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COVID-19 Updates for resources sector: fee relief | To report a serious incident to DEM, as required by Section 85(2) of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000, licensees should contact the serious incident reporting hotline on: (08) 8463 6666. For more information please visit the Compliance and Monitoring webpage | DEM-ERD has just released the first “Basin in a Box” data-package covering the Simpson and Pedirka Basins. The dataset is available via the “Data and Publications” page. Each package is a consolidated set of seismic and well data to facilitate new ventures and exploration assessments of frontier basins in South Australia. Data releases for other frontier basins will follow. | Changes to data submission requirements during COVID-19 restrictions. For further information see here.

The Energy Resources Division is part of the Resources and Energy Group of the Department for Energy and Mining.

The Energy Resources Division (ERD) is part of the Resources and Energy Group (REG) of the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM).

REG  reports to the Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP in his capacity as Minister for Energy and Mining

The Resources and Energy Group manages the state's mineral, petroleum and energy resources on behalf of the people of South Australia.  The Energy Resources Division is the lead agency in facilitating petroleum and geothermal activities in the state. It has responsibility for facilitating the generation of royalty income, economic development, wealth and jobs, and the minimisation of impacts on the environment and public safety through efficient management of the state's petroleum and geothermal rights on behalf of the people of South Australia.


For South Australia’s petroleum and geothermal potential to be efficiently realised with the community’s support.


To maximise the community’s net benefits from the state’s ownership of the rights to petroleum and geothermal resources.


To achieve the above vision and mission, the Energy Resources Division seeks to facilitate the achievement of the following key outcomes that are consistent with the overarching South Australian Strategic Plan.

  1. The Energy Resources Division is respected by stakeholders for the manner in which it progresses its mission.
  2. Maximise the amount of land that is accessible land for the responsible exploration and development of petroleum and geothermal resources.
  3. Maximise exploration investment to realise the value of the state’s ownership of rights to petroleum and geothermal resources.
  4. Activities carried out for the exploration and development of petroleum and geothermal resources are ecologically sustainable.
  5. Maximise competition within the petroleum and geothermal resources industries, and the security of gas supply to the South Australian community.

The above vision, mission and outcomes are inter-related and interdependent. That is, to maximise economic return requires maximising exploration investment that, in turn, requires maximising the amount of accessible land for such activities to be carried out. To maximise access to land requires community confidence that exploration and development activities are ecologically sustainable and socially acceptable.

Division role and functions

The Energy Resources division achieves its mission, outcomes and objectives through three key inter-related roles:

Attract private sector exploration investment that will lead to new commercial petroleum and geothermal resource discoveries and developments

  • Ensure the ready availability of comprehensive and user-friendly data and databases that are valid and accurate, and relevant to upstream petroleum and geothermal industries.
  • Maintain and disseminate expertise, data and information on technical and business environment aspects of the petroleum and geothermal industries in the state
  • Research new exploration opportunities
  • Promote South Australia exploration opportunities to the worldwide petroleum and geothermal industries.

Regulate petroleum and geothermal exploration and development activities in a manner acceptable to both the community and industry:

  • Issue and administer licences as required in accordance with legislative and policy requirements.
  • Maintain clear and comprehensive administrative guidelines, and ensure their transparent implementation.
  • Monitor petroleum and geothermal industry activities to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation.
  • Ensure royalties and fees are collected in accordance with legislative requirements.
  • Ensure data from industry activities are collected in accordance with legislative requirements and effectively managed.

Provide policy advice to government on all aspects of managing the petroleum and geothermal resources of South Australia:

  • Respond in a timely and authoritative manner to any ad hoc policy issues relating to the petroleum and geothermal industries in South Australia.
  • Identify and remove unwarranted impediments to upstream petroleum and geothermal industries’ investment in the state.
  • Establish consultative processes and implement policy changes to ensure the petroleum industry’s activities achieve continued or enhanced community acceptance.
  • Facilitate development of new and existing petroleum resource projects by acting as the 'lead agency'.

Petroleum industry surveys

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organisation with active research ties with similar independent organisations in more than 75 countries around the world.  The Institute conducts annual surveys of the international mining and upstream petroleum sectors to rate performance of sector regulatory agencies.

Since 2009, the Fraser Institute has run an annual international Petroleum Industry Survey, which covers all
Australian States and the Northern Territory. In the term 2009-15, survey results indicated that South Australia has consistently delivered better policies for petroleum than all other Australian jurisdiction, as perceived by industry.

South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Timor Leste in the Oceania Region along with 33 other jurisdictions were not rated in the 2016 Fraser Institute Global Petroleum Survey due to a low number of responses from industry.

The 2018 survey results are available.
For more information:

The Division (then PIRSA Petroleum and Geothermal Group) also received accolades in 2009, from the Commonwealth Productivity Commission in its recent examination of red tape in the petroleum sector. The report highlighted then, PIRSA’s ‘one stop shop’ approach through the Petroleum and Geothermal Group as an example of best practice, while the state’s regulatory system should be considered a national benchmark.

The commission also highlighted PIRSA’s flexible system of negotiating native title agreements as something that should be considered by other Australian jurisdictions.

The Productivity Commission findings can be viewed here: