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Energy Act 2008

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Petroleum licences

76Transfers without the consent of the Secretary of State

After section 5 of the Petroleum Act 1998 (c. 17) (existing licences) insert—

5ARights transferred without the consent of Secretary of State

(1)This section applies if—

(a)a person is (or two or more persons are) the licensee in respect of a licence under section 2 of the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934 or section 3 above (“the transferor”),

(b)the transferor transfers a right granted by the licence, or derived from a right so granted, to another person (“the transferee”) after commencement in circumstances where the consent of the Secretary of State is required for the transfer, and

(c)that consent is not obtained.

(2)The Secretary of State may, by notice given to the transferor and the transferee, direct that the right is to revert to the transferor from a date specified in the notice.

(3)The date specified must not be earlier than the date on which the notice is given.

(4)Before giving a notice to a person under subsection (2), the Secretary of State must—

(a)notify the person of the proposal to give the notice, and

(b)give the person a reasonable period within which to make written representations.

(5)The Secretary of State may not give a notice under subsection (2) after the end of the period of 3 months beginning with the date on which the Secretary of State learns of the transfer.

(6)In this section—

  • “commencement” means the time when this section comes into force;

  • “transfer” does not include a transfer by way of security for a loan.

5BInformation

(1)The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs may disclose to the Secretary of State information relating to the transfer of a right granted by a licence under section 2 of the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934 or section 3 above, or derived from a right so granted, for the purpose of enabling the Secretary of State to determine whether a transfer to which section 5A applies has taken place.

(2)This section applies despite any statutory or other restriction on the disclosure of information.

(3)Information disclosed under this section must not be further disclosed except—

(a)for the purpose mentioned in subsection (1), with the consent (which may be general or specific) of the Commissioners,

(b)in pursuance of an order of a court, or

(c)with the consent of each person to whom the information relates.

(4)A person who discloses information contrary to subsection (3) commits an offence if the identity of the person to whom the information relates—

(a)is specified in the disclosure, or

(b)can be deduced from it.

(5)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that the person reasonably believed that—

(a)the disclosure was lawful, or

(b)the information had already and lawfully been made available to the public.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both, and

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to a fine, or both.

5COffences under section 5B: supplemental

(1)No proceedings for an offence under section 5B may be instituted in England and Wales except—

(a)by the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions, or

(b)with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(2)No proceedings for an offence under section 5B may be instituted in Northern Ireland except—

(a)by the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, or

(b)with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

(3)In the application of section 5B to Northern Ireland the reference in section 5B(6)(a) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(4)In the application of section 5B to England and Wales in relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 282 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) (short sentences) the reference in section 5B(6)(a) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

77Model clauses of petroleum licences

(1)Schedule 3 amends the model clauses contained in the instruments specified in that Schedule.

(2)Where a licence granted under the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934 (c. 36) or the Petroleum Act 1998 (c. 17), and in force immediately before commencement, incorporates model clauses amended by a paragraph of Schedule 3, the licence has effect with the amendments provided for by that paragraph of that Schedule.

(3)The reference in subsection (2) to model clauses includes model clauses subject to any amendment or modification or with the omission of any model clause.

(4)Where an amendment made by a paragraph of Schedule 3 confers a power to give a notice requiring the plugging and abandonment of a well, the power may not be exercised in relation to a well the drilling of which began before commencement.

(5)Where an amendment made by a paragraph of Schedule 3 confers a power of revocation or partial revocation of a licence, that power may not be exercised by reason of an event which takes place before commencement.

(6)A reference in any document to provisions of a licence which are amended by Schedule 3 is to be construed, unless the nature of the document or the context otherwise requires, as a reference to those provisions as amended.

(7)A provision inserted in a licence by virtue of Schedule 3 may be altered or deleted by deed executed by the Secretary of State and the licensee or, as respects Scotland, by an instrument subscribed by the Secretary of State and the licensee in accordance with the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 (c. 7).

(8)In this section “commencement”, in relation to a paragraph of Schedule 3, means the time when that paragraph comes into force.

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