Types of petroleum activities
A petroleum company may want to access your land to carry out:
- preliminary activities
- regulated operations.
Preliminary activities are a type of exploration activity. They have no impact, or low impact, on land.
Petroleum activities include:
- water samples
- rock samples without using heavy machinery
- soil samples to a depth of up to four metres
- carrying out surveys that do not involve:
- clearing any vegetation
- permanent installation of any infrastructure or equipment on land
- driving a vehicle on land, except a heavy vehicle, to carry out preliminary activities.
Preliminary activities don't impact or cause a risk to the environment. They are not a regulated activity under the law.
For a company to carry out regulated operations, it must have an exploration permit, a retention licence or a production licence.
Regulated operations include:
- aerial surveys
- ground-based seismic surveys
- drilling an exploration well
- drilling a development well to recover petroleum.
These activities require an approved environment management plan from the environment minister.
Carrying out petroleum activities on your land
If a petroleum company wants to carry out an aerial survey or preliminary activities on your land, it must:
- give you 14 days' written notice and
- provide information about its intended activities.
If a petroleum company wants to carry out regulated activities on your land, it must:
- reach a land access agreement with you
- give you 14 days' written notice and provide details of its intended activities.
Exploration does not guarantee that production will happen. If a company discovers petroleum while carrying out activities, it has a right to convert the discovery into a production licence. This is a separate approval process from an exploration permit being granted
If the production is not commercially viable at the time of discovery, it may be converted to a retention licence.
Last updated: 08 July 2021
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