Continental Shelf Act 1964

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1964 c. 29


Continental Shelf Act 1964

1964 CHAPTER 29

An Act to make provision as to the exploration and exploitation of the continental shelf; to enable effect to be given to certain provisions of the Convention on the High Seas done in Geneva on 29th April 1958; and for matters connected with those purposes.

[15th April 1964]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Exploration and exploitation of continental shelf.

1 Exploration and exploitation of continental shelf.

(1) Any rights exercisable by the United Kingdom outside territorial waters with respect to the sea bed and subsoil and their natural resources, except so far as they are exercisable in relation to coal, are hereby vested in Her Majesty.

(2) In relation to any coal with respect to which those rights are exercisable the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 shall apply as it applies in relation to coal in Great Britain, but with the modification that the National Coal Board shall not engage in any operations for the purpose of working or getting the coal without the consent of the Minister of Power, which may be given on such terms and subject to such conditions as he thinks fit.

(3) In relation to any petroleum with respect to which those rights are exercisable sections 2 and 6 of the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934 (which relate to the granting of licences to search and bore for, and get, petroleum) shall apply as they apply in relation to petroleum in Great Britain, and section 3 of that Act (which enables persons holding licences under that Act to acquire ancillary rights) and section 5 of that Act (which makes provision as to receipts and expenditure under that Act) shall have effect as if this subsection were part of that Act.

(4) Model clauses prescribed under section 6 of the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934 as applied by the preceding subsection shall include provision for the safety, health and welfare of persons employed on operations undertaken under the authority of any licence granted under that Act as so applied.

(5) The Minister of Power shall for each financial year prepare and lay before Parliament a report stating—

(a ) the licences under the said Act of 1934 granted in that year in respect of areas beyond low-water mark and the persons to whom and the areas in respect of which they were granted, and the like information as respects such licences held at the end of that year;

(b ) the total amount of natural gas and of other petroleum gotten in that year in pursuance of licences held in respect of such areas; and

(c ) the method used for arriving at the amounts payable by way of consideration for such licences.

(6) The general duty of the Minister of Power of securing the effective and co-ordinated development of such resources in Great Britain as are mentioned in section 1(1) of the Ministry of Fuel and Power Act 1945 shall extend to any such resources outside Great Britain with respect to which the said rights are exercisable.

(7) Her Majesty may from time to time by Order in Council designate any area as an area within which the rights mentioned in subsection (1) of this section are exercisable, and any area so designated is in this Act referred to as a designated area.

(8) In this section ‘coal’ has the same meaning as in the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 and ‘petroleum’ has the same meaning as in the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934.

S-2 Protection of installations in designated areas.

2 Protection of installations in designated areas.

(1) The Minister of Power may for the purpose of protecting any installation in a designated area by order made by statutory instrument prohibit ships, subject to any exceptions provided by the order, from entering without his consent such part of that area as may be specified in the order.

(2) If any ship enters any part of a designated area in contravention of an order under this section its owner or master shall be liable—

(a ) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to both;

(b ) on conviction on indictment, to a fine, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both;

unless he proves that the prohibition imposed by the order was not, and would not on reasonable inquiry have become, known to the master.

(3) Any order under this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order, and any statutory instrument containing such an order shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

S-3 Application of criminal and civil law.

3 Application of criminal and civil law.

(1) Any act or omission which—

(a ) takes place on, under or above an installation in a designated area or any waters within five hundred metres of such an installation; and

(b ) would, if taking place in any part of the United Kingdom, constitute an offence under the law in force in that part,

shall be treated for the purposes of that law as taking place in that part.

(2) Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision for the determination, in accordance with the law in force in such part of the United Kingdom as may be specified in the Order, of questions arising out of acts or omissions taking place in a designated area, or in any part of such an area, in connection with the exploration of the sea bed or subsoil or the exploitation of their natural resources, and for conferring jurisdiction with respect to such questions on courts in any part of the United Kingdom so specified.

(3) Any jurisdiction conferred on any court under this section shall be without prejudice to any jurisdiction exercisable apart from this section by that or any other court.

(4) Any Order in Council under this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent Order in Council and any statutory instrument containing such an Order shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

S-4 Safety of navigation.

4 Safety of navigation.

(1) Part II of the Coast Protection Act 1949 (which requires the consent of the Minister of Transport to the carrying out of certain works on the sea shore if obstruction or danger to navigation is likely to result) except section 34(1)(b ) (which restricts the deposit of materials) shall apply in relation to any part of the sea bed in a designated area as it applies in relation to the sea shore; and section 46 of that Act (local inquiries) shall extend to any matter arising under this section.

(2) Any person guilty of an offence under the said Part II as applied by this section shall be liable, on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, and on conviction on indictment to a fine.

S-5 Discharge of oil.

5 Discharge of oil.

(1) If any oil to which section 1 of the Oil in Navigable Waters Act 1955 applies or any mixture containing not less than one hundred parts of such oil in a million parts of the mixture is discharged or escapes into any part of the sea—

(a ) from a pipe-line; or

(b ) (otherwise than from a ship) as the result of any...

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