HC Deb 20 May 1991 vol 191 c339W
Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about further onshore petroleum licensing.

Mr. Moynihan

The Petroleum (Production) (Landward Areas) Regulations 1991—SI 1991 No. 981—came into force on 9 May. I have placed in the Libraries of both Houses the text of a notice, which will be published as soon as possible in the officialGazette, inviting companies to apply for exploration licences in respect of unlicensed areas in Great Britain and certain near shore waters. The notice specifies that applications should be made on 19 or 20 June 1991. Application forms and guidance notes will be available from my Department.

I shall separately be inviting holders of production licences to apply to transfer exploration acreage within their existing licences to the new style exploration licences, subject to agreement being reached on a satisfactory work programme for the area.

Successful applicants will be offered exploration licences containing the conditions set out in the new Regulations. The licences will grant rights for a term of six years and entitle the licensee to carry out seismic surveys and deep drilling subject to the need to obtain the requisite permission from the appropriate mineral planning authorities and land owners and occupiers.

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