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The Petroleum Licensing (Exploration and Production) (Landward Areas) Regulations 2014

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Retention Areas

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16.—(1) The Licensee may apply in writing to the Minister for part of the Licenced Area to be a Retention Area, and the Minister may approve the proposal by notice.

(2) An application to the Minister in respect of a Retention Area shall—

(a)define the geographical location of the Retention Area, which may be expressed as a three dimensional space within the Licenced Area, but the proposed Retention Area shall not include any area which is—

(i)within the geographical location of another Retention Area, unless the application is to replace that Retention Area with the proposed Retention Area; or

(ii)within the geographical location of a Development Area;

(b)propose a date for the expiry of the Retention Area; and

(c)include a Retention Area Plan describing the exploration and appraisal activities that the Licensee intends to carry out in the Retention Area and the timescales over which those activities are to be carried out.

(3) A notice approving a Retention Area shall—

(a)state the geographical location of the Retention Area;

(b)state the expiry date for the Retention Area;

(c)set out the Retention Area Plan; and

(d)state the approval date for the Retention Area.

(4) A Retention Area expires if—

(a)it, or any part of it, is replaced by another Retention Area;

(b)it, or any part of it, is replaced by a Development Area;

(c)the expiry date is passed; or

(d)subject to paragraph (5) of this clause, the Minister directs by notice in writing that the Retention Area is terminated on the grounds that the Licensee has failed to carry out the activities described in the Retention Area Plan over the timescales described in that Plan.

(5) The Minister may only give a notice in pursuance of sub-paragraph (4)(d) of this clause if the activities described in that sub-paragraph have not been carried out before the date on which the notice is given.

(6) The Licensee may, at any time after the approval of a Retention Area, apply in writing to the Minister to amend—

(a)the geographical location of a Retention Area;

(b)the expiry date for a Retention Area; or

(c)a Retention Area Plan;

and the Minister may approve the amendment by notice in writing.

(7) A notice approving an amendment as described in paragraph (6) of this clause shall—

(a)state the new geographical location or expiry date or set out the new Retention Area Plan (or any combination of them, as the case may be); and

(b)state the approval date for the amendment.

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