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Petroleum Bill [H.L.]

[NOTE: A Table showing the derivation of the provisions of this consolidation Bill will be found at the end of the Bill. The Table has no official status.]




An Act to consolidate certain enactments about petroleum, offshore installations and submarine pipelines.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Meaning of "petroleum".     1. In this Part of this Act "petroleum"-
    (a) includes any mineral oil or relative hydrocarbon and natural gas existing in its natural condition in strata; but
    (b) does not include coal or bituminous shales or other stratified deposits from which oil can be extracted by destructive distillation.
Rights to petroleum vested in Her Majesty.     2. - (1) Her Majesty has the exclusive right of searching and boring for and getting petroleum to which this section applies.
      (2) This section applies to petroleum (including petroleum in Crown land) which for the time being exists in its natural condition in strata in Great Britain or beneath the territorial sea adjacent to the United Kingdom.
      (3) For the purposes of subsection (2), "Crown land" means land which-
    (a) belongs to Her Majesty or the Duchy of Cornwall;
    (b) belongs to a government department; or
    (c) is held in trust for Her Majesty for the purposes of a government department.
      (4) Subsection (1) is subject to paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 and subsection (2) is subject to paragraph 5(3) of that Schedule.
Licences to search and bore for and get petroleum.     3. - (1) The Secretary of State, on behalf of Her Majesty, may grant to such persons as he thinks fit licences to search and bore for and get petroleum to which this section applies.
      (2) This section applies to-
    (a) petroleum to which section 2 applies; and
    (b) petroleum with respect to which rights vested in Her Majesty by section 1(1) of the Continental Shelf Act 1964 (exploration and exploitation of continental shelf) are exercisable.
      (3) Any such licence shall be granted for such consideration (whether by way of royalty or otherwise) as the Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury may determine, and upon such other terms and conditions as the Secretary of State thinks fit.
      (4) Subsection (1) is subject to paragraph 4 of Schedule 3.
Licences: further provisions.     4. - (1) The Secretary of State shall make regulations prescribing-
    (a) the manner in which and the persons by whom applications for licences under this Part of this Act may be made;
    (b) the information to be included in or provided in connection with any such application;
    (c) the fees to be paid on any such application;
    (d) the conditions as to the size and shape of areas in respect of which licences may be granted;
    (e) model clauses which shall, unless he thinks fit to modify or exclude them in any particular case, be incorporated in any such licence.
      (2) Different regulations may be made for different kinds of licence.
      (3) Any such regulations shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
      (4) As soon as practicable after granting a licence under section 3, the Secretary of State shall publish notice of the fact in the London Gazette stating-
    (a) the name of the licensee; and
    (b) the situation of the area in respect of which the licence has been granted,
  and, if that area or any part of it is in Scotland, the Secretary of State shall also publish the notice in the Edinburgh Gazette.
      (5) Any information which the Commissioners of Inland Revenue possess in connection with petroleum won by virtue of a licence granted under section 3-
    (a) may be disclosed by the Commissioners to the Secretary of State, or to an officer of his who is authorised by him to receive such information, in connection with provisions of the licence relating to royalty payments; but
    (b) shall not be disclosed by a person to whom it is disclosed under paragraph (a) except-
      (i) as authorised by the licence;
      (ii) to a person to whom it could have been disclosed under paragraph (a); or
      (iii) for the purposes of proceedings (which may be arbitration proceedings) in connection with the licence.
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