Communication Received from United Kingdom
Delegation Concerning Oil Prospecting in
My dear Bunche,
Messrs. Petroleum Development (Palestine) Limited Messrs. Jordan Exploration Company, Limited have recently approached the Government of Palestine regarding their inability, owing to the circumstances at present prevailing in Palestine, to continue further drilling operations in accordance with the terms of certain Oil Prospecting Licenses issued to them.
As a result of these two Companies’ representations, the Controller of Oil Mines in Palestine has written letters to Messrs. Petroleum Development (Palestine) Limited and Messrs. Jordan Exploration Company Limited on this subject. Copies of these letters are enclosed for the information of the Commission.
I note your decision to suspend future drilling operations at the Enliqat well. I confirm that in the circumstances this suspension is due to force majeure and will not therefore be considered a breach of the conditions of your Oil Prospecting Licenses Nos. 1 – 11.
2. It will be convenient at this stage, however, if a precise statement regarding the application of force majeure is recorded. Although the suspension of operations during the war was recognized as being due to force majeure no decision was made at that time regarding either the exact date on which force majeure should begin nor was any decision made as to when, if at all, it ended. In this respect your licences fall into two groups, namely, Nos. 1 and Nov. 14 - 31. With regard to both groups it has been decided that a date of one year from the grant of the licensers shall be deemed to be the date on which force majeure command. This date has been chosen because you were able to carry out geological work although not to go ahead with preparations for drilling. Force majeure therefore commenced on the following dates:
(b) Licences Nos. 14 – 31 21. 7.40
(b) With regard to licences Nos. 14 - 31 it le considered that the original period of force majeure, brought by the war and which prevented the earlier delivery of the necessary drilling rig, had not and ended when the new set of circumstances now its arising forced its continuance. The period still to run for licenses Nos. 14 – 31 will therefore be three years from the date when force majeure is evidently considered to end.
With further references to your above letter it will be convenience if at this stage a precise statement regarding the application at force majeure to your Oil Prospecting Licences Nos. 12 and 13 is recorded.
2. Although the suspension of operations during the war was made at that time regarding either the exact date on which force majeure should begin nor was any decision was made as to when, if at all, it ended. It has been decided that a date of eighteen months from the grant of the licences shall be deemed to be the date on which force majeure began. This date has been chosen because you were able to carry out geographical work and to do some exploratory drilling although you were not able to obtain equipment for deeper drilling. Force majeure therefore commenced on 20.12.40. The remaining period of 21/2 years for licences Nos. 12 sad 13 still to run will commence when force majeure is eventually considered to end.