(k)The term “exploration” means the process of searching for minerals, including (1) geophysical surveys where magnetic, gravity, seismic, or other systems are used to detect or imply the presence of such minerals, and (2) any drilling, whether on or off known geological structures, including the drilling of a well in which a discovery of oil or natural gas in paying quantities is made and the drilling of any additional delineation well after such discovery which is needed to delineate any reservoir and to enable the lessee to determine whether to proceed with development and production;


43 USC § 1331(k)

Scoping language

When used in this subchapter
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