Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act
- Commenced on 30 March 1983
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act.
2. Vesting of petroleum, etc.
4. Service of documents
Part II – Administration
5. Commissioner for Petroleum Exploration and ProductionThe Minister may appoint a person to be the Commissioner for petroleum Exploration and Production, and such other persons to be officers as he may consider necessary for the administration of this Act.
6. Performance of Commissioner’s functions, etc.
7. Information not to be disclosed
8. Public officers holding certain shares to notify Minister
9. Indemnity of public officersA public officer does not incur any liability in respect of the exercise or performance, or purported exercise or performance, by him in good faith of any function under and for the purposes of this Act.
Part III – Licences
Division 1 — General
10. Agreements with respect to the grant of licences
12. Power of Minister to obtain information concerning applications, etc.
13. Restriction on persons to whom licence may be grantedNo licence—
14. Form of licenceA licence shall be in accordance with such form as the Minister approves.
15. Restriction on exercise of rights by holder of licenceWhen the doing of any act is prohibited or regulated by a written law (other than this Act), nothing in this Act shall be construed,—
Division 2 — Petroleum exploration licence
16. Disposal of application for petroleum exploration licence
17. Content of petroleum exploration licence
18. Rights conferred by petroleum exploration licenceA petroleum exploration licence, while it remains in force, confers on the licensee, subject to this Act and to the conditions specified in the licence or to which the licence is otherwise subject, the exclusive right to explore for petroleum, and to cany on such operations and execute such works as are necessary for that purpose, in the exploration area.
19. Application for renewal of petroleum licenceSubject to this Act, a licensee may apply for the renewal of a petroleum exploration licence in accordance with the Regulations.
20. Grantor refusal of renewal of petroleum exploration licence
21. Term of petroleum exploration licence
22. Duties of licensee
23. Relinquishment of part of exploration areaThe First Schedule applies with respect to the relinquishment of any part of an exploration area.
Division 3 - Discovery of petroleum
24. Discovery of petroleum to be notified
25. Discovery of petroleum of potential commercial interest
Division 4 - Petroleum production licence
27. Application for petroleum production licence
28. Disposal of application for petroleum production licence
29. Restriction on grant of petroleum production licence
30. Content of petroleum production licence
31. Rights conferred by petroleum production licenceA petroleum production licence, while it remains in force, confers on the licensee, subject to this Act and to the conditions specified in the licence or to which the licence is otherwise subject, exclusive rights—
32. Application for renewal of petroleum production licenceSubject to the Regulations, a licensee may apply for the renewal of a petroleum production licence in accordance with the Regulations.
33. Grant or refusal of renewal of petroleum production licence
34. Term of petroleum production licence
Division 5 - Miscellaneous
36. Compliance with directionsWhere a licensee fails or neglects to comply with a direction given to him under and in accordance with section 35 the Minister may cause to be done all or any of the things required by the direction to be done, and the costs and expenses incurred in doing so are a debt due to the Republic and may be recovered in a court in Malawi.
37. Unit development
38. Directions as to recovery of petroleum
39. Penalty for late payments
40. Information to be furnished, etc.
Division 6 - Cancellation and force majeure
42. Force majeure
Part IV – Financial
43. Royalty on petroleum recovered under licence
44. Prohibition on disposal of petroleumIf the holder of a petroleum production licence fails to pay any royalty payable by him on or before the due date, or any extension thereof allowed by the Minister, the Minister may, by order served on the holder of the licence, prohibit the removal of, or any dealings in or with, any petroleum from the production area concerned, or from any other production area held by that holder, or from both, until all outstanding royalty has been paid or until an arrangement has been made and accepted by the Minister for the payment of the royalty; and the holder shall comply with the order.
45. Remission of royalty, etc.The Minister may, on written application made to him by a licensee and after consultation with the Minister responsible for finance,—
46. Security for compliance and recovery of royalty
Part V – Protection of the environment and work practices
Division 1 — General
47. Protection of natural resources to be taken into account
48. Work practices for holder of licence
49. Maintenance, etc., of property
50. Drilling near boundaries
51. Removal of property, etc., by holder of licence
52. Removal disposal and sale of property
53. Costs and expenses of removal, disposal and sale of property
Division 2 — Civil liability for pollution
54. DefinitionIn this Division, in addition to the definition in section 3, "production operations" includes the sinking of a well in the course of exploring for petroleum.
55. Liability for petroleum pollution
56. Exemption from liability under section 55
57. Other liability not affectedSection 55 is without prejudice to any liability which arises apart from that section.
58. LimitationNo action to enforce a claim in respect of a liability incurred under section 55 shall be entertained by a court unless the action is commenced not later than two years after the occurrence or, as the case may be, the first of the occurrences resulting in the discharge giving rise to the liability.
59. Liability for cost of preventive measures where section 55 does not applyWhere—
60. Saving of recourse actionNothing in this Act prejudices any claim, or the enforcement of any claim, which a person incurring any liability under this Act may have against another person in respect of that liability.
61. Compulsory insurance against liability for pollution
62. Rights of third parties against insurers
Part VI – Restrictions and surface rights
63. Restriction on exercise of rights in relation to certain land
64. Right to graze stock, etc.
65. Compensation for disturbance of rights, etc.Where, in the course of exploration or production operations, any disturbance of the rights of the lawful occupier of any land or damage to any crops trees, buildings stock or works thereon is caused, the holder of the licence, by virtue of which the operations are carried on, is liable to pay to any lawful occupier fair and reasonable compensation in respect of the disturbance or damage according to the respective rights or interests of the lawful occupier concerned.
66. Notice of intention to commence exploration or production operationsSubject to such exceptions as may be prescribed, the holder of a licence, before commencing exploration or production operation in any private land, shall give to any lawful occupier of the land notice of his intention to commence the operations, in such manner and form as may be prescribed.
Part VII – General
67. Control of company not to be given without consent of Minister
68. Scientific investigation
69. Discovery of mineral to be notified
70. Powers of Commissioner and authorized officers
71. Removal of petroleum
72. Acquisition of landWhere the President considers that any land is required to secure the development or utilization of the petroleum resources of Malawi he may direct that the land be acquired under the Land Acquisition Act.[Cap. 58:04]
73. Identity of person exercising certain rights to be establishedA person exercising any right under a petroleum exploration licence on any land shall, if required to do so by any lawful occupier of the land, produce evidence that he is the holder, or an agent or employee of the holder, of a licence; and if he fails to do so he may be treated as a tresspasser.
74. Obstruction of licenseeAny person who, without a reasonable excuse, obstructs or hinders a licensee from doing any act which that holder is authorized to do by this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of one thousand Kwacha or to imprisonment for a term of two years, or to both.
75. Offence committed by body corporateWhen, an offence which, has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been commuted with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he as well as the body corporate is guilty of that offence and liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
76. Miscellaneous offencesAny person who—
77. Licensee to indemnify RepublicA licensee shall, at all times, keep the Republic indemnified against all actions, claims and demands that may be brought or made against the Republic by reason of anything done by the licensee, or the servants or agents of the licensee, in the exercise or purported exercise of the rights of the licensee under this Act or his licence.
Part VIII – Regulations
Part IX – Miscellaneous
79. Minister to act subject to the directions of the Life PresidentThe Minister, in the exercise of his functions under this Act, shall act subject to the general or special directions of the Life President.
History of this document
30 March 1983