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Individuals or companies must apply for the appropriate licence before undertaking any exploration, preliminary surveys or production of petroleum or geothermal energy.

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Licensing and applications

Onshore Exploration Guidelines and Onshore Production Guidelines provide more details about who can apply for a licence and the method of application. More details about licences and approval processes are included in the Guidelines and Policy section.

The Tenement Requirement Summary lists fees applicable, maximum area for the tenement and initial and renewal yearly terms for the different types of licences, both onshore and offshore.

Details of holders and terms and conditions of all licences are included under the Licence Register.

Information on any current or previous exploration acreage releases can be found under Acreage Releases.

All Offshore Petroleum Permit areas located beyond three nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline are administered by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA).  Further information on permits administered by NOPTA is available via the National Electronic Approvals Tracking System (NEATS).

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Land Access

Whilst the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 enables petroleum companies to access land for exploration and production purposes, it also recognises the rights of landholders. There are clear obligations for explorers to notify and consult with landholders and provide sufficient information to enable them to make an informed decision about the impact or potential impact of the proposed operation on the land.

Some areas of South Australia are protected land (i.e. land proclaimed or reserved for conservation purposes). Approximately 78% of onshore areas under proclamation allow access for petroleum exploration and development.

Aboriginal land accounts for 19% of the land of South Australia. Penalties exist for damage to Aboriginal cultural and archaeological sites and licence holders are encouraged to liaise with Aboriginal people to assist with the protection of Aboriginal heritage and related matters.

Each application for a Petroleum Exploration Licence over land where Native Title may exist requires a separate Native Title Agreement.

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Licence Maps

For more information, contact:

Mr Shane Farrelly
General Manager
Licensing and Legislation
Energy Resources Division

+61 8 8429 2443
Ms Lee Kinnear
Licensing and Legislation
Energy Resources Division

+61 8 8429 2446