance with the provisions of Part 10 of the Land Administration Act 1997, as if it were a claim for compensation made originally under that Act.

[Section 11 amended: No. 31 of 1997 s. 76(2); No. 35 of 2007 s. 11.]

11A.Property rights in recovered petroleum and geothermal energy

(1)Subject to this Act and to any rights of other persons, on the recovery of any petroleum by a petroleum permittee, holder of a petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum lessee or petroleum licensee in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area, the petroleum becomes the property of the petroleum permittee, holder of the petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum lessee or petroleum licensee.

(2)Subject to this Act and to any rights of other persons, on the recovery of any geothermal energy by a geothermal permittee, holder of a geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal lessee or geothermal licensee in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area, the geothermal energy becomes the property of the geothermal permittee, holder of the geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal lessee or geothermal licensee.

(3)Nothing in subsection (2) operates to confer rights in relation to any water by means of which geothermal energy is transferred from geothermal energy resources for the purposes of its recovery.

[Section 11A inserted: No. 35 of 2007 s. 12(1).]

12.Land may be resumed

(1)The Minister administering the Land Administration Act 1997 may from time to time, under and subject to Part 9 of the Land Administration Act 1997, take on behalf of the Crown any land which in his opinion ought to be taken for the purposes of this Act, and for the purpose of any such proposed taking may cause the land to be inspected, surveyed, explored, and reported upon by such officers and workmen as he directs, all of whom may thereupon enter upon the land and carry out all necessary operations.

(2)The Minister administering the Land Administration Act 1997 may from time to time under and subject to Part 9 of the Land Administration Act 1997, and at the request of a person interested in land taken or intended to be taken under subsection (1), take on behalf of the Crown any land which is being or is intended to be used in conjunction with the land so taken or so intended to be taken.

(3)Upon any such taking the owner shall be entitled to compensation, and the amount of such compensation shall be determined in the manner prescribed by Part 10 of the Land Administration Act 1997.

(4)Whenever it is proved to the satisfaction of the State Administrative Tribunal that damage has been sustained by a claimant by reason of the severance of the land resumed from other adjoining land of the claimant, the Tribunal may order that such adjoining land or some portion thereof shall also be resumed.

[Section 12 amended: No. 31 of 1997 s. 76(3)‑(5), 142 and 143; No. 55 of 2004 s. 916.]

13.Governor to have right of pre‑emption of petroleum in emergency

(1)Upon the Governor proclaiming a state of national or State emergency, the Governor shall have the right of pre‑emption of all petroleum produced by a licensee and of all the products of such petroleum; and in the event of the Governor exercising such right, the licensee concerned shall take all reasonable steps to facilitate the delivery of the petroleum or products thereof, as the Governor may direct.

(2)No licensee shall sell or otherwise dispose of petroleum produced by him or the products thereof, without the written consent of the Minister.

Penalty: a fine of $10 000.

(3)Any sale or other disposition of petroleum or the products thereof made in contravention of subsection (2) shall, as against the Governor when exercising the right conferred by subsection (1), be null and void.

(4)The price to be paid for petroleum or products thereof purchased by the Governor pursuant to the right of pre‑emption conferred by subsection (1) shall, failing mutual agreement between the Minister and the vendor, be determined by arbitration under the provisions of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2012.

[Section 13 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 8; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(15); No. 23 of 2012 s. 45.]

14.Land comprised in permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence may be entered for certain purposes

(1)Subject to the approval and consent in writing of the Minister, any person may enter upon any land comprised in any permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence and do any of the following things: —

(a)erect poles and posts thereon, and carry overhead across or along such land electric lines, and from time to time repair, alter, or remove such poles, posts, or lines; and

(b)make or construct any tramways thereon, and from time to time repair, alter, or remove the same; and

(c)construct any road, race or drain, or lay water‑pipes under, over, across, or through such land; and

(d)any act or thing for or relating to a public purpose or the exercise of any right granted pursuant to law; and

(e)for carrying out any of the said purposes, break or otherwise disturb the surface and soil of such land.

(2)If the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee suffers any estimable damage by reason of the exercise by any person of any of the powers mentioned in subsection (1), that person shall be liable to compensate the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee, as the case requires, in respect of the damage so caused.

(3)In default of agreement between the parties concerned, the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee may make application to the Magistrates Court at the place nearest to the place at which the land is situated in the prescribed manner to fix the amount of compensation to be paid.

[Section 14 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 9; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 59 of 2004 s. 141.]

15.Authority conferred by permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence

(1)Subject to this Act and to any condition referred to in section 91B(2), but notwithstanding the provisions of any other Act or law, the authority conferred by section 38, 43D, 48C or 62 upon a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee is, by virtue of this Act, exercisable on any land within the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area, as the case may be, whether Crown land or private land or partly Crown land and partly private.

[(2)deleted]

[Section 15 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 10; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 31 of 1997 s. 141; No. 17 of 1999 s. 22(1) and (2).]

15A.Consent of Minister required for entry on reserves for purposes of exploration etc.

(1)A permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, access authority or special prospecting authority, lessee or licensee shall not enter upon any land that is —

(a)comprised in the permit, drilling reservation, access authority, special prospecting authority, lease or licence of which he is the holder; and

(b)reserved, declared or otherwise dedicated under the Land Administration Act 1997 or any other written law,

for the purpose of —

(c)exploring for petroleum or geothermal energy resources; or

(d)carrying out operations for the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy,

unless the consent in writing of the Minister has been first obtained.

(2)Consent may be given for the purposes of subsection (1) subject to the inclusion in the permit, drilling reservation, access authority, special prospecting authority, lease or licence of such conditions as the Minister thinks fit and specifies in the consent.

(3)Before giving consent for the purposes of subsection (1), the Minister shall consult with the responsible Minister and obtain that Minister’s recommendations on the conditions, if any, which should be included in the permit, drilling reservation, access authority, special prospecting authority, lease or licence.

(4)Without limiting subsection (2), the Minister may specify in the consent conditions for the purpose of ensuring, so far as is practicable, that any operations carried out on the land under the authority of the permit, drilling reservation, access authority, special prospecting authority, lease or licence are carried out in such a manner as to minimise the risk of damage to any native fauna or flora on the land.

(5)The responsible Minister for the purposes of subsection (3) is the Minister responsible for the administration of the land or the written law under which the land is reserved, declared or dedicated, and if any question arises as to who is the responsible Minister under subsection (3), the question is to be determined by the Governor whose decision is final.

(6)Nothing in this section limits or otherwise affects the operation of sections 13A(3) and 13B(9) of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984.

[Section 15A inserted: No. 17 of 1999 s. 23(1); amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 13.]

16.Consent of owner or trustees required in certain cases for exploration etc.

(1)A permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, access authority or special prospecting authority, lessee or licensee shall not enter upon any land to which this section applies for the purpose of —

(a)exploring for petroleum or geothermal energy resources; or

(b)carrying out operations for the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy,

unless the consent in writing of the owner or trustees, as the case may be, of the land has been first obtained.

(1a)This section applies to land that is comprised in the permit, drilling reservation, access authority, special prospecting authority, lease or licence and is —

(a)private land not exceeding 2 000 m2 in extent; or

(b)used as a cemetery or burial place; or

(c)less than 150 m in lateral distance from any cemetery or burial place, reservoir or any substantial improvement.

(2)For the purposes of this section —

(a)reservoir includes any natural or artificial storage or accumulation of water, spring, dam, bore, and artesian well; and

(b)the Minister is the sole judge of whether any improvement is substantial.

[Section 16 amended: No. 94 of 1972 s. 4; No. 12 of 1990 s. 11; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 73 of 1994 s. 4; No. 14 of 1996 s. 4; No. 17 of 1999 s. 24; No. 35 of 2007 s. 14.]

17.Compensation to owners and occupiers of private land

(1)A permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee may agree with the owner and occupier respectively of any private land comprised in the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence as to the amount of compensation to be paid for the right to occupy the land.

(2)Subject to subsections (3) and (5), the compensation to be made to the owner and occupier shall be compensation for being deprived of the possession of the surface or any part of the surface of the private land, and for damage to the surface of the whole or any part thereof, and to any improvements thereon, which may arise from the carrying on of operations thereon or thereunder, and for the severance of such land from other land of the owner or occupier, and for rights‑of‑way and for all consequential damages.

(3)In assessing the amount of compensation no allowance shall be made to the owner or occupier for any gold, minerals, petroleum, geothermal energy resources or geothermal energy known or supposed to be on or under the land.

(4)If within such time as may be prescribed the parties are unable to agree upon the amount of compensation to be paid, either party may apply to the Magistrates Court at the place nearest to where the land is situated to fix the amount of compensation.

(5)In determining the amount of compensation, the Court shall take into consideration the amount of any compensation which the owner and occupier or either of them have or has already received in respect of the damage for which compensation is being assessed, and shall deduct the amount already so received from the amount which they would otherwise be entitled to for such damage.

[Section 17 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 12; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 59 of 2004 s. 141; No. 35 of 2007 s. 15.]

18.Owner of private land in vicinity of permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area may be entitled to compensation

If any private land or improvement thereon adjoining or in the vicinity of the land comprised in any permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is injured or depreciated in value by any operations carried on by or on behalf of the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee or by reason of the occupation of any portion of the surface, or the enjoyment by the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee of any right‑of‑way, the owner and occupier of the private land or improvements thereon shall severally be entitled to compensation for all loss and damage thereby sustained, and the amount of compensation shall be ascertained in the same manner as is provided in section 17.

[Section 18 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 13; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

19.Compensation for further damage

If while in occupation of any land comprised in a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee, as the case requires, causes any damage to the surface of any private land comprised within the boundaries of the land the subject of the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence belonging either to the same or any other owner, or to any improvement on any such private land, not being damage already assessed under the provisions of this Part, the owner and occupier of the private land or improvement shall severally be entitled to compensation for the damage sustained by each of them, and the amount of such compensation shall be ascertained in accordance with the provisions of section 17.

[Section 19 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 14; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

20.Holder of permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence not to commence operations on private land until compensation tendered or agreed upon

(1)A permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee shall not commence any operations on private land unless or until he has paid or tendered to the owner and to the occupier of the land the amount of compensation, if any, which he is required to pay under and as ascertained in accordance with this Act or he has made an agreement in writing with the owner or occupier as to the amount, times and mode of payment of the compensation, if any.

(2)Where the owner is dead or cannot be found any payment of compensation may be made to the Minister in trust for the owner.

[Section 20 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 15; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

21.Compensation payable to lessee of pastoral lease, lease for timber purposes or lease for use and benefit of Aboriginal inhabitants for damage to improvements and consequential damage

(1)If a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee has by himself, his agent or his employee in the exercise or purported exercise of any of the powers conferred by or under this Act or by reason of any operation conducted or other action taken by him or any of them caused damage to any improvements on land leased by way of —

(a)a pastoral lease within the meaning of the Land Administration Act 1997, or a lease otherwise granted for grazing purposes only; or

(b)a lease for timber purposes; or

(c)a lease for the use and benefit of the Aboriginal inhabitants,

he is liable, subject to section 24, to pay compensation to the person to whom that land is so leased (in this section and in section 22 called the compensable lessee or a compensable lessee, as the case requires) for that damage and for any damage which the compensable lessee may, in the opinion of the Magistrates Court, suffer as a consequence of the damage to those improvements.

(2)A person liable to pay compensation to a compensable lessee under the provisions of this section may agree with the compensable lessee as to the amount of compensation including compensation for consequential damage.

(3)If an agreement is not made under subsection (2), the compensable lessee may commence an action for compensation before the Magistrates Court at the place nearest to the place at which the land is situated, or the person liable to pay compensation may so commence an action claiming a declaration as to the amount of compensation payable.

[Section 21 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 16; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 31 of 1997 s. 141; No. 59 of 2004 s. 141.]

22.Determination of partial compensation

In an action under section 21, if the Court considers it impracticable or inexpedient to assess the amount of compensation to be paid in full satisfaction for the damage sustained by the compensable lessee to the improvements and consequential damage, the Court may on the application of a party or of its own motion give judgment or make a declaration as to the compensation payable in respect of any specified period and in respect of the whole or part of the total claim or compensation.

[Section 22 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 17.]

23.Security for compensation

The Court before whom proceedings in relation to compensation have been commenced may, at any stage of those proceedings, make an order against the person concerned in them and from whom compensation is sought, from commencing or, as the case may be, continuing any operations under this Act until he has given such security as the Court thinks fit for payment of any compensation for which he may be or become liable.

24.Matters for which compensation not payable

(1)Except where and then only to the extent agreed to by the parties or authorised by the Court compensation is not payable under the provisions of this Act to the lessee of land leased by way of a pastoral lease within the meaning of the Land Administration Act 1997, a lease otherwise granted for grazing purposes only, a lease for timber purposes or a lease for the use and benefit of the Aboriginal inhabitants (in this subsection called the affected lessee) —

(a)for deprivation of the possession of the surface of the land or any part of the surface; and

(b)for damage to the surface of the land; and

(c)where the affected lessee is deprived of the possession of the surface of any land, for severance of the land from any other land of the affected lessee; and

(d)for surface rights of way and easements.

(2)Compensation is not payable for any gold, minerals, petroleum, geothermal energy resources or geothermal energy known or supposed to be on or under the land.

[Section 24 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 18; No. 31 of 1997 s. 141; No. 35 of 2007 s. 16.]

24A.Liability for payment of compensation to native title holders

(1)If compensation is payable to native title holders for or in respect of the grant of an authorisation, the person liable to pay the compensation is —

(a)if an amount is to be paid and held in trust, the applicant for the grant of, or the holder of, the authorisation at the time the amount is required to be paid; or

(b)otherwise, the applicant for the grant of, or the holder of, the authorisation at the time a determination of compensation is made.

(2)If, at the relevant time, there is no holder of the authorisation because the authorisation has been surrendered or cancelled or has expired, a reference in subsection (1) to the holder of the authorisation is a reference to the holder of the authorisation immediately before its surrender, cancellation or expiry.

(3)In this section —

authorisation means a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority;

native title holders has the same meaning as in the Native Title Act 1993 of the Commonwealth.

[Section 24A inserted: No. 61 of 1998 s. 17.]

25.Delegation

(1)The Minister may —

(a)delegate all or any of his powers and functions under this Act (except this power of delegation); and

(b)vary or revoke a delegation given by him.

(2)A power or function delegated by the Minister may be exercised or performed by the delegate —

(a)in accordance with the instrument of delegation; and

(b)if the exercise of the power or the performance of the function is dependent upon the opinion, belief or state of mind of the Minister in relation to a matter — upon the opinion, belief or state of mind of the delegate in relation to that matter.

(3)A delegation under this section does not prevent the exercise of a power or the performance of the function by the Minister.

(4)A copy of each instrument making, varying or revoking a delegation under this section shall be published in the Gazette.

[Section 25 amended: No. 13 of 2005 s. 16(1).]

Part III  Mining for petroleum, geothermal energy resources and geothermal energy

[Heading inserted: No. 35 of 2007 s. 17.]

Division 1 — Preliminary

26.Term used: State

In this Part the State means all that part of the State of Western Australia that is not comprised in the adjacent area as defined in the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982.

[Section 26 amended: No. 90 of 1987 s. 4.]

27.Graticulation of Earth’s surface and constitution of blocks

(1)For the purposes of this Act, the surface of the Earth shall be deemed to be divided —

(a)by the meridian of Greenwich and by meridians that are at a distance from that meridian of 5 minutes, or a multiple of 5 minutes, of longitude; and

(b)by the equator and by parallels of latitude that are at a distance from the equator of 5 minutes, or a multiple of 5 minutes, of latitude,

into sections, each of which is bounded —

(c)by portions of 2 of those meridians that are at a distance from each other of 5 minutes of longitude; and

(d)by portions of 2 of those parallels of latitude that are at a distance from each other of 5 minutes of latitude.

(2)For the purposes of this Act —

(a)a graticular section that is wholly within the State constitutes a block; and

(b)if a part only of a graticular section is, or parts only of a graticular section are, within the State, the area of that part, or of those parts, constitutes a block.

(3)In this Act —

(a)a reference to a block that is constituted by a graticular section includes a reference to a block that is constituted by the area of a part only, or by the areas of parts only, of a graticular section; and

(b)a reference to a graticular section that constitutes a block includes a reference to a graticular section part only of which constitutes, or parts only of which constitute, a block.

(4)Without limiting subsection (2) of section 8, a datum is to be prescribed by regulations referred to in that section for the purposes of the determination of the position on the surface of the Earth of a graticular section or a block (including a block constituted as provided by section 135).

[Section 27 amended: No. 54 of 2000 s. 7(3).]

28.Reservation of blocks

(1)The Minister may, by instrument published in the Gazette, declare that a block specified in the instrument (not being a block in respect of which a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum retention lease or petroleum production licence is in force) shall not be the subject of a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum retention lease, petroleum production licence, petroleum special prospecting authority or petroleum access authority.

(1a)The Minister may, by instrument published in the Gazette, declare that a block specified in the instrument (not being a block in respect of which a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal retention lease or geothermal production licence is in force) shall not be the subject of a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal retention lease, geothermal production licence, geothermal special prospecting authority or geothermal access authority.

(2)While a declaration under subsection (1) remains in force in respect of a block, a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum retention lease, petroleum production licence, petroleum special prospecting authority or petroleum access authority shall not be granted in respect of that block.

(3)While a declaration under subsection (1a) remains in force in respect of a block, a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal retention lease, geothermal production licence, geothermal special prospecting authority or geothermal access authority shall not be granted in respect of that block.

[Section 28 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 19; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 18.]

28A.Issue of permits etc. in marine reserves

(1)Before granting, renewing or extending a permit, drilling reservation, access authority, special prospecting authority, lease or licence in respect of any marine reserve, the Minister shall first notify the Minister for the time being charged with the administration of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984.

[(2)deleted]

(3)In this section —

marine reserve means a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area within the meaning of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984.

[Section 28A inserted: No. 5 of 1997 s. 43; amended: No. 17 of 1999 s. 22(3).]

Division 2 — Permits and drilling reservations

[Heading inserted: No. 78 of 1990 s. 5.]

29.Exploration for petroleum and geothermal energy resources restricted

(1)A person shall not explore for petroleum in the State except —

(a)under and in accordance with a petroleum exploration permit or a petroleum drilling reservation; or

(b)as otherwise permitted by this Act.

Penalty: a fine of $50 000 or imprisonment for 5 years, or both.

(2)A person shall not explore for geothermal energy resources in the State except —

(a)under and in accordance with a geothermal exploration permit or a geothermal drilling reservation; or

(b)as otherwise permitted by this Act.

Penalty: a fine of $50 000 or imprisonment for 5 years, or both.

(3)In this section —

explore for, in relation to petroleum or geothermal energy resources, includes to conduct any geophysical survey the data from which are intended for use in the search for petroleum or geothermal energy resources.

[Section 29 inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 20; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 6; No. 35 of 2007 s. 19; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(15).]

30.Advertisement of blocks

(1)The Minister may, by instrument published in the Gazette 

(a)invite applications for the grant of a permit in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument; and

(b)specify a period within which applications may be made.

(2)The Minister may, for reasons that he thinks sufficient, in an instrument under subsection (1), direct that subsection (2) or (3) of section 31 does not apply, or that both of those subsections do not apply, to or in relation to the applications.

[Section 30 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 21.]

31.Application for permit

(1)An application under section 30 or 105(3)(a)(ii) —

[(a)deleted]

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall be in respect of not more than —

(i)400 blocks, if the application relates to the exploration for petroleum; or

(ii)160 blocks, if the application relates to the exploration for geothermal energy resources;

and

(d)shall be accompanied by particulars of —

(i)the proposals of the applicant for work and expenditure in respect of the blocks specified in the application; and

(ii)the technical qualifications of the applicant and of his employees; and

(iii)the technical advice available to the applicant; and

(iv)the financial resources available to the applicant;

and

(e)may set out any other matters that the applicant wishes the Minister to consider; and

(f)shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(2)The number of blocks specified in the application —

(a)if 16 blocks or more are available — shall not be less than 16; or

(b)if less than 16 blocks are available — shall be the number available.

(3)The blocks specified in the application shall be blocks that are constituted by graticular sections that —

(a)constitute a single area; and

(b)are such that each graticular section in that area has a side in common with at least one other graticular section in that area.

(4)The Minister may, at any time, by instrument in writing served on the applicant, require him to furnish, within the time specified in the instrument, further information in writing in connection with his application.

[Section 31 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 22; No. 28 of 1994 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 20; No. 42 of 2010 s. 6.]

32A.More than one permit application for same block or blocks

(1)This section applies if —

(a)2 or more applications are made under section 30 for the grant of a petroleum exploration permit for the same block or blocks; or

(b)2 or more applications are made under section 30 for the grant of a geothermal exploration permit for the same block or blocks.

(2)The Minister may grant the permit to whichever applicant, in the Minister’s opinion, is most deserving of the grant of the permit, having regard to criteria made publicly available by the Minister.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2), the Minister may rank the applicants in the order in which they are deserving of the grant, the most deserving applicant being ranked highest.

(4)The Minister may exclude from the ranking any applicant that, in the Minister’s opinion, is not deserving of the grant of the permit.

(5)If the Minister is of the opinion that, after considering the information accompanying the applications, 2 or more of the applicants are equally deserving of the grant of the permit, the Minister may, by written notice served on each of those applicants, invite them to give to the Minister, within the period stated in the notice, particulars of the applicant’s proposals for additional work and expenditure in respect of the block or blocks specified in the application, being particulars that the Minister considers to be relevant in determining which of the applicants is most deserving of the grant of the permit.

(6)If any particulars are given by applicants to the Minister in accordance with the invitations contained in the notices served under subsection (5), the Minister shall have regard to the particulars in determining which of the applicants is most deserving of the grant of the permit.

[Section 32A inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 7.]

32.Grant or refusal of permit in relation to application

(1A)In sections 32, 33A and 33B —

permit application means an application for the grant of a permit made under section 30 or 105(3)(a)(ii).

(1)Where a permit application has been made, the Minister may —

(a)by instrument in writing served on the applicant inform the applicant that the Minister is prepared to grant to the applicant a permit in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument; or

(b)refuse to grant a permit to the applicant.

(2)An instrument under subsection (1) shall contain —

(a)a summary of the conditions subject to which the permit is to be granted; and

(b)a statement to the effect that the application will lapse if the applicant does not make a request under subsection (3) in respect of the grant of the permit.

(3)An applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) may, within a period of one month after the date of service of the instrument on him, or within such further period, not exceeding one month, as the Minister, on application in writing served on him before the expiration of the first‑mentioned period of one month, allows, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, request the Minister to grant to the applicant the permit referred to in the first‑mentioned instrument.

(4)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) has made a request under subsection (3) within the period applicable under subsection (3), the Minister shall grant to the applicant a petroleum exploration permit or a geothermal exploration permit, as the case requires, in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument.

(5)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) has not made a request under subsection (3) within the period applicable under subsection (3), the application lapses upon the expiration of that period.

[Section 32 amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 8; No. 35 of 2007 s. 21; No. 42 of 2010 s. 8.]

33A.Withdrawal of application

The person who has made, or all the persons who have jointly made, a permit application may, by written notice served on the Minister, withdraw the application at any time before the permit is granted.

[Section 33A inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 9.]

33B.Application continued after withdrawal of joint applicant

If —

(a)a permit application was a joint application; and

(b)all of the joint applicants, by written notice served on the Minister, inform the Minister that one or more, but not all, of them, as specified in the notice, withdraw from the application,

the following paragraphs have effect —

(c)the application continues in force as if it had been made by the remaining applicant or applicants;

(d)if the Minister had informed the joint applicants to the effect that the Minister was prepared to grant to the applicants a permit in respect of the block or blocks to which the application relates, the Minister is taken not to have informed the applicants to that effect.

[Section 33B inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 9.]

33C.Effect of withdrawal or lapse of s. 30 application

If —

(a)2 or more applications have been made under section 30 for the grant of a permit in respect of the same block or blocks; and

(b)one or more, but not all, of the applications are withdrawn or have lapsed,

the following paragraphs have effect —

(c)the withdrawn or lapsed applications are taken not to have been made;

(d)if the Minister had informed the applicant or one of the applicants whose application had been withdrawn or had lapsed to the effect that the Minister was prepared to grant to that applicant a permit in respect of the block or blocks to which the application related — the Minister is taken not to have informed the applicant or applicants to that effect;

(e)if the applicant or one of the applicants whose application had been withdrawn had requested the Minister under section 32(3) to grant a permit to the applicant concerned — the request is taken not to have been made;

(f)if the Minister had refused to grant a permit to the remaining applicant or to any of the remaining applicants — the refusal or refusals are taken not to have occurred.

[Section 33C inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 9.]

33.Application for permit in respect of surrendered etc. blocks

(1)Where —

(a)a petroleum retention lease is surrendered, cancelled or determined as to a block or blocks; or

(aa)a petroleum production licence is surrendered or cancelled as to a block or blocks; or

(b)a petroleum exploration permit is surrendered, cancelled or determined as to a block or blocks and, at the time of the surrender, cancellation or determination, the block was, or was included in, or the blocks were, or were included in, a location; or

(c)a petroleum pool from which petroleum has been recovered is within or extends to a block which is, or to blocks which are, not the subject of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence,

the Minister may, at any subsequent time, by instrument published in the Gazette, invite applications for the grant of a petroleum exploration permit in respect of that block or such of those blocks as are specified in the instrument and specify a period within which applications may be made.

(2)If —

(a)a geothermal retention lease is surrendered, cancelled or determined as to a block or blocks; or

(b)a geothermal production licence is surrendered or cancelled as to a block or blocks; or

(c)a geothermal exploration permit is surrendered, cancelled or determined as to a block or blocks and, at the time of the surrender, cancellation or determination, the block was, or was included in, or the blocks were, or were included in, a location; or

(d)a geothermal resources area from which geothermal energy has been recovered is within or extends to a block which is not, or to blocks which are not, the subject of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence,

the Minister may, at any subsequent time, by instrument published in the Gazette, invite applications for the grant of a geothermal exploration permit in respect of that block or such of those blocks as are specified in the instrument and specify a period within which applications may be made.

[(3)deleted]

(4)An application under this section —

[(a)deleted]

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall be accompanied by the particulars referred to in section 31(1)(d); and

(d)shall specify an amount that the applicant is prepared to pay to the Minister, in addition to the fee referred to in section 34(1)(a), in respect of the grant of a permit to him on the application; and

(e)may set out any other matters that the applicant wishes the Minister to consider.

(5)The Minister may, at any time, by instrument in writing served on the applicant, require him to furnish, within the time specified in the instrument, further information in writing in connection with his application.

[Section 33 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 23; No. 28 of 1994 s. 9; No. 35 of 2007 s. 22; No. 42 of 2010 s. 10.]

34.Application fee etc.

(1)An application under section 33 shall be accompanied by —

(a)the prescribed fee; and

(b)a deposit of 10% of the amount specified in the application under subsection (4)(d) of that section.

(2)Where a permit is not granted on the application, the amount of the deposit shall, subject to subsection (3), be refunded to the applicant.

(3)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under section 35 does not request the Minister, in accordance with section 36, to grant to him the permit referred to in the instrument, the deposit shall not be refunded to the applicant.

[Section 34 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 24; No. 42 of 2010 s. 11.]

35.Consideration of application

(1)Where, at the expiration of the period specified in an instrument under section 33(1) or (2), only one application has been made under that subsection in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument, the Minister may reject the application or may, by instrument in writing served on the applicant, inform the applicant that he is prepared to grant to him a permit in respect of that block or those blocks.

(2)Where, at the expiration of the period specified in an instrument under section 33(1) or (2), 2 or more applications have been made under that subsection in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument, the Minister may reject any or all of the applications and, if he does not reject all of the applications, may —

(a)if only one application remains unrejected — by instrument in writing served on the applicant; or

(b)if 2 or more applications remain unrejected — by instrument in writing served on the applicant, or on one of the applicants, whose application has not been rejected and who has specified as the amount that he is prepared to pay in respect of the grant of a permit to him an amount that is not less than the amount specified by any other applicant whose application has not been rejected,

inform him that he is prepared to grant to him a permit in respect of that block or those blocks.

[(3), (4)deleted]

(5)An instrument under this section shall contain —

(a)a summary of the conditions to which the permit is to be granted; and

(b)a statement to the effect that the application will lapse if the applicant does not —

(i)make a request under section 36(1); and

(ii)pay the balance of the amount to be paid in respect of the grant of the permit to the applicant.

[Section 35 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 25; No. 28 of 1994 s. 10; No. 35 of 2007 s. 23; No. 42 of 2010 s. 12.]

36.Request by applicant for grant of permit in respect of advertised block

(1)An applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under section 35 may, within a period of 3 months after the date of service of the instrument on him, or within such further period, not exceeding 3 months, as the Minister, on application in writing served on him before the expiration of the first‑mentioned period of 3 months, allows —

(a)by instrument in writing served on the Minister, request the Minister to grant to him the permit referred to in the first‑mentioned instrument; and

(b)pay the balance of the amount to be paid in respect of the grant of the permit to the applicant.

(2)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under section 35 —

(a)has not made a request under subsection (1); or

(b)has not paid the balance of the amount to be paid in respect of the grant of the permit to the applicant,

within the period applicable under subsection (1), the application lapses upon the expiration of that period.

(3)Where the application of an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under section 35(2) lapses as provided by subsection (2), section 35(2) applies in respect of the application or applications, if any, then remaining unrejected.

[Section 36 amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 11; No. 42 of 2010 s. 13.]

37.Grant of permit on request

Where a person on whom there has been served an instrument under section 35 —

(a)has made a request under subsection (1) of section 36; and

(b)has paid the balance of the amount to be paid in respect of the grant of a permit to the applicant,

within the period applicable under that subsection, the Minister shall grant to that person a petroleum exploration permit or a geothermal exploration permit, as the case requires, in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument.

[Section 37 amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 12; No. 35 of 2007 s. 24; No. 42 of 2010 s. 14.]

37A.Permit for 2 or more blocks may be divided into 2 or more permits

(1)Where a permit (in this section called the original permit) is in force in respect of 2 or more blocks (not being blocks that form, or form part of, a location), the permittee may make an application to the Minister for the grant to him of 2 or more petroleum exploration permits (if the original permit is a petroleum exploration permit) or 2 or more geothermal exploration permits (if the original permit is a geothermal exploration permit) in respect of the blocks the subject of the original permit in exchange for the original permit.

(2)An application under subsection (1) —

(a)shall be made in the approved form; and

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall specify the number of permits required; and

(d)shall specify the block or blocks the subject of the original permit in respect of which each permit is sought; and

(e)shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee; and

(f)shall be accompanied by particulars of the proposals of the applicant for work and expenditure in respect of the areas comprised in the block or blocks the subject of the original permit; and

(g)shall set out the reasons why the applicant is applying under this section, and any other matters that the applicant wishes the Minister to consider in relation to the application.

(3)Where an application has been made under subsection (1) the Minister may —

(a)grant to the permittee the permits in accordance with the application; or

(b)refuse to grant to the permittee the permits requested.

(4)A permit granted on an application under this section —

(a)remains in force, subject to this Part, for the remainder of the term of the original permit; and

(b)shall be granted subject to conditions corresponding as nearly as may be to the conditions to which the original permit was subject, and any other conditions that the Minister thinks fit and specifies in the permit in respect of the information referred to in subsection (2)(f); and

(c)shall be granted subject to any directions under this Act previously given to the holder of the original permit in respect of the permit area of the original permit; and

(d)shall be granted subject to any instruments and agreements in respect of the original permit a memorial of which is entered in the Register under section 70, insofar as such instruments and agreements apply to the permit, (or any such instruments and agreements which are in effect at the time that an application is granted under this section but in respect of which a memorial is not yet entered under that section).

(5)Where permits are granted on an application under this section —

(a)the original permit is, by force of this subsection, determined; and

(b)the determination has effect on and from the day on which those permits come into force.

[Section 37A inserted: No. 28 of 1994 s. 13; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 25.]

37B.Grant of boundary-change permit

(1)In this section —

section 27 block means —

(a)a block constituted as provided by section 27; or

(b)if a graticular section is wholly within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth permit concerned — the graticular section; or

(c)if a part only of a graticular section is within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth permit concerned — that part of the graticular section.

Note for this definition:

See also subsection (8).

(2)This section applies if —

(a)a Commonwealth permit has been granted on the basis that an area (the relevant area) is within the offshore area; and

(b)as a result of a change to the boundary of the offshore area, the relevant area —

(i)ceases to be within the offshore area; and

(ii)falls within the inshore area;

and

(c)either —

(i)the conditions set out in subsection (3) are satisfied; or

(ii)the conditions set out in subsection (4) are satisfied.

(3)The conditions mentioned in subsection (2)(c)(i) are —

(a)one or more, but not all, of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth permit immediately before the change are in the relevant area; and

(b)the Commonwealth permit subsequently ceases to be in force at the same time (the relevant time) —

(i)as to all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth permit immediately before the change and that are in the offshore area; and

(ii)otherwise than as the result of the cancellation or surrender of the Commonwealth permit.

(4)The conditions mentioned in subsection (2)(c)(ii) are —

(a)all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth permit immediately before the change are in the relevant area; and

(b)the Commonwealth permit subsequently ceases to be in force at the same time (the relevant time) —

(i)as to all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth permit immediately before the change; and

(ii)otherwise than as the result of the cancellation or surrender of the Commonwealth permit.

(5)If —

(a)assuming that —

(i)the change to the boundary of the offshore area had not occurred; and

(ii)the relevant area had remained in the offshore area,

the holder of the Commonwealth permit would have been entitled to apply under the Commonwealth Act for the renewal of the Commonwealth permit in relation to all of the section 27 blocks that are —

(iii)covered by the Commonwealth permit; and

(iv)in the relevant area;

and

(b)there are one or more section 27 blocks (the relevant section 27 blocks) that —

(i)correspond to the section 27 blocks covered by paragraph (a); and

(ii)are in the inshore area; and

(iii)are not the subject of a variation under section 97A,

the Minister is taken —

(c)to have granted the holder of the Commonwealth permit a petroleum exploration permit over those relevant section 27 blocks; and

(d)to have done so immediately after the relevant time mentioned in whichever of subsection (3) or (4) is applicable.

Note for this subsection:

For the duration of the petroleum exploration permit, see section 39(1A).

(6)If —

(a)assuming that —

(i)the change to the boundary of the offshore area had not occurred; and

(ii)the relevant area had remained in the offshore area,

the holder of the Commonwealth permit would not have been entitled to apply under the Commonwealth Act for the renewal of the Commonwealth permit in relation to all of the section 27 blocks that are —

(iii)covered by the Commonwealth permit; and

(iv)in the relevant area;

and

(b)there are one or more section 27 blocks (the relevant section 27 blocks) that —

(i)correspond to the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth permit immediately before the change; and

(ii)are in the inshore area; and

(iii)are not the subject of a variation under section 97A,

the Minister is taken —

(c)to have granted the holder of the Commonwealth permit a petroleum exploration permit over those relevant section 27 blocks; and

(d)to have done so immediately after the relevant time mentioned in whichever of subsection (3) or (4) is applicable.

Note for this subsection:

For the duration of the petroleum exploration permit, see section 39(1B).

(7)For the purposes of subsections (5) and (6), the following provisions of the Commonwealth Act are to be disregarded —

(a)the standard halving rules in section 123 of that Act;

(b)the modified halving rules in section 124 of that Act;

(c)a provision of a kind specified in the regulations.

(8)If, after the change to the boundary of the offshore area —

(a)a part of a section 27 block that was covered by the Commonwealth permit immediately before the change is in the offshore area; and

(b)the remaining part of the section 27 block is in the inshore area,

then, for the purposes of this section (other than this subsection), each of those parts is taken to constitute, and to have always constituted, a section 27 block.

(9)An assumption in subsection (5)(a) or (6)(a) does not affect subsection (8).

[Section 37B inserted: No. 7 of 2017 s. 8.]

38.Rights conferred by permit

(1)A petroleum exploration permit, while it remains in force, authorises the permittee, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the permit is subject, to explore for petroleum, and to carry on such operations and execute such works as are necessary for that purpose, in the permit area.

(2)A geothermal exploration permit, while it remains in force, authorises the permittee, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the permit is subject —

(a)to explore for geothermal energy resources in the permit area; and

(b)to recover geothermal energy in the permit area for the purpose of establishing the nature and probable extent of a discovery of geothermal energy resources; and

(c)to carry on such operations and execute such works in the permit area as are necessary for those purposes.

[Section 38 amended: No. 13 of 2005 s. 16(2); No. 35 of 2007 s. 26.]

39.Term of permit

(1)Subject to this Part, a permit remains in force —

(a)in the case of a permit granted otherwise than by way of the renewal of a permit — for a period of 6 years commencing on the day on which the permit is granted or, if a later day is specified in the permit as being the day on which the permit is to come into force, on that later day; and

(b)in the case of a permit granted by way of the renewal of a permit — for a period of 5 years commencing on the day on which the permit is granted or, if a later day is specified in the permit as being the day on which the permit is to come into force, on that later day.

(1A)Subject to this Part, a boundary-change permit granted under section 37B(5) remains in force for a period of 5 years commencing on the day on which the permit is granted.

(1B)Subject to this Part, a boundary-change permit granted under section 37B(6) remains in force for a period of 12 months commencing on the day on which the permit is granted.

(2)If —

(a)a permit in respect of a block or blocks cannot be renewed or further renewed; and

(b)before the time when the permit would, apart from this subsection, expire, the permittee has duly made an application to the Minister for the grant of a lease or licence in respect of the block, or one or more of the blocks, being a block or blocks that are included in a location,

the permit continues in force in respect of the block or blocks to which the application relates until —

(c)if the Minister tells the permittee that the Minister is prepared to grant to the permittee a lease or licence in respect of the block, or one or more of the blocks — such a lease or licence is granted, the permittee withdraws the application or the application lapses; or

(d)if the Minister decides not to grant to the permittee such a lease — the end of the period of one year after the day of the service under section 48B(2) or (3A) of the instrument or notice refusing to grant the lease; or

(e)if the Minister decides not to grant the permittee such a licence — notice of the decision is served on the permittee.

[Section 39 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 26; No. 28 of 1994 s. 14; No. 42 of 2010 s. 15; No. 7 of 2017 s. 9.]

40.Application for renewal of permit

(1)Subject to sections 41, 42A and 42B, a permittee may, from time to time, make an application to the Minister for the renewal of the permit in respect of such of the blocks the subject of the permit as are specified in the application.

(2)An application for the renewal of the permit —

[(a)deleted]

(b)subject to subsection (3), shall be made in an approved manner not less than 3 months before the date of expiration of the permit; and

(c)shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3)The Minister may, for reasons that he thinks sufficient, receive an application for the renewal of the permit less than 3 months before, but not in any case after, the date of expiration of the permit.

[Section 40 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 27; No. 42 of 2010 s. 16; No. 7 of 2017 s. 10.]

41.Application for renewal of permit to be in respect of reduced area

(1)Subject to subsections (3), (4) and (5), the number of blocks in respect of which an application for the renewal of a permit may be made shall not exceed the number calculated as follows —

(a)where the number of blocks in respect of which the permit is in force is a number that is divisible by 2 without remainder, half of that number; or

(b)where the number of blocks in respect of which the permit is in force is a number that is one less or one more than a number that is divisible by 4 without remainder, half of that last‑mentioned number.

(2)A block that is, or is included in, a location and in respect of which a permit is in force shall not be regarded as a block in respect of which the permit is in force for the purpose of making a calculation under subsection (1).

(3)An application for the renewal of a permit may include, in addition to the blocks referred to in subsection (1), a block that is, or is included in, a location and in respect of which the permit is in force, or 2 or more such blocks.

(4)If a permit is in force in respect of 5 or 6 blocks, an application may be made for the renewal of the permit in respect of one, 2, 3 or 4 of those blocks.

(5)Subject to subsection (6) —

(a)if a permit is in force in respect of 4 blocks, an application may be made for the renewal of the permit in respect of one, 2, 3 or all of those blocks;

(b)if a permit is in force in respect of 3 blocks, an application may be made for the renewal of the permit in respect of one, 2 or all of those blocks;

(c)if a permit is in force in respect of 2 blocks, an application may be made for the renewal of the permit in respect of either or both of those blocks;

(d)an application may be made for the renewal of a permit that is in force in respect of one block.

(6)Despite sections 40(1) and 42, if a permit has been renewed as a result of an application referred to in subsection (5) —

(a)the permittee is not entitled to apply for a further renewal of the permit; and

(b)the Minister cannot grant a further renewal of the permit.

(7)Subsections (1) to (5) do not apply to an application for the renewal of a permit if —

(a)the permit was granted on the basis that an area (the relevant area) was within the inshore area; and

(b)as a result of a change to the boundary of the offshore area, the relevant area —

(i)ceased to be within the inshore area; and

(ii)fell within the offshore area;

and

(c)immediately before the change, the relevant area was a part of the permit area.

(8)For the purposes of subsection (7) —

(a)section 6A is to be disregarded; and

(b)it is immaterial whether the change occurred before, at or after the commencement day.

(9)In subsection (8)(b) —

commencement day means the day on which the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Act 2017 section 11 comes into operation.

[Section 41 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 28; No. 28 of 1994 s. 15; No. 42 of 2010 s. 17; No. 7 of 2017 s. 11.]

42A.Certain permits cannot be renewed more than twice

(1)This section applies to a permit if —

(a)the permit was granted under section 32 —

(i)on or after the day of the coming into operation of the Petroleum and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 2010 section 18 (the commencement day); and

(ii)as a result of an application made in response to an invitation in an instrument that was published under section 30(1) on or after the commencement day;

or

(b)the permit was granted under section 37 on or after the commencement day.

(2)Despite sections 40(1) and 42, if a permit to which this section applies has been renewed twice —

(a)the permittee is not entitled to apply for a further renewal of the permit; and

(b)the Minister cannot grant a further renewal of the permit.

[Section 42A inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 18.]

42B.Limits on renewal of boundary-change permits

(1)If —

(a)a boundary-change permit is granted under section 37B(5); and

(b)the relevant Commonwealth permit that ceases to be in force, as mentioned in section 37B(3)(b) or (4)(b), was granted otherwise than by way of renewal,

then —

(c)section 41 applies to an application for the renewal of the boundary-change permit; and

(d)an application must not be made for the renewal of the boundary-change permit if the Minister has previously granted a renewal of the permit.

(2)If —

(a)a boundary-change permit is granted under section 37B(5); and

(b)the relevant Commonwealth permit that ceases to be in force, as mentioned in section 37B(3)(b) or (4)(b), was granted by way of renewal,

an application must not be made for the renewal of the boundary-change permit.

(3)If a boundary-change permit is granted under section 37B(6), an application must not be made for the renewal of the permit.

[Section 42B inserted: No. 7 of 2017 s. 12.]

42.Grant or refusal of renewal of permit

(1)Where an application has been made under section 40 for the renewal of a permit, the Minister —

(a)shall, if the conditions to which the permit is, or has from time to time been, subject and the provisions of this Part and of the regulations have been complied with; or

(b)may, if —

(i)any of the conditions to which the permit is, or has from time to time been, subject or any of the provisions of this Part and the regulations has not been complied with; and

(ii)the Minister is nevertheless satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the granting of the renewal of the permit,

by instrument in writing served on the person who is then the permittee inform the person that the Minister is prepared to grant to the permittee the renewal of the permit.

(2)If any of the conditions to which the permit is, or has from time to time been, subject or any of the provisions of this Part and of the regulations has not been complied with and if the Minister is not satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the granting of the renewal of the permit, the Minister shall, subject to subsection (3), by instrument in writing served on the person who is then the permittee, refuse to grant to that person the renewal of the permit.

(3)The Minister shall not refuse to grant the renewal of the permit unless —

(a)he has, by instrument in writing served on the permittee, given not less than one month’s notice of his intention to refuse to grant the renewal of the permit; and

(b)he has served a copy of the instrument on such other persons, if any, as he thinks fit; and

(c)he has, in the instrument —

(i)given particulars of the reasons for the intention; and

(ii)specified a date on or before which the permittee or a person on whom a copy of the instrument is served may, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, submit any matters that he wishes the Minister to consider;

and

(d)he has taken into account any matters so submitted to him on or before the specified date by the permittee or by a person on whom a copy of the first‑mentioned instrument has been served.

(4)An instrument referred to in subsection (1) shall contain —

(a)a summary of the conditions to which the permit, on the grant of the renewal, is to be subject; and

(b)a statement to the effect that the application will lapse if the permittee does not make a request under subsection (5).

(5)A permittee on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) may, within a period of one month after the date of service of the instrument on him, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, request the Minister to grant to the permittee the renewal of the permit.

(6)Where a permittee on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) has made a request under subsection (5) within the period referred to in subsection (5), the Minister shall grant to him the renewal of the permit.

(7)Where a permittee on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) has not made a request under subsection (5) within the period referred to in subsection (5), the application lapses upon the expiration of that period.

(8)Where —

(a)an application for the renewal of a permit has been made; and

(b)the permit expires —

(i)before the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the renewal of the permit; or

(ii)before the application lapses as provided by subsection (7),

the permit shall be deemed to continue in force in all respects —

(c)until the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the renewal of the permit; or

(d)until the application so lapses,

whichever first happens.

[Section 42 amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 16.]

43.Conditions of permit

(1)A permit may be granted subject to such conditions as the Minister thinks fit and specifies in the permit.

(1A)Subsection (1) does not apply to a boundary-change permit.

(2)The conditions referred to in subsection (1) may include conditions with respect to work to be carried out by the permittee in or in relation to the permit area during the term of the permit, or amounts to be expended by the permittee in the carrying out of such work, or conditions with respect to both of those matters, including conditions requiring the permittee to comply with directions given in accordance with the permit concerning those matters.

(3)The Minister may, by written notice given to the permittee, vary a boundary-change permit by imposing one or more conditions to which the permit is subject.

(4)A notice under subsection (3) may only be given within 14 days after the grant of the boundary-change permit.

(5)A variation under subsection (3) takes effect on the day on which notice of the variation is given to the permittee.

(6)If, when a boundary-change permit is granted, the relevant Commonwealth permit that ceases to be in force, as mentioned in section 37B(3)(b) or (4)(b), is of a kind that corresponds to a petroleum exploration permit granted under section 32(4) or 37, any or all of the conditions mentioned in subsection (7) may be specified in —

(a)the boundary-change permit; or

(b)a permit granted by way of the renewal of the boundary-change permit.

(7)The following conditions are specified for the purposes of subsection (6) —

(a)conditions requiring the permittee to carry out work in, or in relation to, the permit area (including conditions requiring the permittee to carry out the work during a period of 12 months or longer, or during periods each of which is 12 months or longer);

(b)conditions relating to the amounts that the permittee must spend in carrying out such work;

(c)conditions requiring the permittee to comply with directions that —

(i)relate to the matters covered by paragraphs (a) and (b); and

(ii)are given in accordance with the permit.

(8)Subsection (6) does not limit subsection (3).

(9)If —

(a)a boundary-change permit is granted; and

(b)the relevant Commonwealth permit that ceases to be in force, as mentioned in section 37B(3)(b) or (4)(b), is a cash‑bid petroleum exploration permit, as defined in the Commonwealth Act section 7,

the conditions mentioned in subsection (10) must not be specified in —

(c)the boundary-change permit; or

(d)a permit granted by way of the renewal of the boundary-change permit.

(10)The following conditions are specified for the purposes of subsection (9) —

(a)conditions requiring the permittee to carry out work in, or in relation to, the permit area;

(b)conditions requiring the permittee to spend particular amounts on the carrying out of work in, or in relation to, the permit area.

[Section 43 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 29; No. 7 of 2017 s. 13.]

43A.Advertisement of blocks for drilling reservations

(1)The Minister may, by instrument published in the Gazette 

(a)invite applications for the grant of a drilling reservation in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument; and

(b)specify the period within which applications may be made.

(2)Applications for the grant of a petroleum drilling reservation shall not be invited under subsection (1) over any area that is included in an existing petroleum exploration permit or an application for a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum lease or petroleum production licence.

(2a)Applications for the grant of a geothermal drilling reservation shall not be invited under subsection (1) over any area that is included in an existing geothermal exploration permit or an application for a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal lease or geothermal production licence.

(3)The Minister may, for reasons that the Minister thinks sufficient, in an instrument published under subsection (1), direct that no application fee is payable with respect to the applications.

[Section 43A inserted: No. 78 of 1990 s. 6; amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 17; No. 35 of 2007 s. 27.]

43B.Application for drilling reservation

(1)An application under section 43A or 105(3)(a)(ii) —

[(a)deleted]

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall be in respect to a block or blocks containing potential sites of petroleum deposits or geothermal energy resources, as the case requires; and

(d)shall be accompanied by particulars of —

(i)the proposals of the applicant for the drilling of a well or wells and other work in respect of the block or blocks specified in the application; and

(ii)the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the employees of the applicant; and

(iii)the technical advice available to the applicant; and

(iv)a statement as to the size and configuration of the potential petroleum deposit or geothermal energy resources, as the case requires and a geological prognosis of the well; and

(v)a statement of the approximate time of the completion of the well; and

(vi)the financial resources available to the applicant;

and

(e)may set out any other matters that the applicant wishes the Minister to consider; and

(f)subject to section 43A(3), shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(2)The number of blocks specified in the application shall be not less than one.

(3)If more than one block is available the blocks specified in the application shall be blocks that are constituted by graticular section that —

(a)constitute a single area; and

(b)are such that each graticular section in that area has a side in common with at least one other graticular section in that area.

(4)The Minister may, at any time, by instrument in writing served on the applicant, require him to furnish, within the time specified in the instrument, further information in writing in connection with his application.

[Section 43B inserted: No. 78 of 1990 s. 6; amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 18; No. 35 of 2007 s. 28; No. 42 of 2010 s. 19.]

43CA.More than one drilling reservation application for same block or blocks

(1)This section applies if —

(a)2 or more applications are made under section 43A for the grant of a petroleum drilling reservation for the same block or blocks; or

(b)2 or more applications are made under section 43A for the grant of a geothermal drilling reservation for the same block or blocks.

(2)The Minister may grant the drilling reservation to whichever applicant, in the Minister’s opinion, is most deserving of the grant of the drilling reservation, having regard to criteria made publicly available by the Minister.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2), the Minister may rank the applicants in the order in which they are deserving of the grant, the most deserving applicant being ranked highest.

(4)The Minister may exclude from the ranking any applicant that, in the Minister’s opinion, is not deserving of the grant of the drilling reservation.

(5)If the Minister is of the opinion that, after considering the information accompanying the applications, 2 or more of the applicants are equally deserving of the grant of the drilling reservation, the Minister may, by written notice served on each of those applicants, invite them to give to the Minister, within the period stated in the notice, particulars of the applicant’s proposals for additional work and expenditure in respect of the block or blocks specified in the application, being particulars that the Minister considers to be relevant in determining which of the applicants is most deserving of the grant of the drilling reservation.

(6)If any particulars are given by applicants to the Minister in accordance with the invitations contained in the notices served under subsection (5), the Minister shall have regard to the particulars in determining which of the applicants is most deserving of the grant of the drilling reservation.

[Section 43CA inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 20.]

43C.Grant or refusal in relation to applications for drilling reservations

(1)Where an application has been made under section 43B or 105(3)(a)(ii), the Minister may —

(a)by instrument in writing served on the applicant, inform the applicant that the Minister is prepared to grant to the applicant a drilling reservation in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument; or

(b)refuse to grant a drilling reservation to the applicant.

(2)An instrument under subsection (1) shall contain —

(a)a summary of the conditions subject to which the drilling reservation is granted; and

(b)a statement to the effect that the application will lapse if the applicant does not make a request under subsection (3) in respect of the grant of the drilling reservation.

(3)An applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) may, within a period of one month after the date of the service of the instrument on the applicant, or within such further period, not exceeding one month, as the Minister, on application in writing served on the Minister before the expiration of the first‑mentioned period of one month, allows, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, request the Minister to grant to the applicant the drilling reservation referred to in the first‑mentioned instrument.

(4)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) has made a request under subsection (3) within the period applicable under subsection (3), the Minister shall grant to the applicant a drilling reservation in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument.

(5)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) has not made a request under subsection (3) within the period applicable under subsection (3), the application lapses upon the expiration of that period.

[Section 43C inserted: No. 78 of 1990 s. 6; amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 19.]

43DA.Withdrawal of application

(1)In this section and section 43DB —

drilling reservation application means an application for the grant of a drilling reservation made under section 43A or 105(3)(a)(ii).

(2)The person who has made, or all the persons who have jointly made, a drilling reservation application may, by written notice served on the Minister, withdraw the application at any time before the drilling reservation is granted.

[Section 43DA inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 21.]

43DB.Application continued after withdrawal of joint applicant

If —

(a)a drilling reservation application was a joint application; and

(b)all of the joint applicants, by written notice served on the Minister, inform the Minister that one or more, but not all, of them, as specified in the notice, withdraw from the application,

the following paragraphs have effect —

(c)the application continues in force as if it had been made by the remaining applicant or applicants;

(d)if the Minister had informed the joint applicants to the effect that the Minister was prepared to grant to the applicants a drilling reservation in respect of the block or blocks to which the application relates, the Minister is taken not to have informed the applicants to that effect.

[Section 43DB inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 21.]

43DC.Effect of withdrawal or lapse of s. 43A application

If —

(a)2 or more applications have been made under section 43A for the grant of a drilling reservation in respect of the same block or blocks; and

(b)one or more, but not all, of the applications are withdrawn or have lapsed,

the following paragraphs have effect —

(c)the withdrawn or lapsed applications are taken not to have been made;

(d)if the Minister had informed the applicant or one of the applicants whose application had been withdrawn or had lapsed to the effect that the Minister was prepared to grant to that applicant a drilling reservation in respect of the block or blocks to which the application related — the Minister is taken not to have informed the applicant or applicants to that effect;

(e)if the applicant or one of the applicants whose application had been withdrawn had requested the Minister under section 43C(3) to grant a drilling reservation to the applicant concerned — the request is taken not to have been made;

(f)if the Minister had refused to grant a drilling reservation to the remaining applicant or to any of the remaining applicants — the refusal or refusals are taken not to have occurred.

[Section 43DC inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 21.]

43D.Rights conferred by drilling reservation

(1)A petroleum drilling reservation, while it remains in force, authorises the holder of the drilling reservation, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the drilling reservation is subject, to drill for petroleum, and to carry on such operations and execute such works as are necessary for that purpose, in the drilling reservation area.

(2)A geothermal drilling reservation, while it remains in force, authorises the holder of the drilling reservation, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the drilling reservation is subject —

(a)to drill for geothermal energy resources in the drilling reservation area; and

(b)to recover geothermal energy in the drilling reservation area for the purpose of establishing the nature and probable extent of a discovery of geothermal energy resources; and

(c)to carry on such operations and execute such works in the drilling reservation area as are necessary for those purposes.

[Section 43D inserted: No. 78 of 1990 s. 6; amended: No. 13 of 2005 s. 16(2); No. 35 of 2007 s. 29.]

43E.Term of drilling reservation

(1)A drilling reservation is effective from the day on which the drilling reservation is granted or such later date as is specified by the Minister.

(2)Subject to section 43F, a drilling reservation is effective for such period, not exceeding 3 years, as is specified by the Minister commencing from the day from which it is effective under subsection (1).

[Section 43E inserted: No. 78 of 1990 s. 6; amended: No. 17 of 1999 s. 25.]

43F.Extension of term of drilling reservation

(1)The holder of a drilling reservation may, before the expiry of the drilling reservation, apply to the Minister for the extension of the period for which the drilling reservation is effective.

(2)An extension of the period for which a drilling reservation is effective shall not be granted unless the holder of the drilling reservation has drilled or is in the course of drilling a well to the depth specified in the instrument issued under section 43C in relation to the grant of the drilling reservation and has submitted a report to the Minister in relation to the well.

(2a)An extension of the period for which a drilling reservation is effective shall not be granted if that period has previously been extended under this section.

(3)An application under subsection (1) shall be accompanied by —

[(a)deleted]

(b)a statement of each type of work carried out on the drilling reservation; and

(c)a statement of the reasons for the extension of the drilling reservation; and

(d)the prescribed fee.

(4)For the purposes of this section no account shall be taken of any delay arising from any assignment of interests in the drilling reservation.

(5)Subject to subsections (2) and (2a), where —

(a)an application has been made under subsection (1); and

(b)the conditions to which the drilling reservation is, or has from time to time been, subject, and the provisions of this Part and the regulations, have been complied with,

the Minister shall grant an extension of a drilling reservation for a period of 12 months commencing from the expiration of the period for which the drilling reservation is effective.

(6)Where —

(a)under subsection (1) an application for an extension of the period for which a drilling reservation is effective has been made; and

(b)the period for which the drilling reservation is effective expires before the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the extension referred to in paragraph (a),

the drilling reservation shall be deemed to continue in force in all respects until the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the extension applied for.

[Section 43F inserted: No. 78 of 1990 s. 6; amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 20; No. 17 of 1999 s. 26(1)‑(4).]

44.Discovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources to be notified etc.

(1)Where petroleum is discovered in a petroleum permit area or petroleum drilling reservation, as the case may be, the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires —

(a)shall forthwith inform the Minister of the discovery; and

(b)shall, within a period of 3 days after the date of the discovery, furnish to the Minister particulars in writing of the discovery.

(1a)If geothermal energy resources are discovered in a geothermal permit area or geothermal drilling reservation, the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires —

(a)shall forthwith inform the Minister of the discovery; and

(b)shall, within a period of 3 days after the date of the discovery, furnish to the Minister particulars in writing of the discovery.

(1b)If —

(a)petroleum is discovered in a geothermal permit area or geothermal drilling reservation; or

(b)geothermal energy resources are discovered in a petroleum permit area or petroleum drilling reservation,

the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, shall, within a period of 3 days after the date of the discovery, furnish to the Minister particulars in writing of the discovery.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (1), (1a) or (1b): a fine of $10 000.

[(2)deleted]

[Section 44 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 30; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 30; No. 42 of 2010 s. 22.]

[45.Deleted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 23.]

46.Nomination of blocks as location

(1)Where a petroleum pool is identified in a petroleum permit area or petroleum drilling reservation, the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, may nominate the block in which the pool is situated, or the blocks (being blocks within the permit area or drilling reservation) to which the pool extends, for declaration as a location.

(1a)If a geothermal resources area is identified in a geothermal permit area or geothermal drilling reservation, the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, may nominate the block in which the geothermal resources area is situated, or the blocks (being blocks within the permit area or drilling reservation) to which the geothermal resources area extends, for declaration as a location.

(2)Where 2 or more petroleum pools are identified in a petroleum permit area or petroleum drilling reservation, the permittee or holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, may, instead of making a nomination under subsection (1) in relation to each pool, nominate all of the blocks to which the pools extend, or to which any 2 or more of the pools extend, for declaration as a single location.

(2a)If 2 or more geothermal resources areas are identified in a geothermal permit area or geothermal drilling reservation, the permittee or holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, may, instead of making a nomination under subsection (1a) in relation to each geothermal resources area, nominate all of the blocks to which the geothermal resources areas extend, or to which any 2 or more of the geothermal resources areas extend, for declaration as a single location.

(3)A nomination may not be made under subsection (2) or (2a) unless, in the case of each of the pools or geothermal resources areas to which the nomination relates, at least one of the blocks to which the pool or geothermal resources area extends immediately adjoins a block to which the other, or another, of those pools or geothermal resources areas extends.

(4)A nomination by a permittee or holder of a drilling reservation shall be in writing and served on the Minister.

(5)A nomination may not be made by a permittee or holder of a drilling reservation unless the permittee or holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, or another person has, whether within or outside the permit area or drilling reservation, recovered petroleum from the petroleum pool, or geothermal energy from the geothermal resources area, to which the nomination relates or, if the nomination relates to more than one pool or geothermal resources area, from each of those pools or geothermal resources areas.

(6)Where —

(a)the Minister is of the opinion that a permittee or a holder of a drilling reservation is entitled to nominate a block or blocks under subsection (1), (1a), (2) or (2a); and

(b)the permittee or a holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, has not done so,

the Minister may require the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, to exercise his or her right to nominate the block or blocks within 3 months after the date of the making of the requirement.

(7)A requirement by the Minister under subsection (6) shall be by written notice served on the permittee or holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires.

(8)On written request by a permittee or holder of a drilling reservation within the period fixed by subsection (6), the Minister may extend the time for compliance with a requirement under that subsection by not more than 3 months.

(9)If a permittee or the holder of a drilling reservation, as the case requires, fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (6), the Minister may, by written notice served on the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, nominate the block or blocks for declaration as a location.

[Section 46 inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 32; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 32 (correction to reprint in Gazette 23 Jun 2009 p. 2470).]

47.Declaration of location

(1A)In this section —

section 27 block means —

(a)a block constituted as provided by section 27; or

(b)if a graticular section is wholly within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth permit concerned — the graticular section; or

(c)if a part only of a graticular section is within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth permit concerned — that part of the graticular section.

(1)Where —

(a)a permittee or holder of a drilling reservation has made a nomination under section 46; and

(b)the Minister is of the opinion that the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, is entitled under that section to nominate the block or blocks specified in the nomination,

the Minister shall, by notice published in the Gazette, declare the block or blocks to which the nomination relates to be a location.

(2)Where the Minister has made a nomination under section 46(9), the Minister shall, by notice published in the Gazette, declare the block or blocks to which the nomination relates to be a location.

(2A)Subsection (2B) applies if —

(a)a boundary-change permit is granted over one or more section 27 blocks; and

(b)immediately before the grant, those section 27 blocks were, or were part of, a location as defined in the Commonwealth Act section 7; and

(c)apart from this subsection, those section 27 blocks are not, and are not part of, a location as defined in section 5 of this Act.

(2B)The Minister is taken —

(a)to have declared those section 27 blocks to be a location; and

(b)to have done so immediately after the grant.

(2C)Subsection (2D) applies if —

(a)a permit is varied under section 97A so as to include in the permit area one or more section 27 blocks; and

(b)immediately before the variation, those section 27 blocks were, or were part of, a location as defined in the Commonwealth Act section 7; and

(c)apart from this subsection, those section 27 blocks are not, and are not part of, a location as defined in section 5 of this Act.

(2D)The Minister is taken —

(a)to have declared those section 27 blocks to be a location; and

(b)to have done so immediately after the variation.

(3)The Minister may, at the request of the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, revoke a declaration.

(4)The Minister may vary a declaration that relates to petroleum by —

(a)adding to the location a block in the permit area or drilling reservation, as the case requires, to which, in the opinion of the Minister, a petroleum pool within the location extends; or

(b)deleting from the location a block to which, in the opinion of the Minister, no petroleum pool within the location extends.

(4a)The Minister may vary a declaration that relates to geothermal energy resources by —

(a)adding to the location a block in the permit area or drilling reservation, as the case requires, to which, in the opinion of the Minister, a geothermal resources area within the location extends; or

(b)deleting from the location a block to which, in the opinion of the Minister, no geothermal resources area within the location extends.

(5)The Minister may not vary a declaration unless —

(a)the Minister has caused to be served on the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, notice in writing of the proposed variation, identifying the block to be added to, or deleted from, the location; and

(b)the period of 30 days after the date of service of the notice has expired; and

(c)the Minister has considered any matters submitted to him by the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, in relation to the proposed variation.

(6)Subsection (5) does not apply where a variation is made at the request of the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires.

(7)The Minister may form an opinion for the purposes of this section if the Minister considers that there are reasonable grounds for forming the opinion having regard to any information in the Minister’s possession, whether provided by the permittee or otherwise.

[Section 47 inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 32; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 33; No. 42 of 2010 s. 24; No. 7 of 2017 s. 14.]

48.Immediately adjoining blocks

For the purposes of section 46, a block immediately adjoins another block if the graticular section that constitutes or includes that block and the graticular section that constitutes or includes that other block —

(a)have a side in common; or

(b)are joined together at one point only.

[Section 48 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 33.]

Division 2A — Retention leases

[Heading inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 34.]

48A.Application by permittee or holder of drilling reservation for lease

(1)A permittee whose petroleum exploration permit is in force, or, the holder of a drilling reservation whose petroleum drilling reservation is in force, in respect of a block that constitutes, or the blocks that constitute, a location may, within the application period, make an application to the Minister for the grant of a petroleum retention lease in respect of that block, or in respect of one or more of those blocks, as the case may be.

(1a)A permittee whose geothermal exploration permit is in force, or the holder of a drilling reservation whose geothermal drilling reservation is in force, in respect of a block that constitutes, or the blocks that constitute, a location may, within the application period, make an application to the Minister for the grant of a geothermal retention lease in respect of that block, or in respect of one or more of those blocks, as the case may be.

(2)An application under subsection (1) or (1a) —

[(a)deleted]

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall be accompanied by particulars of —

(i)the proposals of the applicant for work and expenditure in respect of the area comprised in the blocks specified in the application; and

(ii)the commercial viability of the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy, as the case requires, from the area comprised in the blocks specified in the application at the time of the application, and particulars of the possible future commercial viability of the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy from that area;

and

(d)may set out any other matters that the applicant wishes to be considered; and

(e)shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3)The Minister may, at any time, by instrument in writing served on the applicant, require the applicant to furnish, within the time specified in the instrument, further information in writing in connection with the application.

(4)The application period in respect of an application under this section by a permittee or the holder of a drilling reservation is —

(a)the period of 2 years after the date on which the block that constitutes the location concerned was, or the blocks that constitute the location concerned were, declared to be a location; or

(b)such other period, not less than 2 years or more than 4 years after that date, as the Minister, on application in writing by the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, served on the Minister before the end of the first‑mentioned period of 2 years, allows.

[Section 48A inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 35; No. 42 of 2010 s. 25.]

48B.Grant or refusal of lease in relation to application

(1)If —

(a)an application has been made under section 48A(1); and

(b)the applicant has furnished any further information as and when required by the Minister under section 48A(3); and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that —

(i)the area comprised in the block, or any one or more of the blocks, specified in the application contains petroleum; and

(ii)the recovery of petroleum from that area is not, at the time of the application, commercially viable, but is likely to become commercially viable within the period of 15 years after that time,

the Minister shall, by written notice served on the applicant, inform the applicant that the Minister is prepared to grant to the applicant a petroleum retention lease in respect of the block or blocks as to which the Minister is satisfied as mentioned in paragraph (c).

(2A)If —

(a)an application has been made under section 48A(1a); and

(b)the applicant has furnished any further information as and when required by the Minister under section 48A(3); and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that —

(i)the area comprised in the block, or any one or more of the blocks, specified in the application contains geothermal energy resources; and

(ii)the recovery of geothermal energy from that area is not, at the time of the application, commercially viable, but is likely to become commercially viable within the period of 15 years after that time,

the Minister shall, by written notice served on the applicant, inform the applicant that the Minister is prepared to grant to the applicant a geothermal retention lease in respect of the block or blocks as to which the Minister is satisfied as mentioned in paragraph (c).

(2)Where an application has been made under section 48A and —

(a)the applicant has not furnished any further information as and when required by the Minister under section 48A(3); or

(b)the Minister is not satisfied as to the matters referred to in subsection (1)(c) or (2A)(c), whichever is applicable, in relation to the block, or all the blocks, specified in the application,

the Minister shall, by instrument in writing served on the applicant, refuse to grant a lease to the applicant.

(3A)If —

(a)an application has been made under section 48A specifying 2 or more blocks; and

(b)the Minister is not satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1)(c) or (2A)(c), whichever is applicable, in relation to one or more, but not all, of the blocks,

the Minister shall, by notice in writing served on the applicant, refuse to grant a lease to the applicant in respect of the block or blocks as to which the Minister is not satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1)(c) or (2A)(c).

(3)An instrument under subsection (1) or (2A) shall contain —

(a)a summary of the conditions subject to which the lease is to be granted; and

(b)a statement to the effect that the application will lapse if the applicant does not make a request under subsection (4) in respect of the grant of the lease.

(4)An applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) or (2A) may, within a period of one month after the date of service of the instrument, or within such further period, not exceeding one month, as the Minister, on application in writing served on the Minister before the end of the first‑mentioned period of one month, allows, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, request the Minister to grant to the applicant the lease.

(5)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) or (2A) has made a request under subsection (4) within the period applicable under subsection (4), the Minister shall grant to the applicant a petroleum retention lease or geothermal retention lease, as the case requires, in respect of the block or blocks specified in the instrument.

(6)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) or (2A) has not made a request under subsection (4) within the period applicable under subsection (4), the application lapses upon the expiration of that period.

(7)On the day on which a lease granted under this section in respect of a block or blocks comes into force, the permit or drilling reservation, as the case requires, in respect of the block or blocks ceases to be in force in respect of those blocks.

[Section 48B inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 21; No. 35 of 2007 s. 36; No. 42 of 2010 s. 26.]

48BA.Application of s. 48A and 48B where permit is transferred

Where —

(a)after an application has been made under section 48A in relation to a block or blocks in respect of which a permit is in force; and

(b)before a decision has been made by the Minister under section 48B(1), (2A), (2) or (3A) in relation to the application,

a transfer of the permit is registered under section 72, sections 48A and 48B have effect, after the time of the transfer, as if any reference in those sections to the applicant were a reference to the transferee.

[Section 48BA inserted: No. 28 of 1994 s. 22; amended: No. 42 of 2010 s. 27.]

48CA.Application by licensee for lease

(1)If —

(a)a petroleum production licence is in force under section 63(1)(c) or (2) in respect of a block or blocks; and

(b)no operations for the recovery of petroleum are being carried on under the licence in respect of an area (the unused area) —

(i)that consists of, or consists of part of, the block or blocks; and

(ii)in which petroleum has been found to exist,

the licensee may, within the application period, apply to the Minister for the grant of a petroleum retention lease in respect of the unused area.

(2)If —

(a)a geothermal production licence is in force under section 63(1)(c) or (2) in respect of a block or blocks; and

(b)no operations for the recovery of geothermal energy are being carried on under the licence in respect of an area (the unused area) —

(i)that consists of, or consists of part of, the block or blocks; and

(ii)in which geothermal energy resources have been found to exist,

the licensee may, within the application period, apply to the Minister for the grant of a geothermal retention lease in respect of the unused area.

(3)An application under this section —

(a)is to be made in an approved manner; and

(b)is to be accompanied by particulars of the proposals of the applicant for work and expenditure in respect of the unused area; and

(c)may set out any other matters that the applicant wishes to be considered; and

(d)is to be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(4)An application under subsection (1) is also to be accompanied by particulars of the commercial viability of the recovery of petroleum from the unused area at the time of the application, and particulars of the possible future commercial viability of the recovery of petroleum from that area.

(5)An application under subsection (2) is also to be accompanied by particulars of the commercial viability of the recovery of geothermal energy from the unused area at the time of the application, and particulars of the possible future commercial viability of the recovery of geothermal energy from that area.

(6)The Minister may, at any time, by written notice served on the applicant, require the applicant to give, within the period stated in the notice, further written information in connection with an application under this section.

(7)The application period in respect of an application under subsection (1) by a licensee is the period of 5 years that began on —

(a)the day on which the licence was granted; or

(b)if any operations for the recovery of petroleum have been carried on under the licence in respect of the unused area — the last day on which any such operations were carried on.

(8)The application period in respect of an application under subsection (2) by a licensee is the period of 5 years that began on —

(a)the day on which the licence was granted; or

(b)if any operations for the recovery of geothermal energy have been carried on under the licence in respect of the unused area — the last day on which any such operations were carried on.

[Section 48CA inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 28.]

48CB.Grant or refusal of lease in relation to application by licensee

(1)If —

(a)an application has been made under section 48CA(1); and

(b)the applicant has given any further information as and when required by the Minister under section 48CA(6); and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that recovery of petroleum from the unused area —

(i)is not, at the time of the application, commercially viable; and

(ii)is likely to become commercially viable within the period of 15 years after that time,

the Minister shall, by written notice served on the applicant, inform the applicant that the Minister is prepared to grant to the applicant a petroleum retention lease in respect of the unused area.

(2)If —

(a)an application has been made under section 48CA(2); and

(b)the applicant has given any further information as and when required by the Minister under section 48CA(6); and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that recovery of geothermal energy from the unused area —

(i)is not, at the time of the application, commercially viable; and

(ii)is likely to become commercially viable within the period of 15 years after that time,

the Minister shall, by written notice served on the applicant, inform the applicant that the Minister is prepared to grant to the applicant a geothermal retention lease in respect of the unused area.

(3)If an application has been made under section 48CA and —

(a)the applicant has not given further information as and when required by the Minister under section 48CA(6); or

(b)the Minister is not satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1)(c) or (2)(c), as the case requires, in relation to the unused area,

the Minister shall, by written notice served on the applicant, refuse to grant a lease to the applicant.

(4)A notice under subsection (1) or (2) shall contain —

(a)a summary of the conditions subject to which the lease is to be granted; and

(b)a statement to the effect that the application will lapse if the applicant does not make a request under subsection (5) in respect of the grant of the lease.

(5)An applicant on whom a notice is served under subsection (1) or (2) may request the Minister to grant the lease to the applicant.

(6)The request must be in writing and must be made —

(a)before the end of the period of one month after the date of service of the notice on the applicant under subsection (1) or (2); or

(b)if the Minister, on application in writing made to the Minister before the end of that period, allows a further period of not more than one month for the making of the request — before the end of that further period.

(7)If the applicant makes the request within the period applicable under subsection (6), the Minister shall grant to the applicant a petroleum retention lease or geothermal retention lease, as the case requires, in respect of the unused area.

(8)If the applicant does not make the request within the period applicable under subsection (6), the application lapses at the end of that period.

(9)On the day on which a lease is granted under this section in respect of an unused area comes into force, the licence in respect of the block or blocks of which the area consists or in which the area is included ceases to be in force in respect of the area.

[Section 48CB inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 28.]

48CC.Application of s. 48CA and 48CB if licence is transferred

If —

(a)after an application has been made under section 48CA in relation to an area consisting of or included in a block or blocks in respect of which a licence is in force; and

(b)before a decision has been made by the Minister under section 48CB(1), (2) or (3) in relation to the application,

a transfer of the licence is registered under section 72, sections 48CA and 48CB have effect, after the time of the transfer, as if any reference in those sections to the applicant were a reference to the transferee.

[Section 48CC inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 28.]

48CD.Grant of petroleum retention lease as result of change to boundary of offshore area

(1)In this section —

section 27 block means —

(a)a block constituted as provided by section 27; or

(b)if a graticular section is wholly within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth lease concerned — the graticular section; or

(c)if a part only of a graticular section is within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth lease concerned — that part of the graticular section.

Note for this definition:

See also subsection (6).

(2)This section applies if —

(a)a Commonwealth lease has been granted on the basis that an area (the relevant area) is within the offshore area; and

(b)as a result of a change to the boundary of the offshore area, the relevant area —

(i)ceases to be within the offshore area; and

(ii)falls within the inshore area;

and

(c)either —

(i)the conditions set out in subsection (3) are satisfied; or

(ii)the conditions set out in subsection (4) are satisfied;

and

(d)there are one or more section 27 blocks (the relevant section 27 blocks) that —

(i)correspond to the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth lease immediately before the change; and

(ii)are in the inshore area; and

(iii)are not the subject of a variation under section 97A.

(3)The conditions mentioned in subsection (2)(c)(i) are —

(a)one or more, but not all, of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth lease immediately before the change are in the relevant area; and

(b)the Commonwealth lease subsequently ceases to be in force at the same time (the relevant time) —

(i)as to all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth lease immediately before the change and that are in the offshore area; and

(ii)otherwise than as the result of the cancellation or surrender of the Commonwealth lease.

(4)The conditions mentioned in subsection (2)(c)(ii) are —

(a)all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth lease immediately before the change are in the relevant area; and

(b)the Commonwealth lease subsequently ceases to be in force at the same time (the relevant time) —

(i)as to all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth lease immediately before the change; and

(ii)otherwise than as the result of the cancellation or surrender of the Commonwealth lease.

(5)The Minister is taken —

(a)to have granted the holder of the Commonwealth lease a petroleum retention lease over the relevant section 27 blocks; and

(b)to have done so immediately after the relevant time mentioned in whichever of subsection (3) or (4) is applicable.

Note for this subsection:

For the duration of the petroleum retention lease, see section 48D(2).

(6)If, after the change to the boundary of the offshore area —

(a)a part of a section 27 block that was covered by the Commonwealth lease immediately before the change is in the offshore area; and

(b)the remaining part of the section 27 block is in the inshore area,

then, for the purposes of this section (other than this subsection), each of those parts is taken to constitute, and to have always constituted, a section 27 block.

[Section 48CD inserted: No. 7 of 2017 s. 15.]

48C.Rights conferred by lease

(1)A petroleum lease, while it remains in force, authorises the lessee, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the lease is subject, to explore for petroleum, and to carry on such operations and execute such works as are necessary for that purpose, in the lease area.

(2)A geothermal lease, while it remains in force, authorises the lessee, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the lease is subject —

(a)to explore for geothermal energy resources in the lease area; and

(b)to recover geothermal energy in the lease area for the purpose of establishing the nature and probable extent of a discovery of geothermal energy resources; and

(c)to carry on such operations and execute such works in the lease area as are necessary for those purposes.

[Section 48C inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 13 of 2005 s. 16(2); No. 35 of 2007 s. 37.]

48D.Term of lease

(1)Subject to this Part, a lease (whether granted by way of renewal of a lease or otherwise and other than a petroleum retention lease granted under section 48CD) remains in force for a period of 5 years commencing on the day on which the lease was granted or, if a later day is specified in the lease as being the day on which the lease is to come into force, on that later day.

(2)Subject to this Part, a petroleum retention lease granted under section 48CD remains in force for a period of 5 years commencing on the day on which the lease is granted.

[Section 48D inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 7 of 2017 s. 16.]

48E.Notice of intention to cancel lease

(1)Where —

(a)a lessee has been given a notice of the kind referred to in section 48H(3) during the term of the lease and has carried out, and has informed the Minister of the results of, the re‑evaluation required by the notice; and

(b)the lessee has not made an application for the renewal of the lease; and

(c)after consideration of the results of the re‑evaluation referred to in paragraph (a) and such other matters as the Minister thinks fit, the Minister is of the opinion that recovery of petroleum from the petroleum lease area or geothermal energy from the geothermal lease area, as the case requires, is commercially viable,

the Minister may serve on the lessee and on such other persons as the Minister thinks appropriate an instrument in writing —

(d)informing the lessee and the other persons that the Minister has formed that opinion and that the Minister intends to cancel the lease; and

(e)stating that the lessee or the other person may serve an instrument in writing on the Minister within the period specified in the first‑mentioned instrument, not being a period ending earlier than one month after the date of service of the first‑mentioned instrument, setting out any matters that the lessee or other person, as the case may be, wishes to be considered.

(2)Where —

(a)an instrument under subsection (1) is served on a lessee; and

(b)the lessee does not, within the period referred to in subsection (1)(e), serve on the Minister an instrument setting out matters that the lessee wishes to be considered or the Minister, after consideration of matters set out in an instrument served on the Minister by the lessee within that period, determines that the lease should be cancelled,

the Minister shall, by instrument in writing served on the lessee, cancel the lease.

(3)The cancellation of a lease under subsection (2) has effect —

(a)in a case to which paragraph (b) does not apply, at the end of the period of 12 months commencing on the date of service of the instrument of cancellation; or

(b)in a case where the lessee makes an application for a licence in respect of one or more of the blocks comprised in the lease within the period referred to in paragraph (a), when the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the licence or when the application lapses, whichever first happens.

(4)Where a lease is cancelled under subsection (2), the lease shall be deemed to continue in force in all respects until the cancellation has effect in accordance with subsection (3).

[Section 48E inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 38.]

48F.Application for renewal of lease

(1)A lessee may, from time to time, make an application to the Minister for the renewal of the lease.

(2)An application for the renewal of a lease —

[(a)deleted]

(b)subject to subsection (3), shall be made in an approved manner not less than 6 months or more than 12 months before the day on which the lease ceases to be in force; and

(c)shall be accompanied by particulars of —

(i)the proposals of the applicant for work and expenditure in respect of the lease area; and

(ii)the commercial viability of recovery of petroleum from the petroleum lease area or geothermal energy from the geothermal lease area, as the case requires, at the time of the application and particulars of the possible future commercial viability of recovery of petroleum from the petroleum lease area or geothermal energy from the geothermal lease area;

and

(d)shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3)The Minister may, for reasons that the Minister thinks sufficient, receive an application for the renewal of the lease less than 6 months before, but not in any case after, the day on which the lease ceases to be in force.

(4)Where an application has been made for the renewal of a lease, the Minister may, at any time, by instrument in writing served on the lessee, require the lessee to furnish, within the time specified in the instrument, further information in writing in connection with the application.

[Section 48F inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 23; No. 35 of 2007 s. 39; No. 42 of 2010 s. 29.]

48G.Grant or refusal of renewal of lease

(1)Where —

(a)an application for the renewal of a lease has been made under section 48F; and

(b)any further information required by the Minister under subsection (4) of section 48F has been furnished in accordance with that subsection; and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that recovery of petroleum from the petroleum lease area or geothermal energy from the geothermal lease area, as the case requires —

(i)is not, at the time of the application, commercially viable; and

(ii)is likely to become commercially viable within the period of 15 years after that time,

the Minister —

(d)shall, if the conditions to which the lease is, or has from time to time been, subject and the provisions of this Part and of the regulations have been complied with; or

(e)may if —

(i)any of the conditions to which the lease is, or has from time to time been, subject or any of the provisions of this Part and of the regulations has not been complied with; and

(ii)the Minister is, nevertheless, satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the granting of the lease,

inform the person who is then the lessee, by instrument in writing served on that person, that the Minister is prepared to grant to that person the renewal of the lease.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), where an application for the renewal of a lease has been made under section 48F and —

(a)any further information required by the Minister under subsection (4) of section 48F has not been furnished in accordance with that subsection; or

(b)the Minister is not satisfied as to the matters referred to in subsection (1)(c); or

(c)any of the conditions to which the permit is, or has from time to time been, subject or any of the provisions of this Part and of the regulations has not been complied with and the Minister is not satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the granting of the renewal of the lease,

the Minister shall, by instrument in writing served on the person who is then the lessee, refuse to grant the renewal of the lease.

(3)The Minister shall not refuse to grant the renewal of the lease unless —

(a)he has, by instrument in writing served on the lessee, given not less than one month’s notice of his intention to refuse to grant the renewal of the lease; and

(b)he has served a copy of the instrument on such other persons, if any, as he thinks fit; and

(c)he has, in the instrument —

(i)given particulars of the reasons for the intention; and

(ii)specified a date on or before which the lessee or a person on whom a copy of the instrument is served may, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, submit any matters that the lessee wishes to be considered;

and

(d)he has taken into account any matters so submitted on or before the specified date by the lessee or by a person on whom a copy of the first‑mentioned instrument has been served.

(4)An instrument referred to in subsection (1) shall contain —

(a)a summary of the conditions to which the lease, on the grant of the renewal, is to be subject; and

(b)a statement to the effect that the application will lapse if the lessee does not make a request under subsection (6).

(5)An instrument under subsection (2) shall, where the Minister refuses to grant the renewal of a lease by reason only that the Minister is not satisfied as to the matter referred to in subsection (1)(c)(i), contain a statement to the effect that the lessee may, within the period of 12 months after the date of service of the instrument, make an application for a licence in respect of one or more of the blocks comprised in the lease.

(6)A lessee on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) may, within a period of one month after the date of service of the instrument on the lessee, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, request the Minister to grant the lessee the renewal of the lease.

(7)Where a lessee on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) has made a request under subsection (6) within the period referred to in subsection (6), the Minister shall grant to the lessee the renewal of the lease.

(8)Where a lessee on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) has not made a request under subsection (6) within the period referred to in subsection (6), the application lapses upon the expiration of that period.

(9)Where —

(a)an application for the renewal of a lease has been made; and

(b)the lease expires —

(i)before the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the renewal of the lease; or

(ii)before the application lapses as provided by subsection (8),

the lease shall be deemed to continue in force in all respects —

(c)until the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the renewal of the lease; or

(d)until the application so lapses,

whichever first happens.

(10)Where the Minister refuses to grant the renewal of a lease by reason only that the Minister is not satisfied as to the matter referred to in subsection (1)(c)(i), the lease shall be deemed to continue in force in all respects —

(a)in a case to which paragraph (b) does not apply, until 12 months after the date of service of the instrument under subsection (2); or

(b)in a case where the lessee makes an application for a licence in respect of one or more of the blocks comprised in the lease within the period of 12 months after the date referred to in paragraph (a), until the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the licence or until the application lapses, whichever first happens.

[Section 48G inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 24; No. 35 of 2007 s. 40.]

48H.Conditions of lease

(1)A lease may be granted subject to such conditions as the Minister thinks fit and are specified in the lease.

(1A)Subsection (1) does not apply to a petroleum retention lease granted under section 48CD.

(2)The conditions referred to in subsection (1) may include conditions with respect to work to be carried out by the lessee in or in relation to the lease area during the term of the lease, or amounts to be expended by the lessee in the carrying out of such work, or conditions with respect to both of those matters, including conditions requiring the lessee to comply with directions given in accordance with the lease concerning those matters.

(3)A lease shall be deemed to contain a condition that the lessee will, within the period of 3 months after the receipt of a written notice from the Minister requesting the lessee to do so or within such further period as the Minister, on application in writing served on the Minister before the end of the first‑mentioned period, allows, re‑evaluate the commercial viability of, as the case requires, the recovery of petroleum from the petroleum lease area or geothermal energy from the geothermal lease area (otherwise than by drilling of wells) and inform the Minister in writing of the results of the re‑evaluation.

(4)Where a lessee has complied with 2 notices of the kind referred to in subsection (3) during the term of the lease, the Minister shall not give to the lessee during that term a further notice of that kind.

(5)The Minister may, by written notice given to the lessee, vary a petroleum retention lease granted under section 48CD by imposing one or more conditions to which the lease is subject.

(6)A notice under subsection (5) may only be given within 14 days after the grant of the petroleum retention lease.

(7)A variation under subsection (5) takes effect on the day on which notice of the variation is given to the lessee.

[Section 48H inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 41; No. 7 of 2017 s. 17.]

48J.Discovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources to be notified

On the discovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources in a lease area, the lessee — 

(a)shall forthwith inform the Minister of the discovery; and

(b)shall, within the period of 3 days after the date of the discovery, furnish to the Minister particulars in writing of the discovery.

Penalty: a fine of $10 000.

[Section 48J inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 30.]

48K.Directions by Minister on discovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources

(1)Where petroleum is discovered in a petroleum lease area, the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the lessee, direct the lessee to do, within the period specified in the instrument, such things as the Minister thinks necessary and specifies in the instrument to determine the chemical composition and physical properties of that petroleum and to determine the quantity of petroleum in the petroleum pool to which the discovery relates or, if part only of that petroleum pool is within the lease area, in such part of that petroleum pool as is within the lease area.

(1a)If geothermal energy resources are discovered in a geothermal lease area, the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the lessee, direct the lessee to do, within the period specified in the instrument, such things as the Minister thinks necessary and specifies in the instrument to determine the properties of the geothermal energy resources and to determine the quantity of geothermal energy resources in the geothermal resources area to which the discovery relates or, if part only of that geothermal resources area is within the lease area, in such part of that geothermal resources area as is within the lease area.

(2)A person to whom a direction is given under subsection (1) or (1a) shall comply with the direction.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (2): a fine of $10 000.

[Section 48K inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 34; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 43; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(1).]

Division 3 — Production licences

[Heading amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 44.]

49.Recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources in State

(1)A person shall not carry on operations for the recovery of petroleum in the State except —

(a)under and in accordance with a petroleum production licence; or

(b)as otherwise permitted by this Act.

Penalty: a fine of $50 000 or imprisonment for 5 years, or both.

(2)A person shall not carry on operations for the recovery of geothermal energy in the State except —

(a)under and in accordance with a geothermal production licence; or

(b)as otherwise permitted by this Act.

Penalty: a fine of $50 000 or imprisonment for 5 years, or both.

[Section 49 inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 35; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 45; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(15).]

50.Application by permittee for licence

(1)A permittee whose petroleum exploration permit is in force, or, the holder of a drilling reservation whose petroleum drilling reservation is in force, in respect of a block that constitutes, or the blocks that constitute, a location may, within the application period, make an application to the Minister for the grant of a petroleum production licence —

(a)where 9 or more blocks constitute the location concerned — in respect of 5 of those blocks; or

(b)where 8 or 7 blocks constitute the location concerned —in respect of 4 of those blocks; or

(c)where 6 or 5 blocks constitute the location concerned —in respect of 3 of those blocks; or

(d)where 4 or 3 blocks constitute the location concerned —in respect of 2 of those blocks; or

(e)where 2 blocks constitute the location concerned — in respect of one of those blocks; or

(f)where one block constitutes the location concerned — in respect of that block.

(1a)A permittee whose geothermal exploration permit is in force, or the holder of a drilling reservation whose geothermal drilling reservation is in force, in respect of a block that constitutes, or the blocks that constitute, a location may, within the application period, make an application to the Minister for the grant of a geothermal production licence in respect of the block that constitutes, or the blocks that constitute, the location.

(2)A permittee whose permit is in force, or, the holder of a drilling reservation whose drilling reservation is in force, in respect of blocks that constitute a location —

(a)instead of making an application under subsection (1) or (1a) in respect of his primary entitlement, may, within the application period, make an application to the Minister for the grant of a licence in respect of a number of those blocks that is less than his primary entitlement; and

(b)being the holder of a licence referred to in paragraph (a), may, from time to time within that period, make an application to the Minister for the variation of that licence to include in the licence area a number of those blocks that does not exceed the number, if any, by which his primary entitlement exceeds the number of blocks in respect of which that licence was granted and the number of blocks, if any, included in that licence by reason of any previous variations of that licence.

(3)Where —

(a)a petroleum permittee or the holder of a petroleum drilling reservation makes an application under subsection (1) in respect of his primary entitlement; or

(b)a petroleum permittee or the holder of a petroleum drilling reservation who is the holder of a petroleum licence in respect of a number of blocks that is less than his primary entitlement makes an application under subsection (2) for a variation of that licence, and the number of blocks in respect of which that licence was granted, together with the number of blocks included, and sought to be included, in the licence area by reason of applications under that subsection, is his primary entitlement,

the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, may, within the application period, make an application to the Minister for the grant of a licence in respect of any of the other blocks forming part of the location concerned.

(4)Subject to subsection (5), the application period in respect of an application under this section by a permittee or the holder of a drilling reservation is —

(a)the period of 2 years after the date on which the block that constitutes the location concerned was, or the blocks that constitute the location concerned were, declared to be a location; or

(b)such other period, not less than 2 years or more than 4 years after that date, as the Minister, on application by the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, in writing, served on the Minister before the expiration of the first‑mentioned period of 2 years, allows.

(5)Where —

(a)a permittee or the holder of a drilling reservation applies for the grant by the Minister of a licence in respect of a block or blocks in respect of which the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, has applied for a lease under section 48A; and

(b)an instrument refusing to grant the lease is served on the permittee or the holder of the drilling reservation, as the case requires, under section 48B(2),

the application period is whichever of the following periods last expires —

(c)the period that is applicable under subsection (4);

(d)the period of 12 months after the day of service of the instrument.

[Section 50 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 36; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 25; No. 35 of 2007 s. 46.]

50A.Application by lessee for licence

(1)A lessee whose petroleum lease is in force may make an application to the Minister for the grant of a petroleum production licence —

(a)where the lease is in respect of 9 or more blocks, in respect of 5 of those blocks; or

(b)where the lease is in respect of 8 or 7 blocks, in respect of 4 of those blocks; or

(c)where the lease is in respect of 6 or 5 blocks, in respect of 3 of those blocks; or

(d)where the lease is in respect of 4 or 3 blocks, in respect of 2 of those blocks; or

(e)where the lease is in respect of 2 blocks, in respect of one of those blocks; or

(f)where the lease is in respect of one block, in respect of that block.

(1a)A lessee whose geothermal lease is in force may make an application to the Minister for the grant of a geothermal production licence —

(a)where the lease is in respect of 2 or more blocks, in respect of all of those blocks; or

(b)where the lease is in respect of one block, in respect of that block.

(2)At any time while a lease is in force, the lessee may, instead of making an application under subsection (1) or (1a) in respect of the lessee’s primary entitlement, make an application to the Minister for the grant of a licence in respect of a number of blocks that is less than the lessee’s primary entitlement.

(3)Where a petroleum lessee makes an application under subsection (1) in respect of the lessee’s primary entitlement, the lessee may, at any time while the lease concerned is in force, make an application to the Minister for the grant of a licence in respect of any of the other blocks forming part of the lease.

[Section 50A inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 37; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 47.]

51.Application for licence under s. 50 or 50A, requirements for

(1)An application under section 50 or 50A —

[(a)deleted]

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall be accompanied by particulars of the proposals of the applicant for work and expenditure in respect of the area comprised in the blocks specified in the application; and

(d)may set out any other matters that the applicant wishes the Minister to consider; and

(e)shall, in the case of an application for the grant of a licence, be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(2)The Minister may, at any time, by instrument in writing served on the applicant, require him to furnish, within the period specified in the instrument, further information in writing in connection with his application.

[Section 51 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 38; No. 42 of 2010 s. 31.]

52.Determination of rate of royalty

(1)Where an application is made for a primary licence, the Minister shall determine a rate or rates at which royalty is to be payable in respect of petroleum recovered under the licence, being a rate that is, or rates each of which is, not less than 5% nor more than 10% of the royalty value of that petroleum.

(2)Where the Minister determines, pursuant to subsection (1), more than one rate at which royalty is to be payable in respect of petroleum recovered under a licence, he shall also determine the period for which each rate so determined is to have effect.

(3)Where an application for a primary licence has been made and, before or after the grant of the primary licence, the applicant makes an application for a secondary licence, the Minister shall determine a rate at which royalty is to be payable in respect of petroleum recovered whether under the secondary licence, or, subject to section 142(6), under the primary licence, being a rate that —

(a)for tight gas is not less than 5% nor more than 12.5% of the royalty value of that petroleum; and

(b)for petroleum other than tight gas is not less than 10% nor more than 12.5% of the royalty value of that petroleum.

(4A)In subsection (3) —

tight gas means petroleum in a gaseous state occurring in subsurface rock with a permeability of 0.1 millidarcy or less.

(4)The Minister shall not make a determination under this section unless he has given to the applicant an opportunity to confer with him concerning the matter or matters to be the subject of the determination.

[Section 52 amended: No. 11 of 1994 s. 5; No. 42 of 2010 s. 32.]

53.Notification as to grant of licence

(1)If —

(a)an application for the grant of a petroleum production licence has been made under section 50 or 50A; and

(b)the applicant has given any further information as and when required by the Minister under section 51(2); and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that the area comprised in the block, or any one or more of the blocks, specified in the application contains petroleum,

the Minister shall, by written notice served on the applicant, inform the applicant that the Minister is prepared to grant to the applicant a petroleum production licence in respect of the block or blocks as to which the Minister is satisfied as mentioned in paragraph (c).

(2A)If —

(a)an application for the grant of a geothermal production licence has been made under section 50 or 50A; and

(b)the applicant has given any further information as and when required by the Minister under section 51(2); and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that the area comprised in the block, or any one or more of the blocks, specified in the application contains geothermal energy resources,

the Minister shall, by written notice served on the applicant, inform the applicant that the Minister is prepared to grant to the applicant a geothermal production licence in respect of the block or blocks as to which the Minister is satisfied as mentioned in paragraph (c).

(2)A notice under subsection (1) or (2A) shall —

(a)contain a summary of the conditions subject to which the licence is to be granted; and

(b)in respect of an application for the grant of a petroleum production licence — specify the rate or rates, and the periods related thereto, if any, of royalty determined by the Minister in pursuance of section 52(1), (2) or (3); and

(c)contain a statement to the effect that the application will lapse if the applicant does not make a request under section 54(1) in respect of the grant of the licence.

(3)If the Minister decides not to grant to the applicant a licence in respect of a block specified in the application because —

(a)the applicant has failed to comply with a requirement made by the Minister under section 51(2); or

(b)the Minister is not satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1)(c) or (2A)(c), whichever is applicable, in respect of the block,

the Minister shall, by written notice served on the applicant, inform the applicant of the Minister’s decision and the reasons for the decision.

[Section 53 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 39; No. 28 of 1994 s. 26; No. 35 of 2007 s. 48; No. 42 of 2010 s. 33.]

54.Grant of licence

(1)An applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under section 53(1) may, within a period of 3 months after the date of service of the instrument on him, or within such further period, not exceeding 3 months, as the Minister, on application in writing served on him before the expiration of the first‑mentioned period of 3 months, allows, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, request the Minister to grant to him the licence referred to in the first‑mentioned instrument.

(2)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under section 53(1) has made a request under subsection (1) within the period applicable under subsection (1), the Minister shall grant to the applicant a petroleum production licence or geothermal production licence, as the case requires, in respect of the block or blocks as to which the Minister is satisfied as mentioned in section 53(1)(c) or (2A)(c).

(3)A secondary licence shall not be granted to a permittee, the holder of the drilling reservation or lessee in respect of any one or more of the blocks that constitute a location unless —

(a)a primary licence has been granted in respect of a block or blocks forming part of that location; and

(b)the number of blocks in respect of which the primary licence was granted, together with the number of blocks included in that licence by reason of variations of the licence under section 55, is the primary entitlement of the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation or lessee, as the case requires.

(4)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under section 53(1) has not made a request under subsection (1) within the period applicable under subsection (1), the application lapses upon the expiration of that period.

(5)On the day on which a licence granted under this section comes into force, the permit, drilling reservation or lease in respect of the blocks in respect of which the licence was granted ceases to be in force in respect of those blocks.

[Section 54 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 40; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 27; No. 35 of 2007 s. 49; No. 42 of 2010 s. 34.]

54A.Application of s. 51 to 54 where permit etc. transferred

Where —

(a)after an application has been made —

(i)under section 50 for the grant of a licence in respect of a block or blocks in respect of which a permit or drilling reservation is in force; or

(ii)under section 50A for the grant of a licence in respect of a block or blocks in respect of which a lease is in force;

and

(b)before a decision has been made by the Minister under section 53(1) in relation to the application,

a transfer of the permit, drilling reservation or lease, as the case may be, is registered under section 72, then, after the time of the transfer sections 51 to 54 have effect in relation to the application as if any reference in those sections to the applicant were a reference to the transferee.

[Section 54A inserted: No. 28 of 1994 s. 28.]

55.Variation of licence area

(1)Where an application is made under section 50(2) for a variation of a licence, the Minister shall, by instrument in writing served on the licensee, vary the licence to include in the licence area such of the blocks specified in the application as are blocks as to which the Minister is satisfied as mentioned in section 53(1)(c) or (2A)(c).

(2)On and from the day on and from which a variation of a licence under this section has effect —

(a)the blocks included in the licence area by reason of the variation are, subject to this Part, for the remainder of the term of the licence, blocks in respect of which the licence is in force; and

(b)the permit that is in force in respect of the blocks so included ceases to be in force in respect of those blocks.

[Section 55 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 41; No. 42 of 2010 s. 35.]

56.Determination of permit as to blocks not taken up by licensee

(1)Subject to subsection (2), where —

(a)a permittee or the holder of a drilling reservation, as the case requires, who may make an application under section 50 in respect of a block does not, within the application period, make the application; or

(b)all applications made by a permittee or the holder of a drilling reservation, as the case requires, under that section in respect of a block have lapsed,

the permit or drilling reservation is determined as to that block and the determination has effect —

(c)in a case referred to in paragraph (a) — upon the expiration of the application period; and

(d)in a case referred to in paragraph (b) —

(i)upon the expiration of the application period; or

(ii)upon the lapsing of the last of the applications referred to in that paragraph,

whichever is the later.

(1a)Subject to subsection (2), where all applications made by a lessee under section 50A in respect of a block have lapsed, the lease is determined as to that block and the determination has effect upon the lapsing of the last of those applications.

(2)Where a permittee, the holder of a drilling reservation or lessee makes an application for a secondary licence —

(a)the permit, drilling reservation or lease is determined as to any blocks forming part of the location concerned that are not the subject of that application or of any application for a primary licence or for the variation of such a licence; and

(b)the determination has effect upon the making of the application.

(3)Subject to subsection (4), where a block or blocks constituting or forming part of a location is or are no longer the subject of a permit, drilling reservation or lease, the Minister shall, by instrument published in the Gazette 

(a)in a case where that block or those blocks constitutes or constitute that location, revoke the declaration made under section 47 in respect of that location; or

(b)in a case where that block or those blocks forms or form part of that location, revoke the declaration made under section 47 in respect of that location to the extent that it relates to that block or those blocks.

(4)Subsection (3) does not apply in relation to a block —

(a)in respect of which an application for the grant of a lease or licence has been made, being an application that has not lapsed and in relation to which a decision has not been made by the Minister; or

(b)in respect of which a lease or licence is in force.

(5)Where a lease is granted in respect of a block or blocks forming part of a location, the Minister shall, by instrument published in the Gazette, revoke the declaration made under section 47 to the extent that it relates to the block or blocks that is or are not within the lease area.

(6)Where —

(a)the Minister refuses to grant a lease in respect of a block or blocks constituting or forming part of a location; and

(b)the reason, or one of the reasons, for the refusal is that the Minister is not satisfied as to the matter referred to in section 48B(1)(c)(ii),

the Minister shall, by instrument published in the Gazette, revoke the declaration made under section 47 in respect of that location.

(7)This section does not apply in relation to a permit if —

(a)the permit has been granted on the basis that an area (the relevant area) is within the inshore area; and

(b)as a result of a change to the boundary of the offshore area, the relevant area —

(i)ceases to be within the inshore area; and

(ii)falls within the offshore area;

and

(c)immediately before the change, the relevant area was a part of the permit area.

(8)For the purposes of subsection (7) —

(a)section 6A is to be disregarded; and

(b)it is immaterial whether the change occurred before, at or after the commencement day.

(9)In subsection (8)(b) —

commencement day means the day on which the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Act 2017 section 18 comes into operation.

[Section 56 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 42; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 7 of 2017 s. 18.]

57.Application for licence in respect of surrendered etc. blocks

(1)Where —

(a)a petroleum production licence is surrendered or cancelled as to a block; or

(b)a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation or petroleum retention lease is surrendered, cancelled or determined as to a block —

(i)that, at the time of the surrender, cancellation or determination, was, or was included in, a location; and

(ii)in which, in the opinion of the Minister, there is petroleum;

or

(ba)a petroleum pool from which petrol has been recovered is within or extends to a block which is not the subject of a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum retention lease or petroleum production licence,

the Minister may by instrument published in the Gazette 

(c)invite applications for the grant of a petroleum production licence in respect of that block; and

(d)specify a period within which applications may be made.

(1a)If —

(a)a geothermal production licence is surrendered or cancelled as to a block; or

(b)a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation or geothermal retention lease is surrendered, cancelled or determined as to a block —

(i)that, at the time of the surrender, cancellation or determination, was, or was included in, a location; and

(ii)in which, in the opinion of the Minister, there are geothermal energy resources;

or

(c)a geothermal resources area from which geothermal energy has been recovered is within or extends to a block which is not the subject of a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal retention lease or geothermal production licence,

the Minister may by instrument published in the Gazette —

(d)invite applications for the grant of a geothermal production licence in respect of that block; and

(e)specify a period within which applications may be made.

(2)The Minister shall, in an instrument under subsection (1), state —

(a)that an applicant is required to specify an amount that he would be prepared to pay in respect of the grant of a petroleum production licence to him on his application; or

(b)that an applicant is required to specify a rate of royalty that he would be prepared to pay, if a petroleum production licence were granted to him on his application, in respect of petroleum recovered under the licence, being a rate that exceeds 10% of the royalty value of that petroleum.

(3)Where the Minister, in an instrument under subsection (1), states that an applicant is required to specify a rate of royalty as mentioned in subsection (2)(b), the Minister may, in that instrument, state that an applicant on whose application he is prepared to grant a petroleum production licence will also be required to pay to him, in respect of the grant of the licence to the applicant, the amount specified in that behalf in that instrument.

(4)The Minister shall, in an instrument under subsection (1a), state that an applicant is required to specify an amount that the applicant would be prepared to pay in respect of the grant of a geothermal production licence to the applicant on the application.

[(5)deleted]

(6)An application under this section —

[(a)deleted]

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall be accompanied by the particulars referred to in section 51(1)(c); and

(d)in the case of an application under subsection (1), shall specify, in accordance with the requirement in the instrument by which applications were invited, the amount, or the rate of royalty, that the applicant would be prepared to pay; and

(e)in the case of an application under subsection (1a), shall specify, in accordance with the requirement in the instrument by which applications were invited, the amount that the applicant would be prepared to pay; and

(f)may set out any other matters that the applicant wishes the Minister to consider.

(7)The Minister may, at any time, by instrument in writing served on the applicant, require him to furnish, within the period specified in the instrument, further information in connection with his application.

[Section 57 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 43; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 11 of 1994 s. 5; No. 28 of 1994 s. 29; No. 35 of 2007 s. 50; No. 42 of 2010 s. 36.]

58.Application fee etc. for s. 57 applications

(1)An application under section 57 shall be accompanied by —

(a)the prescribed fee; and

(b)a deposit —

(i)if the applicant has specified an amount that he would be prepared to pay in respect of the grant of a licence to him on the application — of 10% of that amount; or

(ii)if the Minister has, in the instrument by which applications were invited, stated an amount that the applicant will be required to pay in respect of the grant of a licence — of 10% of that amount.

(2)Where a licence is not granted on the application, the amount of the deposit shall, subject to subsection (3), be refunded to the applicant.

(3)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) of section 59 does not request the Minister, under subsection (6) of that section, to grant to him the licence referred to in the instrument, the deposit shall not be refunded to the applicant.

[Section 58 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 44; No. 42 of 2010 s. 37.]

59.Request by applicant for grant of licence

(1)Where, at the expiration of the period specified in an instrument under subsection (1) or (1a) of section 57, only one application has been made under that subsection in respect of the block specified in the instrument, the Minister may reject the application or may, by instrument in writing served on the applicant, inform him that he is prepared to grant to him a licence in respect of that block.

(2)Where, at the expiration of the period specified in an instrument under subsection (1) or (1a) of section 57, 2 or more applications have been made under that subsection in respect of the block specified in the instrument, the Minister may reject any or all of the applications and, if he does not reject all of the applications, may —

(a)if only one application remains unrejected — by instrument in writing served on the applicant; or

(b)if 2 or more applications remain unrejected — by instrument in writing served on the applicant, or on one of the applicants, whose application has not been rejected and who has specified in his application an amount, or, if applicable, a rate of royalty, that he would be prepared to pay that is not less than the amount, or, if applicable, the rate of royalty, specified in the application of any other applicant whose application has not been rejected,

inform him that he is prepared to grant to him a licence in respect of that block and that he will be required to pay the amount specified in the application, royalty at the rate specified in the application, or royalty at the rate specified in the application and the amount specified in the instrument under section 57(1), as the case requires.

[(3), (4)deleted]

(5)An instrument under any of the preceding provisions of this section shall contain —

(a)a summary of the conditions subject to which the licence is to be granted; and

(b)a statement of the balance of the amount, if any, that the applicant will be required to pay in respect of the grant of the licence to him; and

(c)a statement to the effect that the application will lapse —

(i)if the applicant does not make a request under subsection (6); or

(ii)in a case where the instrument contains a statement referred to in paragraph (b) — if the applicant does not pay the balance of the amount referred to in that statement.

(6)An applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under any of the preceding provisions of this section may, within a period of 3 months after the date of service of the instrument on him, or within such further period, not exceeding 3 months, as the Minister, on application in writing served on him before the expiration of the first‑mentioned period of 3 months, allows —

(a)by instrument in writing served on the Minister, request the Minister to grant to him the licence; and

(b)if the first‑mentioned instrument contains a statement of the balance of an amount that the applicant will be required to pay in respect of the grant of the licence to the applicant — pay that balance.

(7)Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) or (2) —

(a)has not made a request under subsection (6); or

(b)if the instrument contains a statement of the balance of an amount that the applicant will be required to pay in respect of the grant of a licence to the applicant — has not paid that balance,

within the period applicable under subsection (6), the application lapses upon the expiration of that period.

(8)Where the application of an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (2) lapses as provided by subsection (7), subsection (2) applies in respect of the application or applications, if any, then remaining unrejected.

[Section 59 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 45; No. 28 of 1994 s. 30; No. 35 of 2007 s. 51; No. 42 of 2010 s. 38.]

60.Grant of licence on request

Where an applicant on whom there has been served an instrument under section 59 —

(a)has made a request under subsection (6) of that section; and

(b)if the instrument contains a statement of the balance of an amount that the applicant will be required to pay in respect of the grant of a licence to the applicant — has paid that balance,

within the period applicable under section 59(6), the Minister shall grant to him a petroleum production licence or geothermal production licence, as the case requires, in respect of the block specified in the instrument.

[Section 60 amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 31; No. 35 of 2007 s. 52; No. 42 of 2010 s. 39.]

61.Licence for 2 or more blocks may be divided into 2 or more licences

(1)Where a licence (in this section called the original licence) is in force in respect of 2 or more blocks (not being blocks that form or form part of a location), the licensee may make an application to the Minister for the grant to him of —

(a)if the original licence is a petroleum production licence — 2 or more petroleum production licences; or

(b)if the original licence is a geothermal production licence — 2 or more geothermal production licences,

in respect of the blocks the subject of the original licence in exchange for the original licence.

(2)An application under subsection (1) —

[(a)deleted]

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall specify the number of licences required; and

(d)shall specify the block or blocks the subject of the original licence in respect of which each licence is sought; and

(e)shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

[(3)deleted]

(4)Where a licensee has made an application under this section the Minister shall grant to the licensee petroleum production licences or geothermal production licences, as the case requires, in accordance with the application.

(5)A licence granted on an application under this section —

(a)remains in force, subject to this Part, but notwithstanding section 63, for the remainder of the term of the original licence; and

(b)shall be granted subject to conditions corresponding as nearly as may be to the conditions to which the original licence was subject; and

(c)shall be granted subject to any directions under this Act previously given to the holder of the original licence in respect of the licence area of the original licence; and

(d)shall be granted subject to any instruments and agreements in respect of the original licence a memorial of which is entered in the Register under section 70, insofar as such instruments and agreements apply to the licence, (or any such instruments and agreements which are in effect at the time that an application is granted under this section but in respect of which a memorial is not yet entered under that section).

(6)Where licences are granted on an application under this section —

(a)the original licence is, by force of this subsection, determined; and

(b)the determination has effect on and from the day on which those licences come into force.

[Section 61 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 46; No. 28 of 1994 s. 32; No. 35 of 2007 s. 53; No. 42 of 2010 s. 40.]

61A.Grant of petroleum production licence as result of change to boundary of offshore area

(1)In this section —

section 27 block means —

(a)a block constituted as provided by section 27; or

(b)if a graticular section is wholly within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth licence concerned — the graticular section; or

(c)if a part only of a graticular section is within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth licence concerned — that part of the graticular section.

Note for this definition:

See also subsection (6).

(2)This section applies if —

(a)a Commonwealth licence has been granted on the basis that an area (the relevant area) is within the offshore area; and

(b)as a result of a change to the boundary of the offshore area, the relevant area —

(i)ceases to be within the offshore area; and

(ii)falls within the inshore area;

and

(c)either —

(i)the conditions set out in subsection (3) are satisfied; or

(ii)the conditions set out in subsection (4) are satisfied;

and

(d)there are one or more section 27 blocks (the relevant section 27 blocks) that —

(i)correspond to the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth licence immediately before the change; and

(ii)are in the inshore area; and

(iii)are not the subject of a variation under section 97A.

(3)The conditions mentioned in subsection (2)(c)(i) are —

(a)one or more, but not all, of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth licence immediately before the change are in the relevant area; and

(b)the Commonwealth licence subsequently ceases to be in force at the same time (the relevant time) —

(i)as to all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth licence immediately before the change and that are in the offshore area; and

(ii)otherwise than as the result of the cancellation or surrender of the Commonwealth licence.

(4)The conditions mentioned in subsection (2)(c)(ii) are —

(a)all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth licence immediately before the change are in the relevant area; and

(b)the Commonwealth licence subsequently ceases to be in force at the same time (the relevant time) —

(i)as to all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth licence immediately before the change; and

(ii)otherwise than as the result of the cancellation or surrender of the Commonwealth licence.

(5)The Minister is taken —

(a)to have granted the holder of the Commonwealth licence a petroleum production licence over the relevant section 27 blocks; and

(b)to have done so immediately after the relevant time mentioned in whichever of subsection (3) or (4) is applicable.

Note for this subsection:

For the duration of the licence, see section 63(3).

(6)If, after the change to the boundary of the offshore area —

(a)a part of a section 27 block that was covered by the Commonwealth licence immediately before the change is in the offshore area; and

(b)the remaining part of the section 27 block is in the inshore area,

then, for the purposes of this section (other than this subsection), each of those parts is taken to constitute, and to have always constituted, a section 27 block.

[Section 61A inserted: No. 7 of 2017 s. 19.]

62.Rights conferred by licence

(1)A petroleum production licence, while it remains in force, authorises the licensee, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the licence is subject —

(a)to recover petroleum in the licence area and to recover petroleum from the licence area in another area to which he has lawful access for that purpose; and

(b)to explore for petroleum in the licence area; and

(c)to carry on such operations and execute such works in the licence area as are necessary for those purposes.

(2)A geothermal production licence, while it remains in force, authorises the licensee, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the licence is subject —

(a)to recover geothermal energy in the licence area and to recover geothermal energy from the licence area in another area to which the licensee has lawful access for that purpose; and

(b)to explore for geothermal energy resources in the licence area; and

(c)to carry on such operations and execute such works in the licence area as are necessary for those purposes.

[Section 62 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 47; No. 13 of 2005 s. 16(2); No. 35 of 2007 s. 54.]

62A.Geothermal energy recovery development plans

(1)A geothermal licensee is to submit to the Minister for approval a geothermal energy recovery development plan, or a geothermal energy recovery development plan as varied under subsection (2), that sets out the information required by the regulations in relation to how geothermal energy is proposed to be recovered under the licence.

(2)Before approving a geothermal energy recovery development plan submitted under subsection (1), the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the geothermal licensee, direct the licensee to vary the development plan, as specified in the instrument, for the purpose of securing the more effective recovery of geothermal energy under the licence.

(3)The Minister is not to give a direction under subsection (2) unless the Minister has given to the geothermal licensee an opportunity to confer with the Minister concerning the proposed direction.

(4)The Minister may approve a geothermal energy recovery development plan submitted under subsection (1).

[Section 62A inserted: No. 35 of 2007 s. 55.]

62B.Variation of approved development plans

(1)The Minister may, by instrument in writing served on a geothermal licensee, direct the licensee to vary the approved development plan that applies to the geothermal production licence, as specified in the instrument, for the purpose of securing the more effective recovery of geothermal energy under the licence.

(2)The Minister is not to give a direction under subsection (1) unless the Minister has given to the geothermal licensee an opportunity to confer with the Minister concerning the proposed direction.

(3)On the written application of the geothermal licensee, the Minister may approve a variation of the approved development plan.

(4)An approved development plan that is varied under this section has effect as so varied.

[Section 62B inserted: No. 35 of 2007 s. 55.]

63.Term of licence

(1)Subject to this Part, a licence granted before the commencement of the Petroleum and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 2010 section 41(3) remains in force —

(a)in the case of a licence granted otherwise than by way of renewal of a licence, for a period of 21 years commencing on the day on which the licence is granted or, if a later day is specified in the licence as being the day on which the licence is to come into force, on that later day; and

(b)in the case of a licence granted by way of the first renewal of a licence, for the period of 21 years commencing on the day on which the licence is granted or, if a later day is specified in the licence as being the day on which the licence is to come into force, on that later day; and

(c)in the case of a licence granted by way of the second renewal of a licence — indefinitely.

(2)Subject to this Part, a licence granted after the commencement of the Petroleum and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 2010 section 41(3), other than a petroleum production licence granted under section 61A, remains in force indefinitely.

(3)Subject to this Part, a petroleum production licence granted under section 61A remains in force for the period of 21 years commencing on the day on which the licence is granted.

[Section 63 inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 48; amended: No. 42 of 2010 s. 41; No. 7 of 2017 s. 20.]

64A.Termination of licence if no operations for 5 years

(1)If —

(a)a petroleum production licence is in force under section 63(1)(c) or (2) and the licensee has not carried on any operations for the recovery of petroleum under the licence at any time during a continuous period of at least 5 years; or

(b)a geothermal production licence is in force under section 63(1)(c) or (2) and the licensee has not carried on any operations for the recovery of geothermal energy under the licence at any time during a continuous period of at least 5 years,

the Minister may, by written notice served on the licensee, inform the licensee that the Minister proposes to terminate the licence after the end of the period of one month after the notice is served.

(2)At any time after the end of the period of one month after the notice referred to in subsection (1) is served on the licensee, the Minister may, by written notice served on the licensee, terminate the licence.

(3)In working out —

(a)for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) the duration of the period in which no operations for the recovery of petroleum were carried on under a petroleum production licence; or

(b)for the purposes of subsection (1)(b) the duration of the period in which no operations for the recovery of geothermal energy were carried on under a geothermal production licence,

any period in which no such operations were carried on because of circumstances beyond the licensee’s control is to be disregarded.

[Section 64A inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 42.]

64.Application for renewal of licence

(1)Subject to this section, a licensee under a licence to which section 63(1)(a) or (b) or (3) applies may, from time to time, make an application to the Minister for the renewal of the licence.

(2)An application for the renewal of the licence —

[(a)deleted]

(b)subject to subsection (3), shall be made in an approved manner not less than 6 months before the day on which the licence ceases to be in force; and

(c)shall be accompanied by particulars of the proposals of the licensee for work and expenditure in respect of the licence area; and

(d)shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3)The Minister may, for reasons that he thinks sufficient, receive an application for the renewal of the licence less than 6 months before, but not in any case after, the day on which the licence ceases to be in force.

(4)If —

(a)a petroleum production licence is granted under section 61A; and

(b)the relevant Commonwealth licence that ceases to be in force, as mentioned in section 61A(3)(b) or (4)(b), was granted otherwise than by way of renewal,

an application must not be made for the renewal of the petroleum production licence if the Minister has previously granted a renewal of the licence.

(5)If —

(a)a petroleum production licence is granted under section 61A; and

(b)the relevant Commonwealth licence that ceases to be in force, as mentioned in section 61A(3)(b) or (4)(b), was granted by way of renewal,

an application must not be made for the renewal of the petroleum production licence.

[Section 64 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 49; No. 42 of 2010 s. 43; No. 7 of 2017 s. 21.]

65.Grant or refusal of renewal of licence

(1)Where —

(a)an application for the renewal of a licence has been made under section 64; and

(b)the conditions to which the licence is, or has from time to time been, subject and the provisions of this Part and of the regulations have been complied with,

the Minister —

(c)shall if —

(i)the application is in respect of the first renewal of the licence; or

(ii)the application is in respect of a renewal of the licence other than the first renewal and operations for the recovery of petroleum have been carried on in the licence area within the period of 5 years before the application for the renewal was made;

or

(d)may in any other case,

by instrument in writing served on the person who is then the licensee inform the person that the Minister is prepared to grant to the person the renewal of the licence.

(2)Where —

(a)an application for the renewal of a licence has been made under section 64; and

(b)any of the conditions to which the licence is, or has from time to time been, subject or any of the provisions of this Part and of the regulations has not been complied with, but the Minister is, nevertheless, satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the granting of the renewal of the licence,

the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the person who is then the licensee, inform the person that the Minister is prepared to grant to the person the renewal of the licence.

(3)If any of the conditions to which the licence is, or has from time to time been, subject or any of the provisions of this Part and of the regulations has not been complied with, and if the Minister is not satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the granting of the renewal of the licence, the Minister shall, subject to subsection (4), by instrument in writing served on the person who is then the licensee, refuse to grant the renewal of the licence.

(4)The Minister shall not under subsection (3) refuse to grant the renewal of a licence unless —

(a)he has, by instrument in writing served on the licensee, given not less than one month’s notice of his intention to refuse to grant the renewal of the licence; and

(b)he has served a copy of the instrument on such other persons, if any, as he thinks fit; and

(c)he has, in the instrument —

(i)given particulars of the reasons for the intention; and

(ii)specified a date on or before which the licensee or a person on whom a copy of the instrument is served may, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, submit any matters that he wishes the Minister to consider;

and

(d)he has taken into account any matters so submitted to him on or before the specified date by the licensee or by a person on whom a copy of the first‑mentioned instrument has been served.

(5)Where an application has been made under section 64 in respect of a renewal other than the first renewal of the licence, the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the person who is then the licensee, refuse to grant the renewal of the licence.

[(6)deleted]

(7)An instrument under subsection (1) or (2) shall contain —

(a)a summary of the conditions to which the licence, on the grant of the renewal, is to be subject; and

(b)a statement to the effect that the application will lapse if the licensee does not make a request under subsection (8).

(8)A licensee on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) or (2) may, within a period of one month after the date of service of the instrument on him, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, request the Minister to grant to him the renewal of the licence.

(9)Where a licensee on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) or (2) has made a request under subsection (8) within the period referred to in subsection (8), the Minister shall grant to him the renewal of the licence.

(10)Where a licensee on whom there has been served an instrument under subsection (1) or (2) has not made a request under subsection (8) within the period referred to in subsection (8), the application lapses upon the expiration of that period.

(11)Where —

(a)an application for the renewal of a licence is made under section 64; and

(b)the licence expires —

(i)before the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the renewal of the licence; or

(ii)before the application lapses as provided by subsection (10),

the licence shall be deemed to continue in force in all respects —

(c)until the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the renewal of the licence; or

(d)until the application so lapses,

whichever first happens.

[Section 65 amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 33; No. 42 of 2010 s. 44.]

66.Conditions of licence

(1)A licence may be granted subject to such conditions as the Minister thinks fit and specifies in the licence.

(2)Without limiting subsection (1), a geothermal production licence is subject to the condition that geothermal energy may be recovered under the licence only in accordance with the approved development plan.

(3)Subsection (1) does not apply to a petroleum production licence granted under section 61A.

(4)The Minister may, by written notice given to the licensee, vary a petroleum production licence granted under section 61A by imposing one or more conditions to which the licence is subject.

(5)A notice under subsection (4) may only be given within 14 days after the grant of the petroleum production licence.

(6)A variation under subsection (4) takes effect on the day on which notice of the variation is given to the licensee.

[Section 66 amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 56; No. 7 of 2017 s. 22.]

67.Storage of petroleum underground

(1)A person shall not inject petroleum into a natural underground reservoir —

(a)for the purpose of storage and subsequent recovery other than in accordance with an agreement made under this section; or

(b)for a purpose other than storage and subsequent recovery without the approval of the Minister.

Penalty: a fine of $10 000.

(2)Where a person wishes to inject petroleum into a natural underground reservoir, the person shall apply in writing to the Minister who may reject the application or may —

(a)where the Minister is of the opinion the injection is for the purpose of storage and subsequent recovery, require the applicant to enter into an agreement with the Minister as to the injection, storage and subsequent recovery of that petroleum; or

(b)where the Minister is of the opinion the injection is for a purpose other than storage and subsequent recovery, approve the application.

(3)An agreement under subsection (2)(a) —

(a)shall specify the details of the methods to be used for the injection, storage and subsequent recovery of the petroleum; and

(b)may specify —

(i)whether or not royalty under this Act or the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 in respect of that petroleum by reason of the initial recovery is to be paid; and

(ii)such conditions, restrictions and other matters as the Minister thinks fit.

[Section 67 inserted: No. 28 of 1994 s. 34; amended: No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(15).]

68.Directions as to recovery of petroleum

(1)Where petroleum is not being recovered in a licence area and the Minister is satisfied that there is recoverable petroleum in that area, he may, by instrument in writing served on the licensee, direct the licensee to take all necessary and practicable steps to recover that petroleum.

(2)Where the Minister is not satisfied with the steps taken or being taken by a licensee to whom a direction has been given under subsection (1), the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the licensee, give to the licensee such directions as the Minister thinks necessary for or in relation to the recovery of petroleum in the licence area.

(3)Where petroleum is being recovered in a licence area, the Minister may, for reasons that he thinks sufficient, by instrument in writing served on the licensee, direct the licensee to take all necessary and practicable steps to increase or reduce the rate at which petroleum is being recovered in the licence area or from a petroleum pool in the licence area to such rate as the Minister specifies in the instrument.

(4)Where the Minister is not satisfied with the steps taken or being taken by a licensee to whom a direction has been given under subsection (3), the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the licensee, give to the licensee such directions as the Minister thinks necessary for or in relation to the increase or reduction of the rate at which petroleum is being recovered in the licence area or from a petroleum pool in the licence area.

(5)Without limiting the matters that may be taken into account by the Minister in determining whether to give a direction under subsection (3) or (4), the Minister may take into account matters relating to the effects on State revenue of the proposed direction, but the Minister shall not give a direction under subsection (3) or (4) if the direction would require action to be taken that is contrary to good oil‑field practice.

[Section 68 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 51.]

69.Unit development

(1A)In this section —

Joint Authority and offshore area have the respective meanings given in the Commonwealth Act section 7.

(1)In this section, the expression unit development —

(a)applies in relation to —

(i)a petroleum pool that is partly in a particular licence area of a petroleum licensee and partly in another area, whether in the State or not, in respect of which another person has authority, whether under this Act or another written law or under the law of another State, the Northern Territory or the Commonwealth, to carry on operations for the recovery of petroleum from the pool; or

(ii)a geothermal resources area that is partly in a particular licence area of a geothermal licensee and partly in another area, whether in the State or not, in respect of which another person has authority, whether under this Act or another written law or under the law of another State or of the Northern Territory, to carry on operations for the recovery of geothermal energy from the geothermal resources area;

and

(b)means the carrying on of operations for the recovery of petroleum from that pool or geothermal energy from that geothermal resources area, as the case requires, under cooperative arrangements between the persons entitled to carry on such operations in each of those areas.

(2)A licensee may from time to time enter into an agreement in writing for or in relation to the unit development of a petroleum pool or geothermal resources area, as the case requires, but nothing in this subsection derogates from the operation of section 75(2).

(3)The Minister, of his own motion or on application made to him in writing by —

(a)a licensee in whose licence area there is a part of a particular petroleum pool or particular geothermal resources area; or

(b)a person who is lawfully entitled to carry on operations for the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy in an area outside the State that includes part of a particular petroleum pool or particular geothermal resources area that extends into the State,

may, for the purpose of securing the more effective recovery of petroleum from the petroleum pool or geothermal energy from the geothermal resources area, direct any petroleum licensee whose licence area includes part of the petroleum pool or any geothermal licensee whose licence area includes part of the geothermal resources area, by instrument in writing served on the licensee, to enter into an agreement in writing, within the period specified in the instrument, for or in relation to the unit development of the petroleum pool or geothermal resources area and to lodge an application in accordance with section 75 for approval of any dealing to which the agreement relates.

(4)Where —

(a)a licensee who is directed under subsection (3) to enter into an agreement for or in relation to the unit development of a petroleum pool or geothermal resources area does not enter into such an agreement within the specified period; or

(b)a licensee enters into such an agreement but an application for approval of a dealing to which the agreement relates is not lodged with the Minister or, if an application is so lodged, the dealing is not approved under section 75,

the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on that licensee, direct the licensee to submit to him, within the period specified in the instrument, a scheme for or in relation to the unit development of the petroleum pool or geothermal resources area.

(5)At any time after the expiration of the period within which a scheme for or in relation to the unit development of a petroleum pool or geothermal resources area is to be submitted by a licensee under subsection (4), the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the licensee, give to that licensee such directions as the Minister thinks necessary for the purpose of securing the more effective recovery of petroleum from the petroleum pool or geothermal energy from the geothermal resources area.

(6)Where a person is —

(a)the petroleum licensee in respect of 2 or more licence areas in each of which there is part of a particular petroleum pool; or

(b)the geothermal licensee in respect of 2 or more licence areas in each of which there is part of a particular geothermal resources area,

the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the licensee, give to the licensee such directions as the Minister thinks necessary for the purpose of securing the more effective recovery of petroleum from the petroleum pool or geothermal energy from the geothermal resources area.

(7)Where an agreement under this section is in force or the Minister has given directions under subsection (5) or (6), the Minister may, having regard to additional information that has become available, by instrument in writing served on the licensee or licensees concerned, give to the licensee or licensees such directions, or further directions, as the case may be, as he thinks necessary for the purpose of securing the more effective recovery of petroleum from the petroleum pool or geothermal energy from the geothermal resources area.

(8)The Minister shall not give a direction under either subsection (6) or (7) unless he has given to the licensee or licensees concerned an opportunity to confer with him concerning the proposed direction.

(9)Directions under subsection (5), (6), or (7) may include directions as to the rate at which petroleum or geothermal energy is to be recovered.

(10)In this section, dealing means a dealing to which section 75 applies.

(11)If a petroleum pool extends, or is reasonably believed by the Minister to extend, from an area of the State into —

(a)lands to which other written laws or the laws of another State or of a Territory relating to the exploitation of petroleum resources apply; or

(b)the adjacent area of an adjoining State or Territory; or

(c)the offshore area,

each Minister concerned shall consult concerning the exploitation of the petroleum pool with any other Minister concerned and with the appropriate authority of the other State or the Territory if paragraph (a) or (b) applies and with the Joint Authority if paragraph (c) applies.

(11a)If a geothermal resources area extends, or is reasonably believed by the Minister to extend, from an area of the State into —

(a)lands to which other written laws or the laws of another State or of a Territory relating to the exploitation of geothermal energy resources apply; or

(b)the adjacent area of an adjoining State or Territory,

each Minister concerned shall consult concerning the exploitation of the geothermal resources area with any other Minister concerned and with the appropriate authority of the other State or the Territory.

(12)Where subsection (11) applies in relation to a petroleum pool or subsection (11a) applies in relation to a geothermal resources area, a Minister shall not approve an agreement under this section, or give a direction under this section, in relation to that petroleum pool or geothermal resources area except with the approval of any other Minister concerned and any State or Territory authority concerned and with the approval of the Joint Authority if subsection (11)(c) applies.

[Section 69 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 52; No. 35 of 2007 s. 57; No. 7 of 2017 s. 23.]

Division 3A — Petroleum titles and geothermal titles may subsist in respect of same blocks

[Heading inserted: No. 35 of 2007 s. 58.]

69A.Petroleum titles and geothermal titles may subsist in respect of same blocks

(1)In this section —

geothermal title means a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal retention lease, geothermal production licence, geothermal special prospecting authority or geothermal access authority;

petroleum title means a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum retention lease, petroleum production licence, petroleum special prospecting authority or petroleum access authority.

(2)The Minister is not to —

(a)grant a petroleum title on an application under this Act in respect of a block that is the subject of a geothermal title of which the registered holder is a person other than the applicant; or

(b)vary a petroleum production licence on an application under section 50(2) to include in the licence area a block that is the subject of a geothermal title of which the registered holder is a person other than the applicant,

unless the Minister has complied with subsection (3).

(3)The Minister has complied with this subsection if the Minister —

(a)has, by instrument in writing served on the registered holder of the geothermal title, given not less than one month’s notice of the Minister’s intention to grant the petroleum title or vary the petroleum production licence, as the case requires; and

(b)has in the instrument —

(i)given particulars of the petroleum title proposed to be granted or of the variation proposed to be made to the petroleum production licence; and

(ii)specified a date on or before which the person on whom the instrument is served may, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, submit any matters that the person wishes the Minister to consider;

and

(c)has taken into account any matters submitted to the Minister on or before the specified date by that person.

(4)The Minister is not to —

(a)grant a geothermal title on an application under this Act in respect of a block that is the subject of a petroleum title of which the registered holder is a person other than the applicant; or

(b)vary a geothermal production licence on an application under section 50(2) to include in the licence area a block that is the subject of a petroleum title of which the registered holder is a person other than the applicant,

unless the Minister has complied with subsection (5).

(5)The Minister has complied with this subsection if the Minister —

(a)has, by instrument in writing served on the registered holder of the petroleum title, given not less than one month’s notice of the Minister’s intention to grant the geothermal title or vary the geothermal production licence, as the case requires; and

(b)has in the instrument —

(i)given particulars of the geothermal title proposed to be granted or of the variation proposed to be made to the geothermal production licence; and

(ii)specified a date on or before which the person on whom the instrument is served may, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, submit any matters that the person wishes the Minister to consider;

and

(c)has taken into account any matters submitted to the Minister on or before the specified date by that person.

(6)Nothing in this section limits the operation of any other provision of this Act relating to applying for, granting or varying a petroleum title or geothermal title.

[Section 69A inserted: No. 35 of 2007 s. 58.]

[69B‑69I.Deleted: No. 52 of 1995 s. 37.]

Division 4 — Registration of instruments

69J.Term used: title

In this Division, title means a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or access authority.

[Section 69J (formerly 69A) inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 53; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; renumbered: No. 21 of 1993 s. 45.]

70.Register of certain instruments to be kept

(1)For the purposes of this Part, the Minister shall keep a Register of titles and special prospecting authorities granted by him.

(2)The Minister shall enter in the Register a memorial in respect of each title or special prospecting authority —

(a)specifying the name of the holder of the title or special prospecting authority; and

(b)in the case of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, setting out an accurate description (including, where convenient, a map) of the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area; and

(c)in the case of a special prospecting authority or an access authority, setting out an accurate description (including, where convenient, a map) of the area in respect of which the special prospecting authority or access authority is in force; and

(d)specifying the term of the title or special prospecting authority; and

(e)setting out such other matters and things as are required by this Part to be entered in the Register; and

(f)setting out such further matters relating to the registered holder or to the terms and conditions of the title or special prospecting authority as the Minister deems proper and expedient in the public interest.

(3)The Minister shall enter in the Register a memorial of —

(a)any instrument varying, cancelling, surrendering or otherwise affecting a title or special prospecting authority; and

(b)any instrument under section 69(5), (6) or (7); and

(c)any agreement under section 67; and

(d)any instrument varying or revoking an instrument referred to in either paragraph (a) or (b).

(4)It is sufficient compliance with the requirements of subsection (2) or (3) if the Minister enters a copy of the title, special prospecting authority or instrument in the Register.

[(5)deleted]

(6)The Minister shall endorse on the title, special prospecting authority or instrument a memorandum of the date upon which the memorial or copy was entered in the Register.

[Section 70 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 54; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 35; No. 42 of 2010 s. 45.]

71.Memorials to be entered of permits determined etc.

Where —

(a)a permit, drilling reservation or lease ceases to be in force in respect of a block in respect of which a licence is granted; or

(aa)a permit ceases to be in force in respect of a block in respect of which a lease is granted; or

(b)a permit, drilling reservation or lease has been wholly determined or partly determined; or

(c)a title or special prospecting authority has expired,

the Minister shall enter in the Register a memorial of the fact.

[Section 71 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 55; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

72.Approval and registration of transfers

(1)A transfer of a title is of no force until it has been approved by the Minister and an instrument of transfer is registered as provided by this section.

(2)Where it is desired that a title be transferred, one of the parties to the proposed transfer may make an application in writing to the Minister for approval of the transfer.

(3)An application for approval of a transfer of a title shall be accompanied by —

(a)an instrument of transfer in the prescribed form executed by the registered holder or, if there are 2 or more registered holders, by each registered holder and by the transferee or, if there are 2 or more transferees, by each transferee; and

(b)in a case where the transferee or one or more of the transferees is not a registered holder, or are not registered holders, of the title, an instrument setting out —

(i)the technical qualifications of that transferee or those transferees; and

(ii)details of the technical advice that is or will be available to that transferee or those transferees; and

(iii)details of the financial resources that are or will be available to that transferee or those transferees;

and

(c)one copy of the application and of the instrument referred to in paragraph (a).

(4)The Minister shall not approve the transfer of a title unless the application was lodged with the Minister within 3 months after the day on which the party who last executed the instrument of transfer so executed the instrument of transfer or within such longer period as the Minister, in special circumstances, allows.

(5)Where an application for approval of a transfer is made in accordance with this section, the Minister shall enter a memorandum in the Register of the date on which the application was lodged and may make such other notation in the Register as the Minister considers appropriate.

(6)The Minister shall consider each application for approval of the transfer of a title and determine whether to approve the transfer.

(7)Where an application for approval of the transfer of a title is made in accordance with this section, the Minister shall, by notice in writing served on the person who made the application, inform the person of the decision of the Minister.

[(8)deleted]

(9)Where the Minister approves the transfer of a title, the Minister shall forthwith endorse on the instrument of transfer and on one copy of the instrument a memorandum of approval and shall, on payment of the fee provided by the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Registration Fees) Act 1967, enter in the Register a memorandum of the transfer and the name of the transferee or of each transferee.

(10)Upon the entry in the Register of a memorandum of the transfer of a title and of the name of the transferee or each transferee in accordance with subsection (9) —

(a)the transfer shall be deemed to be registered; and

(b)the transferee becomes the registered holder, or the transferees become the registered holders, of the title.

(11)Where the Minister refuses to approve the transfer of a title, the Minister shall make a notation of the refusal in the Register.

(12)Where a transfer is registered —

(a)the copy of the instrument of transfer endorsed with the memorandum of approval shall be retained by the Minister and made available for inspection in accordance with this Division; and

(b)the instrument of transfer endorsed with the memorandum of approval shall be returned to the person who lodged the application for approval of the transfer.

(13)The mere execution of an instrument of transfer of a title creates no interest in the title.

[Section 72 inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 56; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 36; No. 35 of 2007 s. 59.]

73.Entries in Register on devolution of title

(1)A person upon whom the rights of a registered holder of a particular title have devolved by operation of law may apply in writing to the Minister to have his name entered in the Register as the holder of the title.

(2)The Minister shall, if he is satisfied that the rights of the holder have devolved upon the applicant by operation of law and on payment of the prescribed fee, enter the name of the applicant in the Register as holder of the title and, upon that entry being so made, the applicant becomes the registered holder of the title.

(3)Where a company that is the registered holder of a particular title has changed its name, it may apply in writing to the Minister to have its new name substituted for its previous name in the Register in relation to that title and, if —

(a)the Minister is satisfied that the company has so changed its name; and

(b)the company has paid the prescribed fee,

the Minister shall make the necessary alterations in the Register.

[Section 73 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 57.]

[74.Deleted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 58.]

75.Approval of dealings creating interests etc. in existing titles

(1)This section applies to a dealing that would, but for subsection (2), have one or more of the following effects —

(a)the creation or assignment of an interest in an existing title;

(b)the creation or assignment of a right (conditional or otherwise) to the assignment of an interest in an existing title;

(c)the determining of the manner in which persons may exercise the rights conferred by, or comply with the obligations imposed by or the conditions of, an existing title (including the exercise of those rights or the compliance with those obligations or conditions under cooperative arrangements for the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy);

(d)the creation or assignment of —

(i)an interest in relation to an existing permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, being an interest known as an overriding royalty interest, a production payment, a net profits interest or a carried interest; or

(ii)any other interest that is similar to an interest referred to in subparagraph (i), being an interest relating to petroleum or geothermal energy produced from operations authorised by an existing permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence or relating to revenue derived as a result of the carrying out of operations of that kind;

(e)the creation or assignment of an option (conditional or otherwise) to enter into a dealing, being a dealing that has one or more of the effects referred to in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d);

(f)the creation or assignment of a right (conditional or otherwise) to enter into a dealing, being a dealing that has one or more of the effects referred to in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d);

(g)the alteration or termination of a dealing, being a dealing that has one or more of the effects referred to in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f),

but this section does not apply to a transfer to which section 72 applies.

(2)A dealing to which this section applies is of no force in so far as the dealing would, but for this subsection, have an effect of a kind referred to in subsection (1) in relation to a particular title until —

(a)the dealing, in so far as it relates to that title, has been approved by the Minister; and

(b)an entry has been made in the Register in relation to the dealing by the Minister in accordance with subsection (12).

(3)A party to a dealing to which this section applies may lodge with the Minister —

(a)in a case where the dealing relates to only one title, an application in writing for approval by the Minister of the dealing; or

(b)in any other case, a separate application in writing for approval by the Minister of the dealing in relation to each title to which the dealing relates.

(4)An application under subsection (3) for approval of a dealing —

(a)shall be accompanied by the instrument evidencing the dealing or, if that instrument has already been lodged with the Minister for the purposes of another application, a copy of that instrument; and

(b)may be accompanied by an instrument setting out such particulars (if any) as are prescribed for the purposes of an application for approval of a dealing of that kind.

(4a)An application under subsection (3) for approval of a dealing shall be accompanied by 2 copies of —

(a)the application; and

(b)the instrument referred to in subsection (4)(a); and

(c)any instrument lodged for the purposes of subsection (4)(b).

(5)Subject to subsection (6), the Minister shall not approve a dealing unless the application for approval of the dealing is lodged with the Minister within 3 months after the day on which the party who last executed the instrument evidencing the dealing so executed the instrument or such longer period as the Minister, in special circumstances, allows.

(6)Where a dealing relating to a title was, immediately before the title came into existence, a dealing referred to in section 75A(1), the Minister shall not approve the dealing unless —

(a)a provisional application for approval of the dealing was lodged in accordance with section 75A(1); or

(b)an application for approval of the dealing is lodged with the Minister in accordance with this section within 3 months after the day on which the title came into existence or such longer period as the Minister, in special circumstances, allows.

(7)Where a dealing to which this section applies forms a part of the issue of a series of debentures, all of the dealings constituting the issue of that series of debentures shall, for the purposes of this section, be taken to be one dealing.

(8)Where a dealing to which this section applies (including a dealing referred to in subsection (7)) creates a charge over some or all of the assets of a body corporate, the person lodging the application for approval of the dealing shall be deemed to have complied with subsection (4)(a), and with subsection (4a) in so far as that subsection requires 2 copies of the document referred to in subsection (4)(a) to accompany the application, if the person lodges with the application 3 copies of each document required to be lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission relating to the creation of that charge pursuant to section 263 of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth.

(9)On receipt of an application made under this section, the Minister shall enter a memorandum in the Register of the date on which the application was lodged and may make such other notation in the Register as the Minister considers appropriate.

(10)The Minister may approve or refuse to approve a dealing to which this section applies in so far as the dealing relates to a particular title.

(11)The Minister shall, by notice in writing served on the person who made an application for approval of a dealing, inform the person of the decision of the Minister.

(12)If the Minister approves a dealing, the Minister shall endorse on the original instrument evidencing the dealing and on one copy of that instrument or, if the original instrument was not lodged with the application, on 2 of the copies of that instrument a memorandum of approval and, on payment of the fee provided by the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Registration Fees) Act 1967, make an entry of the approval of the dealing in the Register on the memorial relating to, or on the copy of, the title in respect of which the approval is sought.

(13)Where an entry is made in the Register in relation to a dealing in accordance with subsection (12) —

(a)if the dealing was approved before the commencement of section 58 of the Acts Amendment (Petroleum) Act 1990, or the application for approval of the dealing was not accompanied by an instrument for the purpose of subsection (4)(b), one copy of the instrument evidencing the dealing endorsed with a memorandum of approval shall be retained by the Minister and made available for inspection in accordance with this Division; and

(b)if the application for approval of the dealing was accompanied by an instrument for the purpose of subsection (4)(b), a copy of that instrument endorsed with a copy of the memorandum of approval of the dealing shall be retained by the Minister and made available for inspection in accordance with this Division but a copy of the instrument evidencing the dealing shall not be so made available; and

(c)the original instrument evidencing the dealing, or a copy of the original instrument, as the case requires, endorsed with a memorandum of approval and the instrument (if any) lodged for the purpose of subsection (4)(b) shall be returned to the person who made the application for approval.

(13a)The approval of a dealing or the making of an entry in the Register in relation to a dealing is not rendered ineffective by any failure to comply, in relation to the application for approval of the dealing, with the requirements of this section.

(14)Where the Minister refuses to approve a dealing, the Minister shall make a notation of the refusal in the Register.

(15)In this section, charge and debenture have the same respective meanings as they have for the purposes of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth.

[Section 75 inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 58; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 37; No. 20 of 2003 s. 35; No. 35 of 2007 s. 60.]

75A.Approval of dealings in future interests etc.

(1)Where 2 or more persons enter into a dealing relating to a title that may come into existence in the future and that dealing would, if the title came into existence, become a dealing to which section 75 applies, a person who is a party to the dealing may, during the prescribed period in relation to the title, lodge with the Minister —

(a)in a case where the dealing relates to only one title that may come into existence in the future, a provisional application in writing for approval by the Minister of the dealing; or

(b)in any other case, a separate provisional application in writing for approval by the Minister of the dealing in relation to each title that may come into existence in the future and to which the dealing relates.

(2)Section 75(4), (7) and (8) applies to a provisional application lodged under subsection (1) as if that provisional application were an application lodged under section 75(3).

(3)Where —

(a)the title to which a dealing referred to in subsection (1) relates comes into existence; and

(b)upon that title coming into existence, the dealing becomes a dealing to which section 75 applies,

the provisional application lodged under subsection (1) in relation to the dealing shall be treated as if it were an application lodged under section 75(3) on the day on which that title came into existence.

(4)A reference in subsection (1) to the prescribed period, in relation to a title, is a reference to the period —

(a)commencing —

(i)in the case of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, on the day of service of an instrument informing the applicant for the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence that the Minister is prepared to grant the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence; or

(ii)in the case of an access authority, on the day on which the application for the grant of the access authority is made;

and

(b)ending on the day on which the title comes into existence.

[Section 75A inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 58; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

76.True consideration to be shown in transfer or dealing

(1)A person who is a party to a transfer referred to in section 72, a dealing to which section 75 applies or a dealing referred to in section 75A(1) shall not lodge with the Minister —

(a)an instrument of transfer; or

(b)an instrument evidencing the dealing; or

(c)an instrument of the kind referred to in section 75(4)(b),

that contains a statement relating to the consideration for the transfer or dealing, or to any other fact or circumstance affecting the amount of the fee payable in respect of the transfer or dealing under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Registration Fees) Act 1967, being a statement that is, to the knowledge of the person, false or misleading in a material particular.

Penalty: a fine of $10 000.

(2)Where a person is convicted of an offence against subsection (1) the Minister may make a fresh determination of the amount of the fee payable under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Registration Fees) Act 1967 in respect of the memorandum relating to the transfer or dealing.

(3)Subsections (2) and (3) of section 85 apply in relation to a determination under subsection (2) as they apply in relation to a determination under subsection (1) of that section.

[Section 76 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 59; No. 35 of 2007 s. 61; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(15).]

77.Minister not concerned with certain matters

Neither the Minister nor a person acting under his direction or authority is concerned with the effect in law of any instrument lodged with him in pursuance of this Division nor does the approval of a transfer or dealing give to the transfer or dealing any force, effect or validity that the transfer or dealing would not have had if this Division had not been enacted.

[Section 77 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 60.]

78.Power of Minister to require information as to transfers or dealings

(1)The Minister may require the person lodging an application for approval of a transfer or dealing or a provisional application for approval of a dealing under this Division to furnish to him in writing such information concerning the transfer or dealing as the Minister considers necessary or advisable.

(1a)The Minister may require a person who is a party to a dealing approved by the Minister under section 75 to furnish to the Minister a statement in writing setting out such information concerning alterations in the interests or rights existing in relation to the title to which the approved dealing relates as the Minister considers necessary or advisable.

(1b)The Minister may require a person making an application under section 73(1) or (3) or 81A(2) to furnish to the Minister in writing such information concerning the matter to which the application relates as the Minister considers necessary or advisable.

(1c)A person shall not fail or refuse to comply with a requirement given to the person under subsection (1), (1a) or (1b).

(2)A person who is so required to furnish information shall not knowingly furnish information that is false or misleading in a material particular.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (1c) or (2): a fine of $5 000.

[Section 78 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 61; No. 28 of 1994 s. 38; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(2) and (3).]

79.Production and inspection of documents

(1)The Minister may require any person to produce to him or to make available for inspection by him any documents in the possession or under the control of that person and relating to a transfer or dealing in relation to which approval is sought under this Division.

(1a)The Minister may require any person to produce to the Minister or to make available for inspection by the Minister any documents in the possession or under the control of that person and relating to an application made to the Minister under section 73(1) or (3) or 81A(2).

(2)A person shall not fail or refuse to comply with a requirement given to him under subsection (1) or (1a).

Penalty for an offence under subsection (2): a fine of $5 000.

[Section 79 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 62; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(4).]

80.Inspection of Register and instruments

(1)The Register and all instruments or copies of instruments registered, or subject to inspection, under this Division shall at all convenient times be open for inspection by any person upon payment of the prescribed fee.

[(2)deleted]

[Section 80 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 63.]

81.Evidentiary provisions

(1)The Register shall be received by all courts and tribunals as evidence of all matters required or authorised by this Division to be entered in the Register.

(2)The Minister may, on payment of a fee calculated at the prescribed rate, supply copies of or extracts from the Register or of or from any instrument lodged with him under this Division, certified by writing under his hand, and such a copy or extract so certified is admissible in evidence in all courts, tribunals and proceedings without further proof or production of the original.

(3)The Minister may, on payment of the prescribed fee, by instrument in writing under his hand, certify that an entry, matter or thing required or permitted by or under this Division to be made or done or not to be made or done has or has not, as the case may be, been made or done and such a certificate is evidence in all courts, tribunals and proceedings of the statements contained in the certificate.

[Section 81 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 64; No. 55 of 2004 s. 917.]

81A.Minister may make corrections to, and entries in, Register

(1)The Minister may alter the Register for the purposes of correcting a clerical error or an obvious defect in the Register.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), the Minister may, on application being made in writing to the Minister by a person or of the Minister’s own motion, make such entries in the Register as the Minister considers appropriate for the purposes of ensuring that the Register accurately records the interests and rights existing in relation to a title.

(3)Where the Minister proposes to make an entry in the Register in accordance with subsection (2), the Minister shall cause to be published in the Gazette a notice —

(a)setting out the terms of the entry that the Minister proposes to make in the Register; and

(b)inviting interested persons to give to the Minister, by such day as is specified in the notice, being a day not earlier than 45 days after the publication of the notice, submissions in writing relating to the making of the entry.

(4)Where submissions are, in accordance with a notice under subsection (3), given to the Minister in relation to the proposed making of an entry in the Register, the Minister shall —

(a)take those submissions into account before making an entry in the Register; and

(b)after making an entry in the Register, cause to be published in the Gazette a notice setting out the terms of the entry.

[Section 81A inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 65.]

82.Application to State Administrative Tribunal for orders

(1)A person aggrieved by —

(a)the omission of an entry from the Register; or

(b)an entry made in the Register without sufficient cause; or

(c)an entry wrongly existing in the Register; or

(d)an error or defect in an entry in the Register,

may apply to the State Administrative Tribunal in its original jurisdiction for such order as the Tribunal thinks fit directing the rectification of the Register.

(2)The Tribunal may, in proceedings under this section, decide any question that it is necessary or expedient to decide in connection with the rectification of the Register.

(3)Notice of an application under this section shall be given to the Minister, who may appear and be heard and shall appear if so directed by the Tribunal.

(4)An office copy of an order made by the Tribunal may be served on the Minister, and the Minister shall, upon receipt of the order, rectify the Register accordingly.

[Section 82 amended: No. 55 of 2004 s. 918.]

[83.Deleted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 6.]

84.Offences connected with Register and certain documents

A person who wilfully —

(a)makes, causes to be made, or concurs in making a false entry in the Register; or

(b)produces or tenders in evidence a document falsely purporting to be a copy of or extract from an entry in the Register or of or from an instrument lodged with the Minister under this Division,

commits an offence.

Penalty: a fine of $5 000.

[Section 84 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 66; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(5) and (6).]

85.Assessment of fee payable under Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Registration Fees) Act 1967

(1)The Minister may determine the amount of the fee payable under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Registration Fees) Act 1967 in respect of any memorandum.

(2)A person dissatisfied with a determination of the Minister under subsection (1) may apply to the State Administrative Tribunal for a review of the determination.

[Section 85 amended: No. 55 of 2004 s. 919; No. 35 of 2007 s. 62.]

86.Exemption from duty

Duty under the Duties Act 2008 is not chargeable —

(a)on a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or access authority; or

(b)on a transfer of a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or access authority to which section 72 applies; or

(c)on any other instrument in so far as it relates to a legal or equitable interest in or affecting a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or access authority.

[Section 86 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 67; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 31 of 2008 s. 34.]

Division 5 — General

[87.Deleted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 68.]

88.Notice of grants of permits etc. to be published

The Minister shall cause notice of, and such particulars as he thinks fit of —

(a)the grant, and the grant of the renewal, of a permit, lease or licence; and

(aa)the grant, and the extension of, a drilling reservation; and

(b)the variation of a licence; and

(c)the surrender or cancellation of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence as to all or some of the blocks in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area; and

(d)the determination of a permit, drilling reservation or lease as to a block or blocks; and

(e)the expiry of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence,

under this Part to be published in the Gazette.

[Section 88 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 69; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 39.]

89.Date of effect of certain surrenders, cancellations and variations

[(1)deleted]

(2)The surrender or cancellation of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence as to all or some of the blocks in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area has effect on and from the day on which notice of the surrender or cancellation is published in the Gazette.

(3)A variation of a licence has effect on and from the day on which notice of the variation is published in the Gazette.

[Section 89 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 70; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

90.Commencement of works

(1)Where a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is granted subject to a condition that works or operations specified in the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence are to be carried out, the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee, as the case may be, shall commence to carry out those works or operations within a period of 6 months after the day on which the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, as the case may be, comes into force.

(2)The Minister may, for reasons that he thinks sufficient, by instrument in writing served on a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee —

(a)exempt him from compliance with the requirements of subsection (1); and

(b)direct him to commence to carry out the works or operations specified in the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, as the case may be, within such period after the day on which the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, as the case may be, comes into force as is specified in the instrument.

(3)A person to whom a direction is given under subsection (2) shall comply with the direction.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (1) or (3): a fine of $10 000.

[Section 90 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 71; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(7).]

91.Work practices

(1)A permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee shall carry out —

(a)all petroleum exploration operations and operations for the recovery of petroleum; or

(b)all geothermal energy resources exploration operations and operations for the recovery of geothermal energy,

as the case requires, in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area in a proper and workmanlike manner and in accordance with good oil‑field practice.

(1a)Subsections (2) and (2a) have effect without limiting the generality of subsection (1) but subject to any authorisation, requirement or direction given or made by or under this Act.

(2)A petroleum permittee, holder of a petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum lessee or petroleum licensee shall —

(a)control the flow and prevent the waste or escape in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area of petroleum or water; and

(b)prevent the escape in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area of any mixture of water or drilling fluid with petroleum or any other matter; and

(c)prevent damage to petroleum‑bearing strata in an area, whether in the State or not, in respect of which the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is not in force; and

(d)keep separate —

(i)each petroleum pool discovered in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area; and

(ii)such of the sources of water, if any, discovered in that area as the Minister, by instrument in writing served on that person, directs;

and

(e)prevent water or any other matter entering any petroleum pool through wells in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area except when required by, and in accordance with, good oil‑field practice.

(2a)A geothermal permittee, holder of a geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal lessee or geothermal licensee shall —

(a)control the flow and prevent the waste or escape in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area of geothermal energy resources or water; and

(b)prevent the escape in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area of any mixture of water or drilling fluid with geothermal energy resources or any other matter; and

(c)prevent damage to geothermal energy resources in an area, whether in the State or not, in respect of which the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is not in force; and

(d)keep separate —

(i)each geothermal resources area discovered in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area; and

(ii)such of the sources of water, if any, discovered in that area as the Minister, by instrument in writing served on that person, directs;

and

(e)except for the purposes of the recovery of geothermal energy under this Act and when required by, and in accordance with, good oil‑field practice — prevent water or any other matter entering any geothermal resources area through wells in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area.

(3)A person who is the holder of a special prospecting authority or an access authority shall carry out all petroleum exploration operations or geothermal energy resources exploration operations, as the case requires, in the area in respect of which the special prospecting authority or access authority is in force in a proper and workmanlike manner and in accordance with good oil‑field practice.

(4)It is a defence if a person charged with failing to comply with a provision of this section, or a defendant in an action arising out of a failure by the defendant to comply with a provision of this section, proves that he took all reasonable steps to comply with that provision.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (1), (2), (2a) or (3): a fine of $10 000.

[Section 91 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 72; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 40; No. 13 of 2005 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 63; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(8).]

91A.Conditions relating to insurance

(1)The registered holder of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence must maintain, as directed by the Minister from time to time, insurance against expenses or liabilities or specified things arising in connection with, or as a result of, the carrying out of work, or the doing of any other thing, under the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, including expenses of complying with directions with respect to the clean‑up or other remedying of the effects of the escape of petroleum or geothermal energy resources, as the case requires.

(2)The conditions subject to which a special prospecting authority or access authority is granted may include a condition that the registered holder maintain, as directed by the Minister from time to time, insurance against expenses or liabilities or specified things arising in connection with, or as a result of, the carrying out of work, or the doing of any other thing, under the authority, including expenses of complying with directions with respect to the clean‑up or other remedying of the effects of the escape of petroleum or geothermal energy resources, as the case requires.

(3)When —

(a)a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence was in force immediately before the commencement of section 41 of the Acts Amendment (Petroleum) Act 1994; and

(b)the Minister has required the registered holder to maintain insurance under subsection (1); and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that the required insurance is in effect,

the Minister shall issue a certificate to the effect that he is so satisfied.

(4)Where the Minister issues a certificate under subsection (3), any security in force in relation to the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, being a security that was required under this Act before the commencement of section 41 of the Acts Amendment (Petroleum) Act 1994, is discharged.

(5)The discharge of a security under subsection (4) has no effect on any liability arising under or in relation to the security before its discharge.

[Section 91A inserted: No. 28 of 1994 s. 41; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 64.]

91B.Conditions prohibiting entry on certain land

(1)In this section —

holder means the holder of the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence.

(2)The conditions subject to which a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is granted may include a condition prohibiting the holder from entering specified land within the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area.

(3)The Minister may, at any time, by instrument in writing served on the holder, vary or revoke a condition referred to in subsection (2).

[Section 91B inserted: No. 17 of 1999 s. 27.]

92.Maintenance etc. of property

(1)In this section —

operations area 

(a)in relation to an operator who is a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee — means the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area, as the case may be; and

(b)in relation to an operator who is the holder of a special prospecting authority or access authority — means the area in respect of which that authority is in force;

operator means a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee, licensee or holder of a special prospecting authority or access authority.

(2)An operator shall maintain in good condition and repair all structures, equipment and other property in the operations area and used in connection with the operations in which he is engaged.

(3)An operator shall remove from the operations area all structures, equipment and other property that are not either used or to be used in connection with the operations in which he is engaged.

(4)Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply in relation to any structure, equipment or other property that was not brought into the operations area by or with the authority of the operator.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (2) or (3): a fine of $10 000.

[Section 92 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 74; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 42; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(9).]

93.Operation of s. 91, 91A and 92 subject to this Act and other laws

Sections 91, 91A and 92 have effect subject to —

(a)any other provision of this Act; and

(b)the regulations; and

(c)a direction under section 95; and

(d)any other law.

[Section 93 amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 43.]

[94.Deleted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 46.]

95.Directions by Minister

(1)The Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the registered holder of a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority, give to the registered holder a direction as to any matter with respect to which regulations may be made.

(2)A direction given under this section to a registered holder applies to the registered holder and may also be expressed to apply to —

(a)a specified class of persons, being a class constituted by or included in one or both of the following classes of persons —

(i)servants or agents of, or persons acting on behalf of, the registered holder;

(ii)persons performing work or services, whether directly or indirectly, for the registered holder;

or

(b)any person (not being a person to whom the direction applies otherwise than in accordance with this paragraph) who is in the State for any reason touching, concerning, arising out of or connected with exploration for, or the exploitation of, petroleum or geothermal energy resources in the State or is in, on, above, below or in the vicinity of a vessel, aircraft, structure or installation, or equipment or other property, that is in the State for a reason of that kind,

and, where a direction so expressed is given, the direction shall be deemed to apply to each person included in that specified class or to each person who is in the State as mentioned in paragraph (b), as the case may be.

(2a)Where a direction under this section applies to a registered holder and to a person referred to in subsection (2)(a), the registered holder shall cause a copy of the instrument by which the direction was given to be given to that other person or to be exhibited at a prominent position at a place in the State frequented by that other person.

Penalty: a fine of $5 000.

(2b)Where a direction under this section applies to a registered holder and to a person referred to in subsection (2)(b), the registered holder shall cause a copy of the instrument by which the direction was given to be exhibited at a prominent position at a place in the State.

Penalty: a fine of $5 000.

(2c)Where a direction under this section applies to a registered holder and to a person referred to in subsection (2)(b), the Minister may, by notice in writing given to the registered holder, require the registered holder to cause to be displayed at such places in the State, and in such manner, as are specified in the notice, copies of the instrument by which the direction was given, and the registered holder shall comply with that requirement.

Penalty: a fine of $5 000.

(3)A direction under this section has effect and shall be complied with notwithstanding any previous direction under this section.

(4)A direction under this section has effect and shall be complied with notwithstanding anything in the regulations.

(5)Section 153(2a) and (2b) applies in relation to directions made under this section in like manner as that section applies to the regulations.

(6)A person who fails to comply with a direction in force under subsection (1) that applies to the person is guilty of an offence punishable, upon conviction, by a fine not exceeding $10 000.

(7)Where —

(a)a direction given under this section applies to a registered holder and another person and that other person is prosecuted for an offence against subsection (6) in relation to the direction; and

(b)the person adduces evidence that the person did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to have known, of the existence of the direction,

the person shall not be convicted of the offence unless the prosecutor proves that the person knew, or could reasonably be expected to have known, of the existence of the direction.

[Section 95 inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 76; amended: No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 65; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(15).]

96.Compliance with directions

(1)Where a person does not comply with a direction given or applicable to the person under this Part or under the regulations, the Minister may do all or any of the things required by the direction to be done.

(2)Costs and expenses incurred by the Minister under subsection (1) in relation to a direction are a debt due by the person to whom the direction was given or was applicable to the Crown and are recoverable in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(2a)Where —

(a)a direction given under section 95 applies to a permittee, lessee or licensee or the holder of a special prospecting authority or access authority and another person and an action under subsection (2) relating to the direction is brought against that other person; and

(b)the person adduces evidence that the person did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to have known, of the existence of the direction,

the person is not liable under subsection (2) unless the plaintiff proves that the person knew, or could reasonably be expected to have known, of the existence of the direction.

(3)It is a defence if a person charged with failing to comply with a direction given or applicable to the person under this Part or under the regulations or a defendant in an action under subsection (2) proves that he took all reasonable steps to comply with the direction.

[Section 96 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 77.]

97.Variation and suspension of, and exemption from compliance with, conditions

(1)Where —

(a)a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is, under this Part, to be deemed to continue in force until the Minister grants, or refuses to grant, the renewal of the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence; or

(b)a licence is varied under section 55; or

(c)a licensee enters into an agreement under section 69, or a direction is given to a licensee under that section; or

(d)a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is partly cancelled, partly determined or surrendered as to one or more but not all of the blocks in respect of which it is in force; or

(e)a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee consents to the making of a determination under section 135; or

(f)an access authority is granted in respect of a block the subject of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, or an access authority as in force in respect of such a block is varied; or

(g)a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee, licensee or the holder of a special prospecting authority or access authority applies, by instrument in writing served on the Minister —

(i)for a variation or suspension of; or

(ii)for exemption from compliance with,

any of the conditions to which the permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority is subject; or

(h)the Minister under this Part or the regulations gives a direction or consent to a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee, licensee or the holder of a special prospecting authority or access authority,

the Minister may, at any time, by instrument in writing served on the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee, licensee or the holder of the special prospecting authority or access authority —

(i)vary or suspend; or

(j)exempt the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee, licensee or the holder of the special prospecting authority or access authority from compliance with,

any of the conditions to which the permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority or access authority is subject, upon such conditions, if any, as the Minister determines and specifies in the instrument.

(2)Subsection (1) does not authorise the making of an instrument to the extent that it would affect —

(a)a condition of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence included in the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence in compliance with Division 7; or

(b)the term of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence.

(3)Where, in pursuance of subsection (1), the Minister suspends, or exempts the permittee, the holder of a drilling reservation or a lessee from compliance with, any of the conditions to which a permit, drilling reservation or lease is subject, the Minister may, if he considers the circumstances make it reasonable to do so, in the instrument of suspension or exemption or by a later instrument in writing served on the permittee, the holder of a drilling reservation or lessee, extend the term of the permit, drilling reservation or lease by a period not exceeding the period of the suspension or exemption.

[Section 97 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 78; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 44.]

97A.Variation of petroleum title by including area as result of change to boundary of offshore area

(1)In this section —

Commonwealth title means —

(a)a Commonwealth permit; or

(b)a Commonwealth lease; or

(c)a Commonwealth licence;

fixed‑term WA petroleum production licence means a petroleum production licence granted for a fixed period of years;

petroleum title means a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum retention lease or fixed‑term WA petroleum production licence;

section 27 block means —

(a)a block constituted as provided by section 27; or

(b)if a graticular section is wholly within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth title concerned — the graticular section; or

(c)if a part only of a graticular section is within the area that was covered by the Commonwealth title concerned — that part of the graticular section.

Note for this definition:

See also subsection (14).

(2)This section applies if —

(a)a Commonwealth title has been granted on the basis that an area (the relevant area) is within the offshore area; and

(b)as a result of a change to the boundary of the offshore area, the relevant area —

(i)ceases to be within the offshore area; and

(ii)falls within the inshore area;

and

(c)either —

(i)the conditions set out in subsection (3) are satisfied; or

(ii)the conditions set out in subsection (4) are satisfied;

and

(d)immediately before the relevant time mentioned in whichever of subsection (3) or (4) is applicable —

(i)the Commonwealth title was held by the registered holder of a petroleum title that corresponds to the Commonwealth title; and

(ii)at least one section 27 block covered by the petroleum title immediately adjoined at least one other section 27 block that was covered by the Commonwealth title and that is in the relevant area;

and

(e)before the relevant time mentioned in whichever of subsection (3) or (4) is applicable —

(i)the registered holder of the Commonwealth title; and

(ii)the registered holder of the petroleum title,

gave the Minister a written notice electing to accept the variation under this section of the petroleum title.

Note for this subsection:

For when a petroleum title corresponds to a Commonwealth title, see subsection (13).

(3)The conditions mentioned in subsection (2)(c)(i) are —

(a)one or more, but not all, of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth title immediately before the change are in the relevant area; and

(b)the Commonwealth title subsequently ceases to be in force at the same time (the relevant time) —

(i)as to all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth title immediately before the change and that are in the offshore area; and

(ii)otherwise than as the result of the cancellation or surrender of the Commonwealth title.

(4)The conditions mentioned in subsection (2)(c)(ii) are —

(a)all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth title immediately before the change are in the relevant area; and

(b)the Commonwealth title subsequently ceases to be in force at the same time (the relevant time) —

(i)as to all of the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth title immediately before the change; and

(ii)otherwise than as the result of the cancellation or surrender of the Commonwealth title.

(5)If the conditions set out in subsection (2)(d) and (e) are met in relation to only one petroleum title, that petroleum title is the relevant petroleum title for the purposes of this section.

(6)If the conditions set out in subsection (2)(d) and (e) would, apart from this subsection, be met in relation to 2 or more petroleum titles that have the same registered holder, the Minister must, by written notice given to the registered holder, declare that one of those petroleum titles is the relevant petroleum title for the purposes of this section.

(7)If the relevant petroleum title is a petroleum exploration permit —

(a)the Minister must, by written notice given to the permittee, vary the permit to include in the permit area all of the section 27 blocks that —

(i)correspond to the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth title immediately before the change; and

(ii)are in the inshore area;

and

(b)the section 27 blocks included in the permit area because of the variation are, for the remainder of the term of the permit, blocks in relation to which the permit is in force.

(8)If the relevant petroleum title is a petroleum retention lease —

(a)the Minister must, by written notice given to the lessee, vary the lease to include in the lease area all of the section 27 blocks that —

(i)correspond to the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth title immediately before the change; and

(ii)are in the inshore area;

and

(b)the section 27 blocks included in the lease area because of the variation are, for the remainder of the term of the lease, blocks in relation to which the lease is in force.

(9)If the relevant petroleum title is a petroleum production licence —

(a)the Minister must, by written notice given to the licensee, vary the licence to include in the licence area all of the section 27 blocks that —

(i)correspond to the section 27 blocks that were covered by the Commonwealth title immediately before the change; and

(ii)are in the inshore area;

and

(b)the section 27 blocks included in the licence area because of the variation are, for the remainder of the term of the licence, blocks in relation to which the licence is in force.

(10)Subsections (7)(b), (8)(b) and (9)(b) have effect subject to this Part.

(11)A variation mentioned in subsection (7)(a), (8)(a) or (9)(a) takes effect immediately after the relevant time mentioned in whichever of subsection (3) or (4) is applicable.

(12)For the purposes of this section, a section 27 block immediately adjoins another section 27 block if —

(a)the graticular section that constitutes or includes that section 27 block and the graticular section that constitutes or includes that other section 27 block —

(i)have a side in common; or

(ii)are joined together at one point only;

or

(b)that section 27 block and that other section 27 block are in the same graticular section.

(13)For the purposes of this section —

(a)a petroleum exploration permit granted otherwise than by way of renewal corresponds to a Commonwealth permit granted otherwise than by way of renewal; and

(b)a petroleum retention lease corresponds to a Commonwealth lease; and

(c)a fixed‑term WA petroleum production licence granted otherwise than by way of renewal corresponds to a Commonwealth licence granted otherwise than by way of renewal; and

(d)a petroleum exploration permit granted by way of first renewal corresponds to a Commonwealth permit granted by way of first renewal; and

(e)a fixed‑term WA petroleum production licence granted by way of first renewal corresponds to a Commonwealth licence granted by way of first renewal; and

(f)a petroleum exploration permit granted by way of second renewal corresponds to a Commonwealth permit granted by way of second renewal; and

(g)a fixed‑term WA petroleum production licence granted by way of second or subsequent renewal corresponds to a fixed‑term petroleum production licence, as defined in the Commonwealth Act section 7, granted by way of second or subsequent renewal.

(14)If, after the change to the boundary of the offshore area —

(a)a part of a section 27 block that was covered by the Commonwealth title immediately before the change is in the offshore area; and

(b)the remaining part of the section 27 block is in the inshore area,

then, for the purposes of this section (other than this subsection), each of those parts is taken to constitute, and to have always constituted, a section 27 block.

[Section 97A inserted: No. 7 of 2017 s. 24.]

98.Surrender of permits etc.

(1)The registered holder of an instrument, being a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, may, at any time, by application in writing served on the Minister, apply for consent to surrender the instrument as to all or some of the blocks in respect of which it is in force.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), the Minister shall not give his consent to a surrender of an instrument under subsection (1), unless the registered holder —

(a)has paid all fees and amounts payable by him under this Act, or has made arrangements that are satisfactory to the Minister for the payment of those fees and amounts; and

(b)has complied with the conditions to which the instrument is subject and with the provisions of this Part and of the regulations; and

(c)has, to the satisfaction of the Minister, removed or caused to be removed from the area to which the surrender relates all property brought into that area by any person engaged or concerned in the operations authorised by the instrument, or has made arrangements that are satisfactory to the Minister with respect to that property; and

(d)has, to the satisfaction of the Minister, plugged or closed off all wells made in that area by any person engaged or concerned in the operations authorised by the instrument; and

(e)subject to this Part and to the regulations, has made provision, to the satisfaction of the Minister, for the conservation and protection of the natural resources in that area; and

(f)has, to the satisfaction of the Minister, made good any damage to the Earth’s crust in that area caused by any person engaged or concerned in the operations authorised by the instrument,

but, if the registered holder has complied with those requirements, the Minister shall not unreasonably refuse consent to the surrender.

(3)Where the registered holder of an instrument, being a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, has not complied with the conditions to which the instrument is subject and with the provisions of this Part and of the regulations, the Minister may give his consent to a surrender of the instrument under subsection (1) if he is satisfied that, although the registered holder has not so complied, special circumstances exist that justify the giving of consent to the surrender.

(4)Where the Minister consents to an application under subsection (1), the applicant may, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, surrender the instrument accordingly.

(5)In this section, the area to which the surrender relates means, in relation to a surrender of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, the area constituted by the blocks as to which the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is proposed to be surrendered.

[Section 98 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 79; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

99.Cancellation of permits etc.

(1)Where a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee —

(a)has not complied with a condition to which the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is subject; or

(b)has not complied with a direction given to him under this Part by the Minister; or

(c)has not complied with a provision of this Part or of the regulations; or

(d)has not paid any amount payable by him under this Act, within a period of 3 months after the day on which the amount became payable,

the Minister may, on that ground, by instrument in writing served on the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation or lessee or licensee, as the case may be, cancel the permit, drilling reservation or licence, as the case requires, as to all or some of the blocks in respect of which it is in force, or cancel the lease as to all of the blocks in respect of which it is in force.

(2)The Minister shall not, under subsection (1), cancel a permit, drilling reservation or licence as to all or some of the blocks in respect of which it is in force, or cancel a lease as to all of the blocks in respect of which it is in force, on a ground referred to in that subsection unless —

(a)he has, by instrument in writing served on the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee, as the case may be, given not less than one month’s notice of his intention so to cancel the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence on that ground; and

(b)he has served a copy of the instrument on such other persons, if any, as he thinks fit; and

(c)he has, in the instrument, specified a date on or before which the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee or a person on whom a copy of the instrument is served may, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, submit any matters that he wishes the Minister to consider; and

(d)he has taken into account —

(i)any action taken by the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee, as the case may be, to remove that ground or to prevent the recurrence of similar grounds; and

(ii)any matters so submitted to him on or before the specified date by the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee or by a person on whom a copy of the first‑mentioned instrument has been served.

[Section 99 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 80; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

100.Cancellation of permit etc. not affected by other provisions

(1)A permit, drilling reservation or licence may be wholly cancelled or partly cancelled, and a lease may be wholly cancelled, on the ground that the registered holder of the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence has not complied with a provision of this Part or of the regulations notwithstanding that he has been convicted of an offence by reason of his failure to comply with the provision.

(2)A person who was the registered holder of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence that has been wholly cancelled, or is the registered holder of a permit, drilling reservation, or licence that has been partly cancelled, on the ground that he has not complied with a provision of this Part or of the regulations may be convicted of an offence by reason of his failure to comply with the provision; notwithstanding that the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence has been so cancelled.

(3)A permit, drilling reservation or licence may be wholly cancelled or partly cancelled, and a lease may be wholly cancelled, on the ground that the registered holder of the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence has not paid an amount payable by him under this Act, within a period of 3 months after the day on which the amount became payable; notwithstanding that judgment for the amount has been obtained or that the amount, or any part of the amount, has been paid or recovered.

(4)A person who was the registered holder of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence that has been wholly cancelled or is the registered holder of a permit or licence that has been partly cancelled, on the ground that he has not paid an amount payable by him under this Act, within a period of 3 months after the day on which the amount became payable continues to be liable to pay that amount, together with any additional amount payable by reason of late payment of that amount; notwithstanding that the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence has been so cancelled.

[Section 100 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 81; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

101.Removal of property etc. by permittee etc.

(1)Where a permit, drilling reservation or licence has been wholly determined, partly determined, wholly cancelled or partly cancelled, or has expired, or a lease has been wholly determined, partly determined or wholly cancelled or has expired, the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the person who was, or is, as the case may be, the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee, direct that person to do any one or more of the following things —

(a)to remove or cause to be removed from the relinquished area all property brought into that area by any person engaged or concerned in the operations authorised by the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence or to make arrangements that are satisfactory to the Minister with respect to that property; and

(b)to plug or close off, to the satisfaction of the Minister, all wells made in that area by any person engaged or concerned in those operations; and

(c)subject to this Part and to the regulations, to make provision, to the satisfaction of the Minister, for the conservation and protection of the natural resources in that area; and

(d)to make good to the satisfaction of the Minister any damage to the Earth’s crust in that area caused by any person engaged or concerned in those operations.

(2)The Minister may, by instrument in writing served on a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee, direct him to do any one or more of the following things —

(a)to remove or cause to be removed from the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area, as the case may be, all property brought into that area or part by any person engaged or concerned in the operations authorised by the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence or to make arrangements that are satisfactory to the Minister with respect to that property; and

(b)to plug or close off, to the satisfaction of the Minister, all wells made in that area or part by any person engaged or concerned in those operations; and

(c)subject to this Part and to the regulations, to make provision, to the satisfaction of the Minister, for the conservation and protection of the natural resources in that area or part; and

(d)to make good to the satisfaction of the Minister any damage to the Earth’s crust in that area or part caused by any person engaged or concerned in those operations.

(3)A person to whom a direction is given under either subsection (1) or (2) shall comply with the direction —

(a)in the case of a direction given under subsection (1) —within the period specified in the instrument by which the direction was given; or

(b)in the case of a direction given under subsection (2) —on or before the date of expiration of the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence concerned.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (3): a fine of $10 000.

[Section 101 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 82; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(10).]

102.Removal of property etc. by Minister

Where a permit, drilling reservation or licence has been wholly determined, partly determined, wholly cancelled or partly cancelled, or has expired, or a lease has been wholly determined, partly determined or wholly cancelled or has expired, and a direction under section 101 has not been complied with, or an arrangement under that section has not been carried out, in relation to the relinquished area —

(a)the Minister may do all or any of the things required by the direction or arrangement to be done; and

(b)if any property brought into that area by any person engaged or concerned in the operations authorised by the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence has not been removed in accordance with the direction or arrangement, the Minister may, by instrument published in the Gazette, direct that the owner or owners of that property shall remove it from that area, or dispose of it to the satisfaction of the Minister, within the period specified in the instrument and shall serve a copy of the instrument on each person whom he believes to be an owner of that property or any part of that property.

[Section 102 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 83; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

[103, 104.Deleted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 47.]

105.Special prospecting authorities

(1)A person may make an application to the Minister for the grant of a special prospecting authority in respect of a block or blocks in respect of which a permit, lease or licence is not in force.

(1a)A person making an application under subsection (1) may also request authority to apply for the grant of a permit in accordance with section 31 or a drilling reservation in accordance with section 43B in respect of that block or those blocks.

(2)An application under this section —

[(a)deleted]

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall specify the operations that the applicant proposes to carry on and the block or blocks in respect of which the applicant proposes to carry on those operations; and

(d)shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3)The Minister —

(a)may —

(i)grant to the applicant a special prospecting authority subject to such conditions as the Minister thinks fit and specifies in the authority; and

(ii)if the Minister considers it appropriate to do so and so specifies in the special prospecting authority, authorise the applicant to apply for the grant of a permit or drilling reservation as requested under subsection (1a);

or

(b)may refuse to grant the application.

(4)A petroleum special prospecting authority, while it remains in force, authorises the holder, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the special prospecting authority is subject, to carry on in the blocks specified in the special prospecting authority the petroleum exploration operations so specified.

(4a)A geothermal special prospecting authority, while it remains in force, authorises the holder, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the special prospecting authority is subject, to carry on in the blocks specified in the special prospecting authority the geothermal energy resources exploration operations so specified.

(5)Nothing in a special prospecting authority authorises the holder to make a well.

(6)A special prospecting authority comes into force on the day specified for the purpose in the authority and, unless surrendered or cancelled, remains in force for such period, not exceeding 6 months, as is so specified.

(6a)A special prospecting authority is not capable of being transferred.

(6b)Where —

(a)a person holds a petroleum special prospecting authority in respect of a block; and

(b)another petroleum special prospecting authority is granted to another person in respect of the block,

the Minister shall, by notice in writing served on each of those persons, inform each of them of —

(c)the petroleum exploration operations authorised by the special prospecting authority granted to the other person; and

(d)the conditions to which the special prospecting authority granted to the other person is subject.

(6c)If —

(a)a person holds a geothermal special prospecting authority in respect of a block; and

(b)another geothermal special prospecting authority is granted to another person in respect of the block,

the Minister shall, by notice in writing served on each of those persons, inform each of them of —

(c)the geothermal energy resources exploration operations authorised by the special prospecting authority granted to the other person; and

(d)the conditions to which the special prospecting authority granted to the other person is subject.

(7)A special prospecting authority —

(a)may be surrendered by the holder at any time by instrument in writing served on the Minister; and

(b)may, if the holder has not complied with a condition to which the authority is subject, be cancelled by the Minister by instrument in writing served on the holder.

(8)Where a special prospecting authority has been surrendered or cancelled, or has expired, the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the person who was the holder of the special prospecting authority, direct that person to do any one or more of the following things —

(a)to remove or cause to be removed from the relinquished area all property brought into that area by any person engaged or concerned in the operations authorised by the special prospecting authority or to make arrangements that are satisfactory to the Minister with respect to that property; and

(b)subject to this Part and to the regulations, to make provision, to the satisfaction of the Minister, for the conservation or protection of the natural resources in that area; and

(c)to make good, to the satisfaction of the Minister, any damage to the Earth’s crust in that area caused by any person engaged or concerned in those operations.

(9)A person to whom a direction is given under subsection (8) shall comply with the direction.

Penalty: a fine of $10 000.

(10)Section 102 applies to and in relation to a special prospecting authority as if —

(a)a reference in that section to a permit were a reference to a special prospecting authority; and

(b)a reference in that section to a direction or an arrangement under section 101 were a reference to a direction or an arrangement under subsection (8).

[Section 105 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 85; No. 28 of 1994 s. 45; No. 13 of 2005 s. 16(2); No. 35 of 2007 s. 66; No. 42 of 2010 s. 48 and 62(15).]

106.Access authorities

(1)A petroleum permittee, holder of a petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum lessee, petroleum licensee or holder of a petroleum special prospecting authority may make an application to the Minister for the grant of a petroleum access authority to enable him to carry on, in an area being part of the State that is not part of the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area or area of the blocks specified in the special prospecting authority, petroleum exploration operations or operations related to the recovery of petroleum in or from the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area or area of the blocks so specified.

(1a)A holder of a petroleum title outside the State may make an application to the Minister for the grant of a petroleum access authority to enable the holder to carry on, in a part of the State, petroleum exploration operations or operations related to the recovery of petroleum in or from the area to which that petroleum title relates.

(1b)A person who is a geothermal permittee, holder of a geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal lessee, geothermal licensee or holder of a geothermal special prospecting authority may make an application to the Minister for the grant of a geothermal access authority to enable the person to carry on, in an area being part of the State that is not part of the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area or area of the blocks specified in the special prospecting authority, geothermal energy resources exploration operations or operations related to the recovery of geothermal energy in or from the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area or area of the blocks so specified.

(1c)A holder of a geothermal title outside the State may make an application to the Minister for the grant of a geothermal access authority to enable the holder to carry on, in a part of the State, geothermal energy resources exploration operations or operations related to the recovery of geothermal energy in or from the area to which that geothermal title relates.

(2)An application under this section —

[(a)deleted]

(b)shall be made in an approved manner; and

(c)shall specify the operations that the applicant proposes to carry on and the area in which the applicant proposes to carry on those operations; and

(d)may set out any other matters that the applicant wishes the Minister to consider.

(3)The Minister may —

(a)if he is satisfied that it is necessary or desirable to do so for the more effective exercise of the rights, or for the proper performance of the duties, of a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee, licensee or holder of a special prospecting authority, petroleum title or geothermal title who has made an application under this section, grant to him an access authority subject to such conditions as the Minister thinks fit and specifies in the access authority; and

(b)at any time, by instrument in writing served on the registered holder of an access authority so granted, vary the access authority.

(4)Subject to subsection (5A), the Minister shall not —

(aa)grant a petroleum access authority on an application under this section in respect of a block that is the subject of a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum retention lease, petroleum production licence or petroleum special prospecting authority of which the registered holder is a person other than the applicant, or vary a petroleum access authority as in force in respect of a block that is the subject of a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation, petroleum retention lease, petroleum production licence or petroleum special prospecting authority of which the registered holder is a person other than the registered holder of the access authority; or

(bb)grant a geothermal access authority on an application under this section in respect of a block that is the subject of a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal retention lease, geothermal production licence or geothermal special prospecting authority of which the registered holder is a person other than the applicant, or vary a geothermal access authority as in force in respect of a block that is the subject of a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal retention lease, geothermal production licence or geothermal special prospecting authority of which the registered holder is a person other than the registered holder of the access authority,

unless —

(a)he has, by instrument in writing served on that person, given not less than one month’s notice of his intention to grant, or vary, as the case may be, the access authority; and

(b)he has served a copy of the instrument —

(i)on such other persons, if any, as he thinks fit; and

(ii)in a case where he intends to vary an access authority — on the registered holder of the access authority;

and

(c)he has, in the instrument —

(i)given particulars of the access authority proposed to be granted, or of the variation proposed to be made, as the case may be; and

(ii)specified a date on or before which a person on whom the instrument, or a copy of the instrument, is served may, by instrument in writing served on the Minister, submit any matters that he wishes the Minister to consider;

and

(d)he has taken into account any matters so submitted to him on or before the specified date by a person on whom the first‑mentioned instrument, or a copy of that instrument, has been served.

(5A)Subsection (4) does not apply if the holder of the permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or special prospecting authority has consented in writing to the grant of the access authority.

(5)An access authority, while it remains in force, authorises the holder, subject to this Act and in accordance with the conditions to which the access authority is subject, to carry on, in the area specified in the access authority, the operations so specified.

(6)Nothing in an access authority authorises the holder to make a well other than a deviation well into an adjacent permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area held by him under this Act or, in the case of a petroleum access authority, the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982.

(7)An access authority comes into force on the day specified for the purpose in the access authority and, unless surrendered or cancelled, remains in force for such period as is so specified but may be extended by the Minister for a further specified period.

(8)An access authority —

(a)may be surrendered by the holder at any time by instrument in writing served on the Minister; and

(b)may be cancelled by the Minister at any time by instrument in writing served on the holder and on any person in whose permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area operations may be carried on in pursuance of the access authority.

(9)Where an access authority has been surrendered or cancelled or has expired, the Minister may, by instrument in writing served on the person who was the holder of the access authority, direct that person to do any one or more of the following things —

(a)to remove or cause to be removed from the relinquished area all property brought into that area by any person engaged or concerned in the operations authorised by the access authority or to make arrangements that are satisfactory to the Minister with respect to that property; and

(b)subject to this Part and to the regulations, to make provision, to the satisfaction of the Minister, for the conservation and protection of the natural resources in that area; and

(c)to make good, to the satisfaction of the Minister, any damage to the Earth’s crust in that area caused by any person engaged or concerned in those operations.

(10)A person to whom a direction is given under subsection (9) shall comply with the direction.

Penalty: a fine of $10 000.

(11)The holder of an access authority shall, if the access authority is in force in respect of an area that consists of, or includes, a block that is the subject of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence of which he is not the registered holder, furnish to the registered holder of that permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, within 28 days after the end of each month during which the access authority is in force in respect of that block, a full report, in writing, of the operations (not being operations related to the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy by means of a deviation well referred to in subsection (6)) carried on in that block during that month and a summary of the facts ascertained from those operations.

Penalty: a fine of $5 000.

(12)Section 102 applies to and in relation to an access authority as if —

(a)a reference in that section to a permit were a reference to an access authority; and

(b)a reference in that section to a direction or an arrangement under section 101 were a reference to a direction or an arrangement under subsection (9).

(13)In this section —

geothermal title means an authority, however described, under a law of the Commonwealth, of another State or of the Northern Territory to explore for geothermal energy resources or to recover geothermal energy;

petroleum title means an authority, however described, under the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 or a law of the Commonwealth, of another State or of the Northern Territory to explore for, or to recover, petroleum.

[Section 106 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 86; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 46; No. 13 of 2005 s. 16(2); No. 35 of 2007 s. 67; No. 42 of 2010 s. 49 and 62(15).]

107.Removal, disposal or sale of property

(1)Where a direction under section 102 has not been complied with in relation to any property, the Minister may do all or any of the following things —

(a)remove, in such manner as he thinks fit, all or any of that property from the relinquished area concerned; and

(b)dispose of, in such manner as he thinks fit, all or any of that property; and

(c)if he has served a copy of the instrument by which the direction was given on a person whom he believed to be an owner of that property or part of that property, sell, by public auction or otherwise, as he thinks fit, all or any part of that property that belongs, or that he believes to belong, to that person.

(2)The Minister may deduct from the proceeds of a sale under subsection (1) of property that belongs, or that he believes to belong, to a particular person —

(a)all or any part of any costs and expenses incurred by him under that subsection in relation to that property; and

(b)all or any part of any costs and expenses incurred by him in relation to the doing of any thing required by a direction under section 101, 105 or 106, as the case may be, to be done by that person; and

(c)all or any part of any fees or amounts due and payable under this Act by that person.

(3)Costs and expenses incurred by the Minister under subsection (1) —

(a)if incurred in relation to the removal, disposal or sale of property, are a debt due by the owner of the property to the Crown; or

(b)if incurred in relation to the doing of anything required by a direction under section 101, 105 or 106, as the case may be, to be done by a person who is or was a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee, licensee or holder of a special prospecting authority or access authority, are a debt due by that person to the Crown,

and, to the extent to which they are not recovered under subsection (2), are recoverable in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(4)Subject to subsection (3), no action lies in respect of the removal, disposal or sale of property under this section.

[Section 107 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 87; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

[108.Deleted: No. 28 of 1994 s. 47.]

109.Minister etc. may require information to be furnished etc.

(1)Where the Minister or an inspector has reason to believe that a person is capable of giving information or producing documents relating to petroleum exploration operations or operations for the recovery of petroleum in the State, or to geothermal energy resources exploration operations or operations for the recovery of geothermal energy in the State, he may, by instrument in writing served on that person, require that person —

(a)to furnish to him, in writing, within the period and in the manner specified in the instrument, any such information; or

(b)to attend before him or a person specified in the instrument, at such time and place as is so specified and there to answer questions relating to those operations and to produce such documents relating to those operations as are so specified.

(2)A person is not excused from furnishing information, answering a question or producing a document when required to do so under this section on the ground that the information so furnished, the answer to the question or the production of the document might tend to incriminate him or make him liable to a penalty.

(3)However, any information furnished, answer given or document produced pursuant to the requirement, and any information or thing (including any document) obtained as a direct or indirect consequence of the furnishing of the information, the answering of the question or the production of the document, as the case may be, is not admissible in any civil proceedings or in any criminal proceedings other than proceedings for an offence against section 111.

[Section 109 amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 68; No. 42 of 2010 s. 50.]

110.Power to examine on oath

(1)The Minister or an inspector may administer an oath to a person required to attend before him in pursuance of section 109 and may examine that person on oath.

(2)Where a person attending before the Minister or an inspector in pursuance of section 109 conscientiously objects to take an oath, he may make an affirmation that he conscientiously objects to take an oath and that he will state the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to all questions asked him.

(3)An affirmation made under subsection (2) is of the same force and effect, and entails the same penalties, as an oath.

111.Failing to furnish information etc.

A person shall not —

(a)refuse or fail to comply with a requirement in an instrument under section 109 to the extent to which he is capable of complying with it; or

(b)in purported compliance with such a requirement, knowingly furnish information that is false or misleading in a material particular; or

(c)when attending before the Minister or an inspector in pursuance of such a requirement knowingly make a statement or produce a document that is false or misleading in a material particular.

Penalty: a fine of $10 000.

[Section 111 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 89; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(15).]

[112.Deleted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 51.]

112A.Safety zones

(1)For the purpose of protecting a well or structure, or any equipment, in an area of water in the State, the Minister may, by instrument in writing published in the Gazette, prohibit —

(a)all vessels; or

(b)all vessels other than specified vessels; or

(c)all vessels other than the vessels included in specified classes of vessels,

from entering or remaining in a specified area (in this section called a safety zone) surrounding the well, structure or equipment without the consent in writing of the Minister.

(2)A safety zone specified in an instrument under subsection (1) may extend to a distance of 500 m around the well, structure or equipment specified in the instrument measured from each point of the outer edge of the well, structure or equipment.

(3)The owner and the person in command or in charge of a vessel shall ensure that the vessel does not enter or remain in a safety zone specified in an instrument under subsection (1) in contravention of the instrument.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (3): a fine of $100 000 or imprisonment for 10 years.

[Section 112A inserted: No. 28 of 1994 s. 49; amended: No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(11).]

113.Discovery of water to be notified

(1)Where water is discovered in a permit area, a drilling reservation, a lease area or a licence area, the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee, as the case may be, shall, within a period of one month after the date of the discovery, furnish to the Minister, in writing, particulars of the discovery.

Penalty: a fine of $10 000.

(2)In subsection (1) —

water does not include water that constitutes geothermal energy resources.

[Section 113 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 91; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 50; No. 35 of 2007 s. 70; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(15).]

[114.Deleted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 52.]

115.Records etc. to be kept

(1)The Minister may, by instrument in writing served on a person carrying on operations in the State under a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority, access authority or instrument of consent under section 116, direct that person to do any one or more of the following things —

(a)to keep such accounts, records and other documents in connection with those operations as are specified in the instrument;

(b)to collect and retain such cores, cuttings and samples in connection with those operations as are so specified;

(c)to furnish to the Minister, or to such person as is so specified, in the manner so specified, such reports, returns, other documents, cores, cuttings and samples in connection with those operations as are so specified.

(2)A person to whom a direction is given under subsection (1) shall comply with the direction.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (2): a fine of $10 000.

[Section 115 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 93; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 52; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(12).]

116A.Data management: regulations

(1)The regulations may make provision for and in relation to —

(a)the keeping of accounts, records and other documents in connection with operations under —

(i)a permit; or

(ii)a drilling reservation; or

(iii)a lease; or

(iv)a licence; or

(v)a special prospecting authority; or

(vi)an access authority; or

(vii)a consent under section 116;

and

(b)the collection and retention of cores, cuttings and samples in connection with those operations; and

(c)the giving to the Minister, or a specified person, of reports, returns, other documents, cores, cuttings and samples in connection with those operations.

(2)A requirement under section 115 is in addition to a requirement under regulations made for the purposes of this section.

[Section 116A inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 53.]

116.Scientific investigations

(1)The Minister may, by instrument in writing, consent to the carrying on in the State by any person of petroleum exploration operations or geothermal energy resources exploration operations in the course of a scientific investigation.

(2)An instrument of consent under subsection (1) may be made subject to such conditions, if any, as are specified in the instrument.

(3)An instrument of consent in force under subsection (1) authorises the person specified in the instrument, subject to section 117 and in accordance with the conditions, if any, to which the instrument is subject, to carry on in the State petroleum exploration operations or geothermal energy resources exploration operations so specified in the course of the scientific investigation so specified.

[Section 116 amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 71.]

117.Interference with other rights etc.

A person carrying on operations in the State under a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence, special prospecting authority, access authority or instrument of consent under section 116 shall carry on those operations in a manner that does not interfere with —

(a)the surface of any land or any improvements thereon; or

(b)the conservation of the resources of the soil or the Earth’s crust; or

(c)any operations of another person being lawfully carried on by way of exploration for, recovery of or conveyance of a mineral, whether petroleum or not, or geothermal energy resources or geothermal energy, or by way of construction or operation of a pipeline; or

(d)navigation; or

(e)fishing; or

(f)the conservation of the resources of the sea and the seabed,

to a greater extent than is necessary for the reasonable exercise of the rights and performance of the duties of that first‑mentioned person.

Penalty: a fine of $10 000.

[Section 117 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 94; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 72; No. 42 of 2010 s. 54 and 62(15).]

117A.Interfering with petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation

A person must not intentionally or recklessly —

(a)cause damage to, or interfere with, a well or any structure or vessel in the State that is, or is to be, used in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(b)interfere with any petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation.

Penalty: imprisonment for 10 years.

[Section 117A inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 8; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 86.]

118.Inspectors

(1)The Minister may, by instrument in writing, appoint a person to be an inspector for such or all of the purposes of this Act as are specified in the instrument of appointment.

(2)The Minister may furnish to an inspector a certificate stating that the person is an inspector for the purposes specified in the certificate.

(3)Where the appointment of a person under this section expires or is revoked, that person shall forthwith surrender the certificate furnished to him under this section to the Minister or, if the Minister, by instrument in writing served on that person, specifies another person to whom the certificate is to be surrendered, to that other person.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (3): a fine of $500.

[Section 118 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 95; No. 13 of 2005 s. 9; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(13).]

119.Powers of inspectors

(1)For the purposes of this Act, but without affecting the powers of an inspector under Schedule 1, an inspector, at all reasonable times and on production of the certificate furnished to him under section 118 —

(a)shall have access to any part of the State and to any structure, vehicle, aircraft or building in the State that, in his opinion, has been, is being or is to be used in connection with petroleum exploration operations or operations for the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy resources exploration operations or operations for the recovery of geothermal energy; and

(b)may inspect and test any equipment that, in his opinion, has been, is being or is to be used in that area in connection with any of those operations; and

(c)may enter any structure, vehicle, aircraft, building or place in the State, in which, in his opinion, there are any documents relating to any of those operations and may inspect, take extracts from and make copies of any of those documents.

(2)A person who is the occupier or person in charge of any building, structure or place, or is the person in charge of any vehicle, aircraft or equipment referred to in subsection (1) shall provide an inspector with all reasonable facilities and assistance for the effective exercise of his powers under this section.

(3)A person shall not, without reasonable excuse, obstruct or hinder an inspector in the exercise of his powers under this section.

Penalty for an offence under subsection (2) or (3): a fine of $5 000.

[Section 119 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 96; No. 13 of 2005 s. 10; No. 35 of 2007 s. 73; No. 42 of 2010 s. 62(14).]

119A.Protection from liability for wrongdoing

(1)An action in tort does not lie against a person for anything that the person has done, in good faith, in the performance or purported performance of a function under this Act.

(2)The protection given by subsection (1) applies even though the thing done as described in that subsection may have been capable of being done whether or not this Act had been enacted.

(3)Despite subsection (1), the State is not relieved of any liability that it might have for another person having done anything as described in that subsection.

(4)In this section a reference to the doing of anything includes a reference to the omission to do anything.

[Section 119A inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 11.]

[120.Deleted: No. 35 of 2007 s. 12(2).]

121.Continuing offences

(1)Where an offence is committed by a person by reason of his failure to comply, within the period specified in a direction given to him under this Act, with the requirements specified in the direction, the offence, for purposes of subsection (3), shall be deemed to continue so long as any requirement specified in the direction remains undone, notwithstanding that the period has elapsed.

(2)Where an offence is committed by a person by reason of his failure to comply with a requirement made by this Act, the offence, for the purposes of subsection (3), shall be deemed to continue so long as that failure continues, notwithstanding that any period within which the requirement was to be complied with has elapsed.

(3)Where, under either subsection (1) or (2), an offence is to be deemed to continue, the person who committed the offence commits an additional offence against this Act on each day during which the offence is to be deemed to continue and is liable, upon conviction for such an additional offence, to a fine not exceeding $10 000.

[Section 121 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 98; No. 13 of 2005 s. 16(1).]

122.Crimes and other offences

(1)If the penalty provided for an offence under this Act is or includes imprisonment, the offence is a crime.

(2)The summary conviction penalty for an offence referred to in subsection (1) is imprisonment for 2 years or a fine of $10 000 or both.

(3)Unless the contrary intention appears, an offence under this Act, other than a crime, is punishable summarily.

[Section 122 inserted: No. 4 of 2004 s. 58.]

123.Orders for forfeiture etc. in respect of certain offences

(1)Where a person is convicted by the Supreme Court of an offence against section 29 or 49, the court may, in addition to imposing a fine, make one or more of the following orders —

(a)an order for the forfeiture of a specified vessel, aircraft or vehicle used in the commission of the offence; and

(b)an order for the forfeiture of specified equipment used in the commission of the offence; and

(c)an order —

(i)for the forfeiture of specified petroleum recovered in the course of the commission of the offence; or

(ii)for the payment by that person to the Crown of an amount equal to the proceeds of the sale of specified petroleum or geothermal energy so recovered; or

(iii)for the payment by that person to the Crown of an amount equal to the value at the well‑head, assessed by the court, of the quantity, so assessed, of petroleum or geothermal energy so recovered or for the payment of such part of that amount as the court, having regard to all the circumstances, thinks fit.

(2)Where, in respect of petroleum, the court is satisfied that an order made under subparagraph (i) of paragraph (c) of subsection (1) cannot, for any reason, be enforced, the court may, upon the application of the person by whom the proceedings were brought, set aside the order and make either of the orders referred to in subparagraphs (ii) and (iii) of that paragraph.

(3)The court may, before making an order under this section, require notice to be given to, and hear, such persons as the court thinks fit.

[Section 123 amended: No. 28 of 1994 s. 53; No. 35 of 2007 s. 74.]

124.Power of Attorney General to direct disposal of goods

Goods in respect of which an order is made under section 123 shall be dealt with as the Attorney General directs and, pending his direction, may be detained in such custody as the court directs.

125.Time for bringing proceedings for offences

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Act, proceedings in respect of an offence against this Act may be brought at any time.

[Section 125 amended: No. 13 of 2005 s. 12.]

126.Judicial notice

(1)All courts shall take judicial notice of the signature of a person who is, or has been, the Minister or a delegate of the Minister and of the fact that that person is, or has been, the Minister or a delegate of the Minister.

(2)In this section, court includes all persons authorised by the law of the State or by consent of parties to receive evidence.

126A.Evidentiary matters

(1)In a proceeding for an offence against this Act an averment in the charge of the offence that at a particular time —

(a)a particular operation was a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(b)a particular person was the operator of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(c)a particular person was in control of a particular part of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(d)a particular person was an employer who carried on a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(e)a particular person was an employer of a particular person or particular persons engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(f)a particular person was an employee or inspector,

is to be taken to have been proved in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

(2)In a proceeding for an offence against this Act, proof is not required as to any of the following matters, unless evidence is given to the contrary —

(a)a delegation under section 25 by the Minister of a power or function;

(b)the authority of any person to institute a proceeding for an offence against this Act other than an offence against a listed OSH law;

(c)the authority of an inspector to institute a proceeding for an offence against a listed OSH law.

(3)In a proceeding for an offence against this Act, production of a copy of —

(a)a code of practice; or

(b)an Australian Standard; or

(c)an Australian/New Zealand Standard,

purporting to be certified by the CEO to be a true copy as at any date or during any period is, without proof of the signature of the CEO, sufficient evidence of the contents of the code of practice or Standard as at that date or during that period.

(4)In subsection (3) —

Australian Standard means a document having that title published by Standards Australia;

Australian/New Zealand Standard means a document having that title jointly published by Standards Australia and the Standards Council of New Zealand;

CEO means the chief executive officer of the department of the Public Service principally assisting in the administration of this Act.

[Section 126A inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 13; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 86; No. 17 of 2014 s. 8.]

127.Service of documents

(1)A document required or permitted by this Act to be served on a person other than the Minister or a corporation shall be served —

(a)by delivering the document to that person personally; or

(b)by prepaying and posting the document as a letter addressed to that person at his last known place of abode or business or, if he is carrying on business at 2 or more places, at one of those places; or

(c)by leaving the document at the last known place of abode of that person with some person apparently an inmate of that place and apparently not less than 16 years of age; or

(d)by leaving the document at the last known place of business of that person or, if he is carrying on business at 2 or more places, at one of those places with some person apparently in the service of that person and apparently not less than 16 years of age.

(2)A document required or permitted by this Act to be served on the Minister shall be served —

(a)by prepaying and posting the document as a letter addressed to the Minister at a place of business of the Minister; or

(b)by leaving it at a place of business of the Minister with some person apparently employed in connection with the business of the Minister and apparently not less than 16 years of age.

(3)A document required by this Act to be served on a person, being a corporation, shall be served —

(a)by prepaying and posting the document as a letter addressed to the corporation at its last known place of business or, if it is carrying on business at 2 or more places, at one of those places; or

(b)by leaving it at that place, or at one of those places, with some person apparently in the service of the corporation and apparently not less than 16 years of age.

(4)Where a document required by this Act to be served is posted as a letter in accordance with this section, service shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been effected at the time at which the letter would have been delivered in the ordinary course of post.

[Section 127 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 100.]

127A.Service of documents on 2 or more permittees etc.

(1)Where there are 2 or more registered holders of a title or special prospecting authority, those registered holders shall, by notice in writing signed by each of them and served on the Minister, nominate one of the registered holders as being the person on whom documents relating to the title or special prospecting authority that are required or permitted by this Act to be served may be served.

(2)Subject to subsections (3) and (4), where —

(a)a document relating to a title or special prospecting authority is required or permitted by this Act to be served on the registered holder; and

(b)there are 2 or more registered holders of the title or special prospecting authority; and

(c)the document is served on a person in respect of whom a nomination under subsection (1) is in force in relation to the title or special prospecting authority,

the document shall be deemed to have been served on each of those registered holders.

(3)Where —

(a)a person has been nominated under subsection (1) in relation to a title or special prospecting authority; and

(b)one of the registered holders of the title or special prospecting authority, by notice in writing served on the Minister, revokes that nomination,

that nomination ceases to be in force and the registered holders of the title or special prospecting authority shall forthwith make a fresh nomination under subsection (1) in relation to the title or special prospecting authority.

(4)Where —

(a)a person has been nominated under subsection (1) in relation to a title or special prospecting authority; and

(b)the person so nominated ceases to be one of the registered holders of the title or special prospecting authority,

that nomination ceases to be in force and, if 2 or more registered holders of the title or special prospecting authority remain, those holders shall forthwith make a fresh nomination under subsection (1) in relation to the title or special prospecting authority.

(5)In this section, title means a permit, lease, licence or access authority.

[Section 127A inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 101.]

Division 6 — Transitional provisions

128.Terms used

In this Division, unless the contrary intention appears —

Barrow Island lease means the petroleum lease dated 27 February 1967 granted under the former provisions and registered as Number 1H and named “Barrow Island” pursuant to those provisions;

commencing day means the day on which this Division commences;

former provisions means the provisions of the Petroleum Act 1936 1;

lessee means the lessee for the time being under the Barrow Island lease;

operations to which this Division applies means any works or operations authorised or required to be done within the State under or pursuant to a prescribed instrument or under the former provisions;

prescribed instrument means a permit to explore or licence to prospect issued under the former provisions, authorising the holder thereof to prospect for, or explore for, petroleum in an area which is within the State;

variation agreement means the agreement a copy of which is set forth in the Schedule to the Barrow Island Royalty Variation Agreement Act 1985.

[Section 128 amended: No. 113 of 1985 s. 6; No. 90 of 1987 s. 5; No. 42 of 2010 s. 55.]

129.This Division prevails over other provisions

Except in so far as a provision contained in this Division is inconsistent with another provision contained in this Part, this Part applies —

(a)to and in relation to an application for a permit made under this Division as if it were an application made under section 30; and

(b)to and in relation to an application for a licence made under this Division as if it were an application made under section 50,

and to and in relation to a permit or licence granted on such an application.

130.Cessation of operation of former provisions

(1)Subject to this Division, on the commencing day the former provisions shall cease to apply to or in relation to the carrying on within the State of any operations to which this Division applies.

(2)Section 16 of the Interpretation Act 1918 2, has effect, subject to this Division, for the purposes of subsection (1) as if the former provisions were repealed on the commencing day, so far as those provisions relate to the carrying on of operations to which this Division applies.

131.Prohibition on granting of instruments under former provisions after commencing day

The Minister or the Governor shall not, on or after the commencing day, grant to a person who makes application therefor, whether the application is received before, on or after that day, a permit to explore, licence to prospect or petroleum lease under the former provisions in respect of an area within the State; or renew any such permit, licence or lease, other than the Barrow Island lease, in accordance with those provisions.

132.Rights of holders of existing prescribed instruments

(1)A prescribed instrument that is in force immediately prior to the commencing day continues, subject to subsection (2), to have the same force and effect on and after that day as it had immediately prior to that day, and, subject to that subsection, the former provisions remain in full force and effect and apply to and in relation to such an instrument and to and in relation to anything done or authorised or required to be done by, under, or in connection with such an instrument.

(2)Notwithstanding subsection (1), the holder of a prescribed instrument that is continued in force by that subsection is not entitled to be granted a petroleum lease under or pursuant to the former provisions but if that holder would have been entitled to apply for and to be granted a petroleum lease if this Act had not commenced, he may nominate a block under section 46 and may make an application or applications to the Minister for the grant of a licence and, for those purposes, this Act applies to and in relation to that person, as if he were the holder of a permit under this Act in respect of the area comprised in the prescribed instrument and had become entitled under the provisions of this Act to apply for and to be granted a licence under this Act.

133.Holders of existing instruments may be granted permits under this Part

(1)A person who —

(a)is the holder of a prescribed instrument on the commencing day; or

(b)was the holder of such an instrument that expired at any time within one month before that day,

may make one or more applications for the grant of a permit.

(2)An application under subsection (1) may be made only in respect of a single area that is constituted by —

(a)the whole or any part of the area (in this subsection referred to as the former area) to which the prescribed instrument relates or related; or

(b)the whole or any part of the former area and, in addition, so much of the area of any block, being a block that is constituted as provided by section 27 and is partly included in the former area, as is not included in the former area,

but excluding any area in which a person other than the applicant is entitled by reason of an instrument granted or issued under this Act or under the former provisions to prospect for or explore for petroleum as defined by this Act, or by the former provisions, as the case may be, or to carry on operations for the recovery of petroleum as so defined.

(3)The application —

(a)shall be made within 6 months after the commencing day, or within 3 months after the date of the expiration of the prescribed instrument, whichever is the earlier; and

(b)shall be accompanied by a fee of $300.

(4)The Minister may grant to a person by whom an application under this section is made an exploration permit for petroleum in respect of a single area constituted by the whole or any part of the area in respect of which the application is made.

(5)Where a permit is not granted on an application under this section, the applicant is not entitled to the refund of the fee, or any part of the fee, accompanying the application.

(6)A permit shall not be granted under this section if the applicant does not, where so required by the Minister, lodge with the Minister a security for compliance with the conditions to which the permit shall be from time to time subject and with the provisions of this Part and of the regulations.

(7)Upon the grant of a permit on an application made under this section, the prescribed instrument held by the applicant shall be deemed to have been surrendered by the holder of the prescribed instrument.

[Section 133 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34.]

134.Transitional provisions relating to Barrow Island lease

Notwithstanding the repeal effected by section 3, the former provisions shall, by force of this section, be deemed to subsist and enure in their application to or in relation to the Barrow Island lease and to any renewal thereof.

134A.Application of former provisions after coming into operation of variation agreement

For the purposes of their application under section 134 to or in relation to the Barrow Island lease as varied and affected by the variation agreement and to any renewal thereof the former provisions shall, after the coming into operation of clause 6 of the variation agreement, be deemed to be modified —

(a)in section 4, by substituting for the definitions of Minister and petroleum definitions as follows —

 

Minister means the Minister of the Crown for the time being charged with the administration of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967;

 

petroleum has the same meaning as it has in and for the purposes of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967;

; and

(b)by substituting for sections 71 to 75 sections as follows —

71.Interpretation

(1)In this section and in sections 72, 74 and 75 Barrow Island lease means the petroleum lease dated 27 February 1967 granted under this Act and registered as Number 1H and named “Barrow Island” pursuant to this Act and includes that lease as renewed, substituted or varied.

(2)In sections 72 to 75 and 117 royalty provisions means the provisions of the Barrow Island lease relating to the imposition, calculation, assessment, collection and recovery of royalty.

72. Statements, information and records

The lessee of the Barrow Island lease shall furnish statements, supply information and keep books and records in accordance with the royalty provisions.

73.Powers of officers

An authorised officer appointed under the royalty provisions may exercise the powers conferred on an authorised officer under those provisions.

74.Royalty a debt due to the State

The amount of royalty due under the Barrow Island lease shall, until paid or recovered under the royalty provisions, be a debt due from the lessee of the lease to the State.

75.Offences

(1)Where the lessee of the Barrow Island lease is required under the royalty provisions to furnish a statement or supply information the lessee shall not wilfully make a false statement or supply false information.

Penalty: a fine of $5 000.

(2)A person shall not impede or obstruct any authorised officer appointed under the royalty provisions in the exercise of his powers under those provisions.

Penalty: a fine of $5 000.

; and

(c)by adding after section 116 a section as follows —

 

117.Application of regulations to Barrow Island lease

(1)Where the royalty provisions are inconsistent with a regulation made under section 116 the royalty provisions shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

(2)Regulations under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 section 153(2)(la) to (lc) may apply in relation to operations referred to in paragraphs (d) and (f) of the definition of petroleum operation in section 5(1) of that Act.

; and

(d)without affecting the character and incidents of the Barrow Island lease as a petroleum lease under the Petroleum Act 1936 1 but notwithstanding anything in that Act the following provisions apply —

(i)before the expiration of the lease the lessee for the time being of the lease may make application for the renewal of the lease;

(ii)with respect to the term of any renewal of the lease section 63(b) and (c) applies;

(iii)section 64(1) and (2)(d) applies with respect to the application fee to be paid;

(iv)section 65 applies with respect to the renewal;

(v)section 91A applies to and in relation to the insurance to be maintained by the lessee;

(vi)section 138 applies as to the fee payable,

as though the lease were a licence and the form of any renewal of the Barrow Island lease granted in respect of an application made under this provision shall be in the form of Lease Form No. 1 of the regulations made under the former provisions with such variations and additions as the circumstances require for the purposes of complying with section 5(3) of the Barrow Island Royalty Variation Agreement Act 1985 and this provision.

[Section 134A inserted: No. 113 of 1985 s. 7; amended: No. 90 of 1987 s. 6; No. 28 of 1994 s. 54; No. 42 of 2010 s. 56 and 62(15).]

[134B.Deleted: No. 28 of 1994 s. 55.]

135.Certain portions of blocks to be blocks

(1)Where the area in respect of which a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or prescribed instrument is in force includes one or more portions of a block constituted as provided by section 27, then, for the purposes of this Part —

(a)the area of that portion or those portions constitutes a block; and

(b)the area of the remaining portion or portions of the first‑mentioned block (but not including any part of that area in respect of which a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or prescribed instrument is in force) constitutes a block.

(2)Where a permit, drilling reservation, lease, licence or prescribed instrument ceases to be in force in respect of an area that constitutes a block as provided by subsection (1)(a), the Minister may, by instrument in writing, if he considers it desirable to do so, determine that that block shall be amalgamated with another block or blocks, being a block or blocks —

(a)constituted as provided by this section; and

(b)forming part of the graticular section of which that first‑mentioned block forms part; and

(c)in respect of which a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is in force.

(3)Where such a determination is made, then, for the purposes of this Part —

(a)the blocks the subject of the determination cease to constitute blocks and the areas of those blocks together constitute a block;

(b)the block constituted by reason of the determination is, subject to this Part, for the remainder of the term of the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence concerned a block in respect of which the permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is in force.

(4)The Minister shall not make a determination under subsection (2) except with the consent of the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee concerned.

[Section 135 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 102; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

136.Certain petroleum exploration or recovery activities not prohibited by s. 29 or 49

It is not an offence against —

(a)section 29 for the holder of a prescribed instrument to explore for petroleum in the State in accordance with the instrument and with the former provisions;

(b)section 49 for the lessee to carry on operations for the recovery of petroleum in the State before the coming into operation of clause 6 of the variation agreement in accordance with the Barrow Island lease and with the former provisions;

(c)section 49 for the lessee to carry on operations for the recovery of petroleum in the State after the coming into operation of clause 6 of the variation agreement in accordance with the Barrow Island lease as varied and affected by the variation agreement and with the former provisions as modified by section 134A.

[Section 136 amended: No. 113 of 1985 s. 8.]

Division 7 — Fees and royalties

137.Permit and drilling reservation fees

There is payable to the Minister by a permittee or holder of a drilling reservation, in respect of each year of the term of the permit or drilling reservation, as the case requires —

(a)the prescribed fee; or

(b)a fee calculated at the prescribed rate for each of the blocks to which the permit or the drilling reservation relates, at the commencement of that year,

whichever is the greater.

[Section 137 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 103; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

137A.Lease fees

There is payable to the Minister by a lessee, in respect of each year of the term of the lease, a fee calculated at the prescribed rate for each of the blocks to which the lease relates at the commencement of that year.

[Section 137A inserted: No. 12 of 1990 s. 104.]

138.Licence fees

(1)There is payable to the Minister by a licensee, in respect of each year of the term of the licence, a fee calculated at the prescribed rate for each of the blocks to which the licence relates at the commencement of that year.

(2)The Minister may, on application made by a licensee, for reasons the Minister thinks sufficient, by notice in writing reduce or waive the fee payable under subsection (1).

(3)A reduction or waiver of a fee under subsection (2) may apply for an indefinite period of time or for a limited period specified in the notice and may apply subject to such conditions as the Minister specifies in the notice.

[Section 138 amended: No. 69 of 1981 s. 34; No. 12 of 1990 s. 105; No. 28 of 1994 s. 56.]

139.Time of payment of fees

A fee referred to in section 137, 137A or 138 is payable within one month after —

(a)in the case of the first year of the term of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence, the day on which that term commenced; and

(b)in the case of a year of the term of a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence other than the first, the anniversary of that day.

[Section 139 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 106; No. 28 of 1994 s. 57.]

140.Penalty for late payment of fees

Where the liability of a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee to pay a fee referred to in section 137, 137A or 138 is not discharged at or before the time when the fee is payable, there is payable to the Minister by the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee an additional amount calculated at the rate of one third of one per centum per day upon the amount of the fee from time to time remaining unpaid, to be computed from the time when the fee became payable until it is paid.

[Section 140 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 107; No. 28 of 1994 s. 58.]

141.Fees and penalties debts due to Crown

A fee under section 137, 137A or 138, or an amount payable under section 140, is a debt due by the permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee, as the case may be, to the Crown and is recoverable in a court of competent jurisdiction.

[Section 141 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 108; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

142.Royalty

(1)The conditions subject to which a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is granted shall include a condition that the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee shall, subject to this section, pay to the Minister a royalty at the prescribed rate in respect of all petroleum or all geothermal energy, as the case requires, recovered by the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee in the permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area.

(2)The prescribed rate in respect of petroleum recovered under a petroleum exploration permit, petroleum drilling reservation or petroleum retention lease is 10% of the royalty value of the petroleum.

(2a)Subject to section 143, the prescribed rate in respect of geothermal energy recovered under a geothermal exploration permit, geothermal drilling reservation, geothermal retention lease or geothermal production licence is 2.5% of the royalty value of the geothermal energy.

(3)Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section and to the provisions of section 143, the prescribed rate in respect of petroleum recovered under a petroleum production licence is the percentage determined by the Minister in pursuance of subsection (1) of section 52 or, where more than one percentage was so determined, the percentage so determined that is, in accordance with subsection (2) of that section, for the time being applicable in respect of petroleum so recovered.

(4)Subject to section 143, the prescribed rate in respect of petroleum recovered under a secondary licence is the percentage determined by the Minister in pursuance of section 52(3) in respect of petroleum so recovered.

(5)Subject to subsection (6) and to section 143, where a secondary licence is granted to the holder of a primary licence, the prescribed rate in respect of petroleum recovered under the primary licence is, as from the commencement of the next royalty period after the day from which the secondary licence has effect, the same percentage as is applicable in respect of petroleum recovered under the secondary licence.

(6)Notwithstanding the provisions of section 52(3) and subsection (5), where a secondary licence is granted to the holder of a primary licence, the Minister may determine that the prescribed rate or rates in respect of petroleum recovered under the primary licence shall continue, as from the commencement of the next royalty period after the day from which the secondary licence has effect, to be the same rate or rates as was or were determined by the Minister under section 52(1) in respect of the primary licence.

(7)Where —

(a)a petroleum production licence is granted on an application under section 57; and

(b)the instrument served on the applicant under section 59 contains a statement that the applicant will be required to pay, in respect of petroleum recovered under that licence, royalty at the rate specified in that statement,

the prescribed rate in respect of petroleum recovered under that licence is the percentage specified in that statement.

(8)Where a petroleum production licence is granted on an application under subsection (1) of section 61, the prescribed rate in respect of petroleum recovered under that licence is the same percentage as was applicable in respect of petroleum recovered under the original licence as defined by subsection (1) of that section.

(9)Subject to section 143, the prescribed rate in respect of petroleum recovered under a petroleum production licence granted by way of renewal of a licence is the percentage applicable under the licence before renewal (or, if another percentage is fixed by Parliament in respect of petroleum so recovered, that percentage) of the royalty value of the petroleum.

[Section 142 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 109; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 11 of 1994 s. 5; No. 35 of 2007 s. 75.]

143.Reduction of royalty in certain cases

(1)Where the Minister is satisfied that the rate of recovery of petroleum from a well has become so reduced that, having regard to the rate of royalty fixed by section 142, further recovery of petroleum from that well would be uneconomic, the Minister may, by instrument in writing, determine that the royalty in respect of petroleum recovered from that well shall be at such rate (being a rate lower than that fixed by that section) as the Minister specifies in respect of such period as the Minister specifies.

(1a)If, because the rate of recovery of geothermal energy from a well has become so reduced or for any other reason, the Minister is satisfied that, having regard to the rate of royalty fixed by section 142(2a), further recovery of geothermal energy from that well would be uneconomic, the Minister may, by instrument in writing, determine that the royalty in respect of geothermal energy recovered from that well is to be at such rate (being a rate lower than that fixed by that provision) as the Minister specifies in respect of such period as the Minister specifies.

(2)The prescribed rate in respect of petroleum or geothermal energy recovered, during the period specified in a determination under subsection (1) or (1a), as the case requires, from the well to which such a determination relates, is the rate so specified.

[Section 143 amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 76.]

144.Royalty not payable in certain cases

(1)Royalty under this Act —

(a)is not payable in respect of petroleum or geothermal energy that the Minister is satisfied was unavoidably lost before the quantity of that petroleum or geothermal energy was ascertained; and

(b)is not payable in respect of petroleum that is used by the permittee, lessee, holder of the drilling reservation, or licensee as approved by the Minister for the purposes of petroleum exploration operations or operations for the recovery of petroleum; and

(ba)is not payable in respect of geothermal energy that is used by the permittee, lessee, holder of the drilling reservation, or licensee as approved by the Minister for the purposes of geothermal energy resources exploration operations or operations for the recovery of geothermal energy; and

(c)is not payable in respect of —

(i)petroleum that, with the approval of the Minister, is flared or vented in connection with operations for the recovery of petroleum; or

(ii)geothermal energy that, with the approval of the Minister, is dissipated in connection with operations for the recovery of geothermal energy.

(2)Where petroleum that has been recovered by a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee is, with the approval of the Minister, returned to a natural reservoir, royalty under this Act is not payable in respect of that petroleum by reason of the recovery but this subsection does not affect the liability of that or any other permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee to pay royalty in respect of petroleum that is recovered from that natural reservoir.

(3)Where petroleum that has been recovered by a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee is, pursuant to an agreement entered into under section 67(2)(a), injected into a natural underground reservoir for the purpose of storage and subsequent recovery, royalty under this Act is not payable in respect of that petroleum by reason of the initial recovery except as provided under that agreement.

(4)Subject to any agreement entered into under section 67(2)(a), nothing in subsection (3) affects the liability of any permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee to pay royalty in respect of petroleum that is recovered from the natural reservoir in which it is stored.

[Section 144 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 110; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 59; No. 35 of 2007 s. 77.]

144A.Royalty value

(1)For the purposes of this Act (but subject to subsection (2)) the royalty value of any petroleum or geothermal energy is its value at the well‑head as agreed or determined under section 145.

(2)If the value at the well‑head of petroleum or geothermal energy as agreed or determined under section 145 is calculated in a way that provides for a reduction, discount, deduction or allowance to be made for federal duty that has been paid, is payable or may become payable, the royalty value of that petroleum or geothermal energy is the sum of —

(a)its value at the well‑head as so calculated; and

(b)the amount of that reduction, discount, deduction or allowance.

(3)In subsection (2) federal duty means excise duty, or any other tax, duty, fee, levy or charge (except a tax, duty, fee, levy or charge of a kind excluded from this definition by the regulations) imposed by or under a law of the Commonwealth.

[Section 144A inserted: No. 11 of 1994 s. 6; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 78.]

145.Ascertainment of value of petroleum or geothermal energy

For the purposes of this Act the value at the well‑head of any petroleum or geothermal energy is such amount as is agreed between the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee and the Minister, or in default of agreement within such period as the Minister allows is such amount as is determined by the Minister as being that value.

[Section 145 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 111; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 79.]

146.Ascertainment of well‑head

For the purposes of this Act, the well‑head, in relation to any petroleum or geothermal energy, is such valve station as is agreed between the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee and the Minister, or, in default of agreement within such period as the Minister allows, is such valve station as is determined by the Minister as being that well‑head.

[Section 146 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 112; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 80.]

147.Ascertainment of quantity of petroleum or geothermal energy recovered

For the purposes of this Act, the quantity of petroleum or geothermal energy recovered by a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee or licensee during a period shall be taken to be —

(a)the quantity measured during that period by a measuring device approved by the Minister and installed at the well‑head or at such other place as the Minister approves; or

(b)where no such measuring device is so installed, or the Minister is not satisfied that the quantity of petroleum or geothermal energy recovered by the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee has been properly or accurately measured by such a measuring device, the quantity determined by the Minister as being the quantity recovered by the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee during that period.

[Section 147 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 113; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 35 of 2007 s. 81.]

148.Payment of royalty and penalty for late payment

(1)Royalty under this Act in respect of petroleum or geothermal energy recovered during a royalty period is payable not later than the last day of the next succeeding royalty period.

(2)Where the amount of royalty under this Act is not paid as provided by subsection (1), there is payable to the Minister by the permittee, the holder of the drilling reservation, the lessee or the licensee an additional amount calculated at the rate of one third of one per centum per day upon the amount of royalty from time to time remaining unpaid, to be computed from the time when the royalty became payable until it is paid.

(3)An additional amount is not payable under subsection (2) in respect of any period before the expiration of 7 days after the value of the petroleum was agreed or determined under section 145.

[Section 148 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 114; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 60; No. 35 of 2007 s. 82.]

149.Royalty or late payment amount is debt due to Crown

Royalty payable under section 142 or an amount payable under section 148(2) is a debt due by the permittee, holder of the drilling reservation, lessee or licensee to the Crown and is recoverable in a court of competent jurisdiction.

[Section 149 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 115; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7.]

Part IIIA  Occupational safety and health

[Heading inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 14.]

149A.Occupational safety and health (Sch. 1)

Schedule 1 has effect.

[Section 149A inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 14.]

149B.Regulations relating to occupational safety and health

(1)The regulations may make provision in relation to —

(a)the occupational safety and health of a person engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(b)the safety and health of any other protected person.

(2)Without limiting subsection (1), regulations for the purpose of that subsection may —

(a)require a person who is carrying on a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation to establish and maintain a system of management to secure —

(i)the occupational safety and health of a person engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(ii)the safety and health of any other protected person;

and

(b)specify requirements with which the system must comply.

[Section 149B inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 14; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 86.]

149C.Minister’s occupational safety and health functions

(1)The Minister has the following functions —

(a)to promote the occupational safety and health of persons engaged in petroleum operations or geothermal energy operations;

(b)to develop and implement effective monitoring and enforcement strategies to secure compliance by persons with their occupational safety and health obligations under this Act;

(c)to investigate accidents, occurrences and circumstances that affect, or have the potential to affect, the occupational safety and health of persons engaged in petroleum operations or geothermal energy operations;

(d)to advise persons, either on the Minister’s own initiative or on request, on occupational safety and health matters relating to petroleum operations or geothermal energy operations.

(2)The Minister has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of the Minister’s functions.

[Section 149C inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 14; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 87.]

Part IVA  Release of information

[Heading inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

Division 1 — Preliminary

[Heading inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

150A.Terms used

In this Part, unless the contrary intention appears —

applicable document means —

(a)an application made after the commencement to the Minister under this Act; or

(b)a document accompanying an application so made; or

(c)a report, return or other document relating to a block given after the commencement to the Minister under —

(i)this Act; or

(ii)regulations made for the purposes of section 116A;

commencement means the commencement of the Petroleum and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 2010 section 57;

documentary information means information contained in an applicable document;

mining sample means —

(a)a core or cutting from, or a sample of, the seabed or subsoil; or

(b)a sample of petroleum recovered; or

(c)a sample of fluid recovered (other than fluid petroleum),

that has been given at any time, whether before or after the commencement, to the Minister, and includes a portion of such a core, cutting or sample;

Minister of another jurisdiction means a Minister of the Commonwealth, a Minister of another State or a Minister of the Northern Territory.

[Section 150A inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

Division 2 — Protection of confidentiality of information and samples

[Heading inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

Subdivision 1 — Information and samples obtained by the Minister

[Heading inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

150B.Protection of confidentiality of information obtained by Minister

(1)This section restricts what the Minister may do with documentary information.

(2)The Minister shall not —

(a)make the information publicly known; or

(b)make the information available to a person (other than another Minister or a Minister of another jurisdiction),

unless the Minister does so —

(c)in accordance with regulations made for the purposes of this paragraph; or

(d)for the purposes of the administration of this Act.

[Section 150B inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

150C.Protection of confidentiality of samples obtained by Minister

(1)This section restricts what the Minister may do with a mining sample.

(2)The Minister shall not —

(a)make publicly known any details of the sample; or

(b)permit a person (other than another Minister or a Minister of another jurisdiction) to inspect the sample,

unless the Minister does so —

(c)in accordance with regulations made for the purposes of this paragraph; or

(d)for the purposes of the administration of this Act.

[Section 150C inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

150D.Information or samples obtained by Minister can be made available to certain persons

The Minister may make documentary information or a mining sample available to another Minister or a Minister of another jurisdiction.

[Section 150D inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

Subdivision 2 — Information and samples obtained by another Minister

[Heading inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

150E.Protection of confidentiality of information obtained by another Minister

(1)This section restricts what a Minister may do with documentary information made available to that Minister under section 150D or 150G.

(2)The Minister shall not —

(a)make the information publicly known; or

(b)make the information available to a person (other than another Minister or a Minister of another jurisdiction),

unless the Minister does so —

(c)in accordance with regulations made for the purposes of this paragraph; or

(d)for the purposes of the administration of this Act.

[Section 150E inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

150F.Protection of confidentiality of samples obtained by another Minister

(1)This section restricts what a Minister may do with a mining sample made available to that Minister under section 150D or 150G.

(2)The Minister shall not —

(a)make publicly known any details of the sample; or

(b)permit a person (other than another Minister or a Minister of another jurisdiction) to inspect the sample,

unless the Minister does so —

(c)in accordance with regulations made for the purposes of this paragraph; or

(d)for the purposes of the administration of this Act.

[Section 150F inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

150G.Information or samples obtained by another Minister can be made available to certain persons

A Minister to whom documentary information or a mining sample is made available under section 150D or this section may make the information or sample available to another Minister or a Minister of another jurisdiction.

[Section 150G inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

Subdivision 3 — Miscellaneous

[Heading inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

150H.Fees

(1)This section applies to regulations made for the purposes of any of the following —

(a)section 150B(2)(c);

(b)section 150C(2)(c);

(c)section 150E(2)(c);

(d)section 150F(2)(c).

(2)The regulations may make provision for fees relating to —

(a)making information available to a person; or

(b)permitting a person to inspect a sample.

[Section 150H inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 57.]

Part IV  Miscellaneous

150.Jurisdiction of Magistrates Court

(1)In any action brought before the Magistrates Court under section 14, 17, 18, 19, 21 or 22, the court has jurisdiction irrespective of the amount claimed.

(2)The procedure of the Magistrates Court in relation to proceedings brought before it under Part II shall be as prescribed by the rules of court, or in the absence of those rules, as the court determines.

[Section 150 amended: No. 59 of 2004 s. 141.]

151.Special case may be reserved for Supreme Court

At any stage of any civil proceedings before it the Magistrates Court may reserve any question of law for the opinion of the Supreme Court, and, with respect to every question so reserved, the following provisions shall apply —

(a)the Magistrates Court shall prepare a special case, setting forth the question so reserved, and shall transmit such case to a master of the Supreme Court;

(b)the master shall set a special case down for argument before a judge of the Supreme Court, and the judge’s opinion on the special case shall, when given, be drawn up and transmitted by the master to the Magistrates Court;

(c)the costs of the proceedings shall be in the discretion of the judge;

(d)upon receipt of such opinion the Magistrates Court shall act in accordance therewith, and in the meantime no judgment or order of the Magistrates Court shall affect the question so reserved;

(e)when reserving any such question, or at any time before acting on the judge’s opinion thereon, the Magistrates Court, on the application of any party to the proceedings, and on such terms as it thinks fit, may make such order for an injunction or a receiver or for payment of money into court, or for giving security for damages and costs or otherwise, and on such terms, as it may think fit.

[Section 151 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 116; No. 59 of 2004 s. 141.]

152.Certain things are not personal property for purposes of Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Commonwealth)

In accordance with the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Commonwealth) section 10 the definition of licence paragraph (d), the following rights, entitlements or authorities are declared not to be personal property for the purposes of that Act —

(a)a petroleum exploration permit or a geothermal exploration permit granted under section 37;

(b)a drilling reservation granted under section 43C(4);

(c)a petroleum retention lease or geothermal retention lease granted under section 48B(5);

(d)a petroleum production licence or geothermal production licence granted under section 61(4).

[Section 152 inserted: No. 42 of 2011 s. 87.]

[152A, 152B.Deleted: No. 28 of 1994 s. 61.]

153.Regulations

(1)The Governor may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters that by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.

(2)In particular, but without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the regulations may make provision for securing, regulating, controlling or restricting all or any of the following matters —

(a)the exploration for petroleum or geothermal energy resources and the carrying on of operations, and the execution of works, for that purpose;

(b)the recovery of petroleum or geothermal energy and the carrying on of operations, and the execution of works, for that purpose;

(c)conserving, and preventing the waste of, natural resources, whether petroleum or otherwise;

(d)the construction, erection, maintenance, operation or use of installations, equipment or facilities;

(e)the control of the flow and the prevention of the escape of petroleum or water;

(f)the control of the flow or discharge, and the prevention of the escape, of petroleum, water or drilling fluid, or a mixture of water or drilling fluid with petroleum or any other matter;

(fa)the clean‑up or other remedying of the effects of the escape of petroleum;

(g)the prevention of damage to petroleum‑bearing strata or geothermal energy resources in an area, whether in the State or not, in respect of which a permit, drilling reservation, lease or licence is not in force;

(h)the keeping separate of —

(i)each petroleum pool discovered in a permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area; and

(ii)each source of water discovered in a permit area, drilling reservation, lease area or licence area;

(i)the prevention of water or other matter from entering a petroleum pool through wells;

(j)the maintaining in good condition and repair of all structures, equipment and other property used or intended to be used for or in connection with exploration for, or the exploitation of, petroleum or geothermal energy resources in the State;

(k)the removal from the State of structures, equipment and other property brought into the State for or in connection with exploration for, or the exploitation of, petroleum or geothermal energy resources that are not used or intended to be used in connection with exploration for, or the exploitation of, petroleum or geothermal energy resources in the State;

(la)the preparation, submission and approval of environment plans;

(lb)the prohibition of the doing of an act or thing otherwise than in accordance with an approved environment plan;

(lc)the responsibilities of a permittee, holder of a drilling reservation, lessee, licensee or holder of a special prospecting authority or access authority as to authorising, or obtaining authorisation for, the release of documentary information as defined in section 150A;

(l)fees in relation to petroleum operations or geothermal energy operations, safety audits or other services provided by the Minister;

(m)any transitional matter arising out of the amendments made to this Act by the Petroleum Legislation Amendment and Repeal Act 2005.

(2a)The regulations may make provision in relation to a matter by applying, adopting or incorporating, with or without modification, a code of practice or standard contained in an instrument (including an instrument issued or made outside Australia), as in force or existing at the time when the regulations take effect or as in force or existing from time to time, being a code of practice or standard that is relevant to that matter.

(2b)Regulations under this section may prohibit the doing of an act or thing either unconditionally or subject to conditions, including conditions requiring the grant, as prescribed by the regulations, of the consent or approval of a person specified in the regulations.

(2c)Regulations under this section may adopt or apply, with or without modification, any regulation made under the Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969, the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 or the Commonwealth Act as defined in that Act, that is in force or existing at the time when the regulations under this section take effect or as in force or existing from time to time.

(3)The regulations may provide, in respect of an offence against the regulations, for the imposition of —

(a)a fine not exceeding $10 000; or

(b)a fine not exceeding that amount for each day on which the offence occurs.

[Section 153 amended: No. 12 of 1990 s. 118; No. 78 of 1990 s. 7; No. 28 of 1994 s. 62; No. 13 of 2005 s. 15; No. 35 of 2007 s. 83 and 87; No. 42 of 2010 s. 58.]

154.Further transitional provisions

(1)In this section —

Gazettal day means the day on which transitional regulations are published in the Gazette;

transitional matter means a matter of a transitional, savings or application nature;

transitional regulations means regulations under subsection (3).

(2)Schedule 2 contains provisions relating to transitional matters.

(3)Regulations may prescribe anything else required, necessary or convenient to be prescribed in relation to a transitional matter in connection with amendments made to this Act by another Act (the amending Act).

(4)Transitional regulations can only be made before the end of the period of 12 months beginning on the day on which the amending Act commences.

(5)If transitional regulations provide that a state of affairs is to be taken to have existed, or not to have existed, on and from a day (the operative day) that is earlier than Gazettal day, the regulations have effect according to their terms as long as the operative day is not earlier than the day on which the amending Act commences.

(6)If transitional regulations contain a provision referred to in subsection (5), the provision does not operate so as to —

(a)affect in a manner prejudicial to any person (other than the State), the rights of that person existing before Gazettal day; or

(b)impose liabilities on any person (other than the State or an authority of the State) in respect of anything done or omitted to be done before Gazettal day.

[Section 154 inserted: No. 42 of 2010 s. 59.]

 

Schedule 1 — Occupational safety and health

[s. 149A]

[Heading inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17.]

Division 1 — Introduction

[Heading inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17.]

1.Objects

The objects of this Schedule are, in relation to petroleum operations or geothermal energy operations —

(a)to secure the occupational safety and health of persons engaged in those operations; and

(b)to protect persons in the vicinity of those operations at the invitation of, or with the express or implied consent of, the operators of, or persons in control of a part of, those operations from risks to safety and health arising out of those operations; and

(c)to ensure that expert advice is available on occupational safety and health matters in relation to those operations; and

(d)to promote an occupational environment for members of the workforce engaged in those operations that is adapted to their needs relating to safety and health; and

(e)to foster a consultative relationship between all relevant persons concerning the safety and health of members of the workforce engaged in those operations.

[Clause 1 inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 87.]

2.Simplified outline

The following is a simplified outline of this Schedule —

·This Schedule sets up a scheme to regulate occupational safety and health matters relating to petroleum operations or geothermal energy operations.

·Occupational safety and health duties are imposed on the following —

(a)the operator of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

(b)a person in control of any part of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

(c)an employer;

(d)a manufacturer of plant, or a substance, for use in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

(e)a supplier of a facility, or of any plant or substance, for use in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

(f)a person who erects or installs a facility, or any plant, for use in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

(g)a person engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation.

·A group of members of the workforce engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation may be established as a designated work group.

·The members of a designated work group may select a safety and health representative for that designated work group.

·The safety and health representative may exercise certain powers for the purpose of promoting or ensuring the occupational safety and health of group members.

·An inspector may conduct an inspection —

(a)to ascertain whether a listed OSH law is being complied with; or

(b)concerning a contravention or a possible contravention of a listed OSH law; or

(c)concerning an accident or dangerous occurrence that has happened at or near a place at which a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation is carried on.

·The operator of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation must report to the Minister accidents and dangerous occurrences arising out of the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation.

[Clause 2 inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 86 and 87.]

3.Terms used

In this Schedule —

accident includes the contraction of a disease;

contract includes an arrangement or understanding;

contractor has the meaning given by clause 6;

dangerous occurrence means an occurrence declared by the regulations to be a dangerous occurrence for the purposes of this definition;

designated work group means —

(a)a group of members of the workforce engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation that is established as a designated work group under clause 17 or 18; or

(b)that group as varied in accordance with clause 19 or 20;

employee, in relation to an employer, means an employee of that employer;

employer means an employer who carries on a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

group member, in relation to a designated work group for a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation, means a person who is —

(a)a member of the workforce engaged in that operation; and

(b)included in that designated work group;

improvement notice means an improvement notice issued under clause 60(1);

inspection means an inspection conducted under Division 4 and includes an investigation or inquiry;

member of the workforce, in relation to a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation, means a natural person who is engaged in the operation, whether —

(a)as an employee of the operator or of another person; or

(b)as a contractor of the operator or of another person;

operator’s representative means a person present at a workplace in compliance with the obligations imposed on the operator by clause 4;

own includes own jointly and own in part;

plant includes any machinery, equipment or tool, or any component;

premises includes the following —

(a)a structure or building;

(b)a place (whether or not enclosed or built on);

(c)a part of a thing referred to in paragraph (a) or (b);

prohibition notice means a prohibition notice issued under clause 58(1);

registered organisation means an organisation —

(a)within the meaning of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 of the Commonwealth; or

(b)as defined in section 7(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1979;

regulated business premises means —

(a)a place where a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation is carried on; or

(b)premises that are —

(i)occupied by a person who is the operator of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; and

(ii)used, or proposed to be used, wholly or principally in connection with a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

regulations means regulations made for the purposes of this Schedule;

Tribunal has the meaning given to that term in the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 section 51G(2);

work means work that is directly or indirectly related to a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

workforce representative means —

(a)in relation to a person who is a member of the workforce engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation — a registered organisation of which that person is a member, if the person is qualified to be a member of that organisation because of the work the person performs in relation to the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; or

(b)in relation to a designated work group or a proposed designated work group — a registered organisation of which a person who is, or who is likely to be, in the work group is a member, if the person is qualified to be a member of that organisation because of the work the person performs, or will perform, in relation to the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation as a member of the group;

work group employer, in relation to a designated work group in relation to a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation, means an employer of one or more group members, but does not include the operator of the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation;

workplace, in relation to a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation, means the whole place where the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation is carried on or any part of a place where the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation is carried on.

[Clause 3 inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 86.]

4.Operator must ensure presence of operator’s representative

(1)The operator of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation must ensure that, at all times when one or more natural persons are engaged in the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation, there is present at the workplace a natural person (the operator’s representative) who has day to day management and control of the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation.

Penalty: a fine of $5 500.

(2)The operator of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation must ensure that the name of the operator’s representative is displayed in a prominent place at the workplace.

Penalty: a fine of $5 500.

(3)Subclause (1) does not imply that, if the operator is a natural person, the operator’s representative may not be, from time to time, the operator.

[Clause 4 inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 86; No. 42 of 2010 s. 60(6).]

5.Safety and health of persons using accommodation amenity

For the avoidance of doubt, a reference in this Schedule to the occupational safety and health of a person includes a reference to the safety and health of a person using an accommodation amenity provided for the accommodation of persons engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation.

[Clause 5 inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 86.]

6.Contractor

For the purposes of this Schedule, a natural person is taken to be a “contractor” of another person (the relevant person) if the natural person is engaged in a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation under a contract for services between —

(a)the relevant person; and

(b)either —

(i)the natural person; or

(ii)the employer of the natural person.

[Clause 6 inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17; amended: No. 35 of 2007 s. 86.]

Division 2 — Occupational safety and health

[Heading inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17.]

Subdivision 1 — Duties relating to occupational safety and health

[Heading inserted: No. 13 of 2005 s. 17.]

7.Duties of operator

(1)The operator of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation is carried out in a manner that is safe and without risk to the health of persons engaged in the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation or other protected persons.

Penalty: a fine of $110 000.

(2)Without limiting the generality of subclause (1), the operator of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation must —

(a)provide and maintain a physical environment at the place where the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation is carried out that is safe and without risk to health; and

(b)provide and maintain adequate amenities for the safety and health of all members of the workforce engaged in the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; and

(c)ensure that any plant, equipment, materials and substances for use in the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation are safe and without risk to health; and

(d)implement and maintain systems of work in relation to the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation that are safe and without risk to health; and

(e)implement and maintain appropriate procedures and equipment for the control of, and response to, emergencies arising out of the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; and

(f)provide all members of the workforce, in appropriate languages, with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary for them to carry out their activities in a manner that does not adversely affect the occupational safety and health of persons engaged in the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; and

(g)monitor the occupational safety and health of all members of the workforce and keep records of that monitoring; and

(h)provide appropriate medical and first aid services at the places at which a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation is carried on; and

(i)develop, in consultation with members of the workforce and workforce representatives, a policy relating to occupational safety and health that —

(i)will enable the operator and the members of the workforce to cooperate effectively in promoting and developing measures to ensure the occupational safety and health of persons engaged in the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation; and

(ii)will provide adequate mechanisms for reviewing the effectiveness of the measures; and

(iii)provides for the making of an agreement that complies with subclauses (4) and (5).

Penalty: a fine of $110 000.

(3)Subclause (2)(i) does not require the operator of a petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation to engage in consultations with a workforce representative unless a member of the workforce engaged in the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation has requested the workforce representative to be involved in those consultations.

(4)The agreement referred to in subclause (2)(i)(iii) must be between —

(a)on the one hand — the operator; and

(b)on the other hand —

(i)the members of the workforce; and

(ii)if a member of the workforce engaged in the petroleum operation or geothermal energy operation has requested a workforce representative in relation to the member to be a party to that agreement — that workforce representative.

(5)The agreement referred to in subclause (2)(i)(iii) must provide appropriate mechanisms for continuing consultation between —

(a)on the one hand — the operator; and