An exploitation authorization attached to a petroleum contract shall be either an exploitation concession, in the case of a concession contract, or an exclusive exploitation authorization, in the case of a production sharing contract or a risk service contract.

The exploitation authorization shall cover the surface area of a commercially exploitable hydrocarbon deposit. It shall confer on its holder the exclusive right to carry out, at the holder’s risk and expense all petroleum operations within the limits of the relevant area, as well as the right to dispose of all or part of the hydrocarbon production, in accordance with the terms of the petroleum contract.

The grant of an exploitation authorization shall, under no circumstances confer ownership of the deposits. It shall create a right of limited duration which shall not be mortgageable and shall be distinct from ownership of the surface area. Such right shall be assignable under the conditions provided for in Sections 19 to 22 of the petroleum code.

The initial validity period of the exploitation authorization may not exceed twenty-five (25) years for liquid hydrocarbons and thirty-five years (35) years for gaseous hydrocarbons.

The exploitation authorization may be renewed only once at the holder’s request for a maximum additional period of ten (10) years, following the procedures provided for in Section 45 of the petroleum code, and in accordance with the laws and regulation in force.

To that end, holders must have fulfilled their obligations and provided evidence of the ability to continue commercial hydrocarbon production beyond the current validity period. Conditions for such renewal may be subject to renegotiation of the petroleum contract terms, at the sole discretion of the State or the public body duly mandated for that purpose.

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