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

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Commencement and abandonment and plugging of Wells

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20.—(1) The Licensee shall not commence or recommence the drilling of any Well without the consent in writing of the Minister.

(2) Subject to paragraph (7), the Licensee shall not abandon any Well without the consent in writing of the Minister.

(3) The Licensee shall ensure compliance with any conditions subject to which any consent under either of the foregoing paragraphs is given.

(4) If any such condition under paragraph (1) of this clause relates to the position, depth or direction of the Well, or to any casing of the Well or if any condition under either paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of this clause relates to any plugging or sealing of the Well, the Minister may from time to time direct that the Well and all records relating thereto shall be examined in such manner, upon such occasions or at such intervals and by such person as may be specified by the Minister’s direction and the Licensee shall pay to any such person or to the Minister such fees and expenses for such examination as the Minister may specify.

(5) The plugging of any Well shall be done in accordance with a specification approved by the Minister applicable to that Well or to Wells generally or to a class of Wells to which that Well belongs and shall be carried out in an efficient and workmanlike manner.

(6) The Minister may at any time give the Licensee a notice requiring a well drilled pursuant to this licence to be plugged and abandoned in accordance with paragraph (5) within the period specified in the notice (but this paragraph is subject to paragraph (8)).

(7) The Licensee shall comply with any notice under paragraph (6).

(8) A notice under paragraph (6) may be given only in relation to a well from which the Licensee has not extracted any petroleum within the period of one month ending with the day on which the notice is given.

(9) Subject to paragraphs (6) to (8), (10) and (11) of this clause, any Well drilled by the Licensee pursuant to this licence shall be plugged and sealed in accordance with paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and (5) of this clause, not less than one month before the expiry or determination of the Licensee’s rights in respect of the area or part thereof in which that Well is drilled.

(10) A direction by the Minister may be given by notice in writing to the Licensee not less than one month before the Licensee’s rights in respect of the area or part thereof in which the Well is situate expire or determine, so as to relieve the Licensee of the obligation imposed by paragraph (9) of this clause to plug and seal the Well.

(11) Where the Minister revokes this licence, any Well drilled by the Licensee pursuant to this licence shall—

(a)be plugged and sealed in accordance with paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and (5) of this clause, as soon as reasonably practicable; or

(b)if the Minister so directs at the time of revocation, be left in good order and fit for further working together with all casings and any Well head fixtures the removal whereof would cause damage to such Wells.

(12) Any Well that, pursuant to a direction by the Minister under paragraph (10) of this clause, has not been plugged and sealed, shall be left in good order and fit for further working together with all casings and any Well head fixtures the removal whereof would cause damage to such Wells.

(13) All casings and fixtures forming part of a Well and left in position at the expiry or determination (whether by revocation or otherwise) of the Licensee’s rights in respect of the area or part thereof in which that Well is drilled, or at the completion of any works required of the Licensee under paragraph (11) of this clause (whichever is the later), shall be the property of the Minister.

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