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Onshore Acreage

Areas are available for application for a Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL), Geothermal Exploration Licence (GEL) or Gas Storage Exploration Licence (GSEL) where no licence currently exists for the relevant regulated resource.

An application for an Exploration Licence can be lodged at any time over any area of the state, which is not in a Competitive Tender Region. Applications for Competitive Tender Regions require the Minister to call for tenders nominating a specific closing date. A six-month lead-time usually applies.

More than one Exploration Licence or Production Licence can be granted over the same area provided the rights to explore for or produce a particular regulated resource for each licence differs. Some areas are alienated from exploration and production operations (eg some protected areas under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972). An application should be made in accordance with legislative requirements and be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

The Minister retains the discretion to reject any application that is inadequate in the context of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000. The Exploration Licence is then awarded to the applicant judged to have bid the best work program provided the application is adequate in the context of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000. Other areas may from time to time be similarly promoted after the Department for Energy and Mining has undertaken new work which has improved the prospectivity of the area.

The compulsory relinquishment for an exploration licence is either 331/3% or 50% (as determined by the Minister) of the original licence area and occurs upon renewal of the 5 year term of the licence. An exploration licence granted as a Petroleum Exploration Licence under the repealed Petroleum Act 1940 or an application for an Exploration Licence before 1 March 1999 will upon renewal be subject to a compulsory relinquishment of a minimum 25% of the original licence area.

The Earth Resources Information Sheet P1 (PDF 3.52 MB)
Provides details of Holders of Petroleum and Geothermal tenements in South Australia

Offshore Acreage

Vacant offshore areas are open to permit application only after gazettal by the Federal Government and/ or State Government as appropriate. Only one offshore permit can be granted over the same or overlapping areas.

For further information relating to Offshore Acreage Releases see the Department of Industry and Science or Offshore Petroleum Exploration in Australia.

For further information regarding Offshore permits see the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA)

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Current Acreage Releases

Cooper Basin - no current releases

Otway Basin - OT2017 Otway Acreage Release (Onshore) - NOW CLOSED

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Previous Acreage Releases

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