New Acreage Releases

Onshore Acreage

Acreage becomes available for application for a Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL), Geothermal Exploration Licence (GEL) or Gas Storage Exploration Licence by:

  • available acreage for a regulated resource where no licence currently exists for such regulated resource;
  • relinquished area on renewal;
  • surrender;
  • cancellation.

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 6-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 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. Other areas may from time to time be similarly promoted after PIRSA has undertaken new work which has improved the prospectivity of the area.

The compulsory relinquishment for an exploration licence is either 33% 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 An exploration licence granted as a Petroleum Exploration Licence under the repealed Petroleum Act 1940 or an application for an Exploration Licence before 1 March 1999 will upon renewal be subject to a compulsory relinquishment of a minimum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.

Current tenements
A map showing current petroleum tenements and geothermal tenements including infrastructure in South Australia (.PDF) 349.1KB is available for download.

The Earth Resources Information Sheet P1 gives details of Holders of Petroleum and Geothermal tenements in South Australia (.PDF).

Previous acreage releases
Details about previous acreage releases are also available.

Geothermal Energy
South Australia has large regions of interpreted high crustal temperature associated with buried granite intrusives at depths greater than 3 km. These form key exploration targets for geothermal energy. PIRSA's dedicated geothermal site gives more information about investment opportunities for the geothermal energy industry.

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 go to the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism