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Oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation activities on Prince Edward Island are overseen by the Oil and Natural Gas Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. 0-5.

An amendment to the Act was passed in the Spring 1999 Session of the Provincial Legislature that altered the method of acquiring oil and natural gas permits. Previously, applications for permits were received on a first-come, first-serve basis for a one-year term and could be renewed annually up to seven times. With the amendment, future permits must be acquired through a competitive bidding system, although existing permits may be held until all renewals are exhausted.

Regulations that define the competitive bid system are in the final draft stage. All future oil and natural gas permits will be acquired in accordance with these regulations and the Act.

The Government of Canada has jurisdictional authority of frontier lands, which include submarine areas within the territorial limits of Canada but are not within a province. Oil and natural gas activities in frontier lands are governed by the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act.

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