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

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Development areas

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19.—(1) At the same time as the Licensee submits to the Minister a development programme by virtue of paragraph (2) of clause 17, he must also—

(a)define one or more geographical locations, within which the Relevant Works are to take place, which are to be “Development Areas”;

(b)state the latest date by which the Licensee will get petroleum within each Development Area; and

(c)where the Licensee intends to carry out source-rock production, include a Development Area Plan in respect of each Development Area, setting out the activities that the Licensee intends to carry out in the Development Area in order to get Petroleum and the timescales over which those activities are to be carried out.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Minister expeditiously to consider any application in respect of a Development Area submitted to him in pursuance of paragraph (1) of this clause and when he has done so to direct by notice in writing to the Licensee—

(a)that he approves the Development Area, in which case he shall include in the notice—

(i)the geographical location of the Development Area;

(ii)the date by which the Licensee must get petroleum within the Development Area;

(iii)the approval date for the Development Area; and

(iv)where a Development Area Plan in respect of a Development Area has been included in the application, the Development Area Plan; or

(b)that he rejects the Development Area, with a statement of his reasons for rejecting it.

(3) A Development Area expires if—

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

(b)subject to paragraph (4) of this clause, the Minister directs by notice in notice in writing that the Development Area is terminated on the grounds that—

(i)the Licensee has failed to get petroleum by the date specified in the notice approving the Development Area;

(ii)there is no Development Area Plan in respect of the Development Area and the Licensee has ceased getting petroleum within the Development Area; or

(iii)the Licensee has failed to carry out the activities described in any Development Area Plan out over the timescales described in that Plan.

(4) The Minister may only give a notice in pursuance of sub-paragraph (3)(b)(iii) of this clause if the activities described in the Development Area Plan have not been carried out before the date on which the notice is given.

(5) The Licensee may, at any time after the approval of a Development Area, apply in writing to the Minister to propose an amendment to—

(a)the geographical location of the Development Area;

(b)the date by which he must first get petroleum within the Development Area; or

(c)a Development Area Plan;

and the Minister may direct by notice in writing that the amendment is approved.

(6) A notice approving an amendment as described in paragraph (5) of this clause shall—

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

(b)state the approval date for the amendment.

(7) In this clause, “source-rock production” means the getting of Petroleum contained in—

(a)shale or other strata encased in shale; or

(b)coal seams;

by drilling Wells into the strata in which that Petroleum is contained.

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