The basic objective in awarding any exploration permit is to select the work program bid most likely to achieve the fullest assessment of the petroleum potential within the permit area in the minimum guaranteed period, recognising the essential role of wells in the discovery of petroleum. Work programs proposed in bids must significantly advance the exploration status of the area. Work considered equivalent or inferior to work already carried out will not be regarded as advancing exploration effort. Work program bids will be assessed taking account of the criteria listed below:
- the number and timing of exploration wells to be drilled, provided there is an adequate supporting program of geological and geophysical work (However, see special notices in Section 5);
- the amount, type and timing of seismic surveying to be carried out;
- other new surveying, data acquisition and reprocessing to be carried out;
- the amount, type and timing of any purchasing or licensing of existing data:
- pre-purchase of existing non-exclusive data cannot form part of the work program but any interpretation of that data will be taken into account in assessing the relative merits of the work program proposed;
- existing non-exclusive data proposed to be purchased after the award of a permit may form part of the work program provided that this does not disadvantage a competitor who purchased the data prior to bidding;
- significant appraisal work, over any previous petroleum discoveries within the area; and
- the extent to which the applicant's technical assessment supports the amount of seismic surveying and the number and conceptual targets of wells proposed in the application.
In the event that a winning applicant cannot be chosen on the basis of the minimum guaranteed work program, the amount and timing of work proposed under the secondary work program will be assessed against the above criteria.