(a) a life‑of‑field petroleum production licence is in force over a block or blocks; and
(b) the following conditions are satisfied in relation to an area (the unused area ) that consists of the block or any or all of the blocks—
(i) petroleum has been found to exist in the unused area;
(ii) no petroleum recovery operations are being carried on under the licence in relation to the unused area;
the licensee may, within the application period, apply to the Minister for the grant by the Minister of a petroleum retention lease over the unused area.
For "application period", see subsection (3).
(2) An application under this section must be accompanied by details of—
(a) the applicant's proposals for work and expenditure in relation to the unused area; and
(b) the current commercial viability of the recovery of petroleum from the unused area; and
(c) the possible future commercial viability of the recovery of petroleum from the unused area.
1 Part 2.10 contains additional provisions about application procedures.
2 Section 252 requires the application to be accompanied by an application fee.
3 Section 254 enables the Minister to require the applicant to give further information.
(3) The application period for an application under this section by a petroleum production licensee is the period of 5 years that began on—
(a) the day on which the licence was granted; or
(b) if any petroleum recovery operations have been carried on under the licence in relation to the unused area—the last day on which any such operations were so carried on.