Once a permit holder applies to the relevant Designated Authority for consent to surrender the permit, the Designated Authority will consider the application before giving or refusing consent to surrender the permit. The Designated Authority's consent to surrender will be conditional on the surrender taking effect in the permit year in which the consent is given. Otherwise additional rental payments and work program commitments will be incurred.
In considering whether the permit holder has complied with the conditions to which the permit is subject and the provisions under the OPGGSA and of the Regulations, account will be taken of all relevant requirements, particularly:
- the status of the permit (including fees and monies due) and whether all due work program commitments have been completed;
- the reporting requirements contained in the Directions given to the permit holder and whether all reports and data have been lodged (for example, reports on specified activities, quarterly reports, annual reports); and
- the action taken by the permit holder to ensure that the permit area is clear of all debris resulting from operations and that all wells have been plugged or closed.
To facilitate consideration of applications for consent to surrender, it is expected that permit holders will ensure that the permit is in good standing (i.e. has fully complied with the conditions of the permit) and that any outstanding reports and data are lodged with the application.