Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act, 1960

Minister to be given notice of sinking of shafts or boreholes.

56.—(1) Where a person proposes, for the purpose of getting petroleum, to sink a shaft or borehole intended to reach a depth of more than twenty feet below the surface, he shall before commencing such sinking, give to the Minister fourteen days' notice of his intention to do so or such shorter notice as the Minister may permit.

(2) Every person who, for the purpose of searching for or getting petroleum, sinks a shaft or borehole intended to reach a depth of more than twenty feet below the surface shall keep a journal thereof and shall retain for such period (not more than three months) as the Minister may direct such specimens of the strata passed through as may have been obtained in the course of the sinking thereof, either as cores or fragments.

(3) Every person who keeps in pursuance of subsection (2) of this section a journal of a shaft or a borehole shall, if so requested by the Minister, furnish to him a copy of the journal and a site map, which site map shall be returned by the Minister.

(4) An inspector shall be entitled at all reasonable times to do all or any of the following things, that is to say:—

(a) to have free access to any such shaft, borehole or core as aforesaid;

(b) to inspect and take copies of journals of such shafts or boreholes;

(c) to inspect all specimens so obtained and kept;

(d) to take representative samples of any such specimens or cores.

(5) If any person sinking any such shaft or borehole as aforesaid gives notice in writing to the Minister requesting him to treat as confidential any information about such shaft or borehole which was furnished by that person to the Minister, the Minister shall not, during the period of five years after the information is furnished, disclose such information to any person (not being an officer of the Minister) except with the consent of the person who furnished the information.

(6) If any person sinking any shaft or borehole—

(a) fails to comply with the obligations imposed by this section, or

(b) obstructs or impedes an inspector in the exercise of any of the powers conferred on him by this section,

such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.

(7) In this section, the word “inspector” means a person appointed in writing (either generally or for a particular occasion) by the Minister to be an inspector for the purposes of this section.