Section 137: Mineral exploration and access
526.This section deals with intangible drilling costs of production wells in the oil and gas industry. It is based on section 91C of ICTA. The corresponding rule for income tax is in section 161 of ITTOIA.
527.Intangible costs are those which do not result in the acquisition or creation of machinery or plant. An example would be the cost of hiring a drilling rig. Production wells are wells that are drilled after the presence of oil in an area has been established and which are used to extract the oil.
528.Before the enactment of section 91C of ICTA, a deduction was allowed for the intangible drilling costs of the second and subsequent production wells in any area. This reflected a Special Commissioners decision in 1920 that this expenditure is of a revenue nature. This section disallows a deduction for such costs. It does this by denying a deduction for expenditure which, if it had been carried out while exploring for oil, would not have been allowed as a deduction.
529.These costs are capital expenditure and qualify for mineral extraction capital allowances (see Part 5 of CAA).