Individuals or companies must apply for the appropriate licence before undertaking any exploration, preliminary survey or production of petroleum or geothermal energy.

Exploration Licence (PEL, GEL or GSEL)

A petroleum, geothermal or gas storage exploration licence (PEL, GEL or GSEL) authorises the licensee to carry out in the licence area exploratory operations for regulated resources, and operations to establish the nature and extent of a discovery and the feasibility of production.

Retention Licence (PRL, GRL or GSRL)

A petroleum, geothermal or gas storage retention licence (PRL, GRL or GSRL) provides an exploration licensee with security of title over currently non-commercial discoveries for a reasonable period of time until they become commercial.

Production Licence (PPL, GPL or GSL)

When a discovery is made that warrants production in an area of an exploration or retention licence, the licensee is entitled to a petroleum production, geothermal production or gas storage licence (PPL, GPL or GSL) respectively over the discovery area.

Pipeline Licence (PL)

The Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 provides for the granting of pipeline licences (PLs) for the purpose of constructing and operating a transmission pipeline for carrying petroleum or another regulated substance (as defined in the Act). A PL can be held for a term of 21 years with rights of renewal.

Preliminary and Speculative Survey Licences (PSL and SSL)

A preliminary survey licence (PSL) authorises the licensee to carry out a survey, environmental evaluation or other form of assessment preparatory to the carrying out of regulated activities on land, for example for the purpose of surveying the proposed route of an onshore transmission pipeline prior to applying for a PL. A speculative survey licence (SSL) authorises the licensee to carry out exploratory operations of the kind specified in the licence.

Associated Activities Licence (AAL)

An associated activities licence (AAL) authorises the licensee to conduct associated activities or operate associated facilities on land outside the area of the primary licence. An associated activity or facility is anything that is reasonably necessary for, or incidental to, carrying on regulated activities in the area of, or the vicinity of, the primary licence area.

Special Facilities Licence (SFL)

A special facilities licence (SFL) authorises the licensee to establish and operate facilities for the purposes involving or associated with:

  1. searching for any regulated substance, or
  2. processing any regulated substance, or
  3. producing or generating energy from a source of geothermal energy, or
  4. other activities that may be relevant or incidental to searching for any regulated substance or processing, producing or storing any regulated substance or a product derived from a regulated substance.

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