Drilling Rig Operator – Borehole Drilling

Drilling Rig Operator - Licensing for borehole drilling

General Information

Works related to the construction, widening, deepening, expanding and repairing of a borehole or cleaning of an existing borehole, with the help of a drilling rig or any other drilling equipment in the Republic of Cyprus, must be carried out by a licensed drilling rig operator. The drilling rig operator licence is issued at the Water Development Department headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.

Every physical person or legal entity is eligible to obtain a drilling rig operator licence, provided that the person has knowledge on:

  • the operation of a drilling rig;
  • the drilling rig operator’s responsibilities in accordance with the Cyprus law;
  • issues related to water protection and geology.

In order to ensure that the prerequisites mentioned in this section are met, the applicant is requested to attend an oral examination carried out by authorized representatives of the Directors of the Water Development Department and the Geological Survey Department. It is noted that examples of the questions asked during the oral examination are published on the Water Development Department’s website.

The “Application for the granting of a drilling rig operator licence” must be submitted to the Director of the Water Development Department:

Water Development Department
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment
100 – 110 Kennedy Avenue,
1047 Pallouriotissa, Nicosia, Cyprus
Tel.: +357 22609000/349/347
Fax: + 357 22609353
E-mail: waterres@wdd.moa.gov.cy
Website: http://www.moa.gov.cy/wdd

or at the District Offices of the Water Development Department in Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos or Famagusta or at the Farmer Service Centres.

  1. The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

    • Certificate of a clear criminal record in relation to the applicant’s professional conduct;
    • copy of the registration certificate of the drilling rig or of the vehicle transferring the drilling rig.

    In case the applicant is a Member State citizen, established in another EU Member State, then he/she must present a valid certificate, issued by another EU Member State, which confirms the applicant’s qualifications with regards to the practice of the drilling rig operator profession.  The applicant, then, is considered to have the required knowledge in relation to the operation of a drilling rig as well as to the issues related to water protection and geology. In such a case, the applicant is only examined on the drilling rig operator’s responsibilities in accordance with the Cyprus law.

A fee of €100 is paid to the Water Development Department (either by check or bank transfer) upon the submission of each application form.

The applicant is informed regarding the authorisation decision within three months from the date which the application form and all supporting documents have been duly submitted.

During the examination of an application, the applicant may modify or cancel his/her application or request to be informed on his application’s progress whenever he/she so wishes.

The licence expires on the 1st of March of the year following the year of issue. Each licensed drilling rig operator whose licence expires may apply for a renewal.

The application for the renewal of a drilling rig operator licence can be downloaded from the ‘Applications & Documents’ or the Water Development Department’s website and shall be submitted to the Director of the Water Development Department at the address mentioned above.

The application for renewal should be accompanied by the following documents:

  • certificate of clear criminal record in relation to the applicant’s professional conduct;
  • copy of the registration certificate of the drilling rig or of the vehicle transferring the drilling rig.

It is noted that no oral examination is required in the case of an application for a renewal. A fee of €100 is paid upon the submission of each application for renewal.

The Director of the Water Development Department has the right to reject an application for renewal, if there have been serious or repeated breaches of the terms of the licence or the provisions of the Law. If an application is rejected, the applicant is informed of the reasons for the rejection.

Administrative Action against a Competent Authority’s Decision

Any person may file an Administrative Action at the Administrative Court against a decision, act, or omission of any competent authority or body.

Pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution, an Administrative Action may be lodged within 75 days from the date of the decision or act or omission or from the day when such decision or act or omission was notified to the applicant.

The Administrative Court acts as a cassation Court and not as a substantive Court. In other words, the Administrative Court may:
I. Dismiss the Administrative Action
II. Annul wholly or partially the contested decision or act
III. Compel the relevant authority or body to take a certain action

After a decision is annulled, the authority and/or public body must reverse things back to the state prior to when the concerned decision and/or act was executed and reexamine.

An Appeal may be filed against the Administrative Court’s first-instance decision within a period of 42 days from the date such a decision was given.

At the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal Section) hearing, the contested issue of the appeal remains the legality of the decision or act already adjudicated. However, such a revision of the legality of the decision or act is solely examined on the matters and the extent that the two parties have limited the reasons in the relevant notice of appeal.

The decision adopted by the Supreme Court is considered final in relation to the matter that has been judged.

Each licensed drilling rig operator is obliged to comply with the provisions of the Integrated Water Management Law of 2010, as periodically amended, and specifically, among others, to:

  • submit to the Water Development Department, a written three-day notice regarding the operator’s intention to drill or construct a borehole, or widen, deepen, expand, repair or clean an existing borehole;
  • keep record of the work performed and send to the Water Development Department a copy of the aforementioned record within one month from the date of completion of work;
  • ensure, prior to the commencement of any work, that the person, for which the drilling or construction of a borehole, or widening or deepening or expansion of an existing borehole is to be performed for, is a holder of a valid water abstraction licence, issued under the Integrated Water Management Law.