Extensions to authorities to prospect (ATPs)
and changes to applications for petroleum lease tenures are amongst
the reforms introduced by the Land and Other Legislation
Amendment Bill 2014 (Qld) (Bill) which was
passed on 20 May 2014.
This legislation is the next stage of reform introduced by the
Newman Government which is aimed at providing operational
flexibility to petroleum explorers.
In this Alert, Associate Courtney Smith and Partner Martin
Klapper outline the key changes the Bill makes to the Petroleum
and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld) (PG
Act) and the impacts on industry stakeholders.
The material changes include:
the introduction of a process to obtain a 2 year extension to
the introduction of a process to obtain a "special
amendment" to the relinquishment requirements and work program
for an ATP; and
a change to the level of resource knowledge required when
applying for a petroleum lease tenure in Queensland.
Two-year extension to ATP work programs
Do you have an ATP which is or will be granted prior to 1 July
2014? Are you the preferred tenderer for an ATP as at 1 July 2014?
Will you become a preferred tenderer for an ATP through a call for
tenders which is issued before 1 July 2014 and which closes on 29
If your answer to any of these questions is 'yes" and
your ATP is for a term of 12 years, you will obtain a two-year
extension to the program period automatically. If your ATP is for a
term of less than 12 years, and is not in its last four year term,
then you are entitled to apply for a two-year extension to both the
term and the program period of the ATP. The program period is the
period for which the work program on the ATP applies.
The result of a two-year extension is that you will have an
additional two year period within which to carry out the activities
outlined in your work program and you will be relieved of the
obligation to relinquish sub-blocks from the ATP until the end of
the extended program period.
Special amendments of ATP relinquishment requirements or
The Bill provides for applications to be made for "special
amendments" to relinquishment requirements and work programs
for ATPs. You will be able to obtain a special amendment if the
Minister considers the amendment is justified in the circumstances.
The Minister may consider, amongst other things, the optimisation
of the development and use of the State's petroleum
This will provide ATP holders with greater flexibility to obtain
amendments to the relinquishment requirements and work program for
an ATP, to better suit the ATP holders' project
Resource level of knowledge
Applications for petroleum leases under the amended legislation
will simply require a statement by a suitably qualified person that
the proposed area of the petroleum lease contains commercial
quantities of petroleum. The Bill does not define what a
"commercial quantity of petroleum" is. The "suitably
qualified person" need not be independent – an employee
or contractor of the applicant can make this statement.
The requirement to have 20% of discovered petroleum as a proved
or probable reserve will be removed.
This should certainly make it easier to make a petroleum
application earlier in the exploration effort.
It is a common misconception that the grant of mining tenure, whether it be an Exploration Permit, Mineral Development Licence or Mining Lease, will entitle the holder to access all land within it in order to explore or mine.
This briefing note sets out a likely structure for the proposed privatisation of the networks and identifies key issues.
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