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Types of Licences

Exploration Licence (PEL, GEL or GSEL)
A petroleum, geothermal or gas storage exploration licence (PEL, GEL or GSEL) authorises the licensee to carry out in the licence area exploratory operations for regulated resources, and operations to establish the nature and extent of a discovery and the feasibility of production.

Retention Licence (PRL, GRL or GSRL)
A petroleum, geothermal or gas storage retention licence (PRL, GRL or GSRL) provides an exploration licensee with security of title over currently non-commercial discoveries for a reasonable period of time until they become commercial.

Production Licence (PPL, GPL or GSL)
When a discovery is made that warrants production in an area of an exploration licence, the licensee is entitled to a petroleum, geothermal or gas storage production licence (PPL, GPL or GSL) over the discovery area.

Pipeline Licence (PL)
The Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 provides for the granting of pipeline licences (PLs) for the purpose of constructing and operating a transmission pipeline for carrying petroleum or another regulated substance (as defined in the Act). A PL can be held for a term of up to 21 years with rights of renewal.

Preliminary and Speculative Survey Licences (PSL and SSL)
A preliminary survey licence (PSL) authorises the licensee to carry out a survey, environmental evaluation or other form of assessment preparatory to the carrying out of regulated activities on land, for example for the purpose of surveying the proposed route of an onshore transmission pipeline prior to applying for a PL. A speculative survey licence (SSL) authorises the licensee to carry out exploratory operations of the kind specified in the licence.

Associated Activities Licence (AAL)
An associated activities licence (AAL) authorises the licensee to conduct associated activities or operate associated facilities on land outside the area of the primary licence. An associated activity or facility is anything that is reasonably necessary for, or incidental to, carrying on regulated activities in the area of, or the vicinity of, the primary licence area.

Special Facilities Licence (SFL)
A special facilities licence (SFL) authorises the licensee to establish and operate facilities for the purposes involving or associated with:

  1. searching for any regulated substance, or
  2. processing any regulated substance, or
  3. producing or generating energy from a source of geothermal energy, or
  4. other activities that may be relevant or incidental to searching for any regulated substance or processing, producing or storing any regulated substance or a product derived from a regulated substance.

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Tenement Information

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 areas falling within Competitive Tender Regions require the Minister to call for tenders specifying a specific closing date and time.

More than one Exploration Licence or Production Licence can be granted over the same area provided the rights to explore for a particular regulated resource for each licence differs.

Some areas are alienated from exploration operations (e.g. some protected areas under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972).

Vacant Offshore areas in offshore waters are open to permit application only after gazettal by the Federal Government and/or State Government as appropriate.  An application should be made in accordance with legislative requirements and be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

An application can be made by an individual(s) or a company(s) or a combination of an individual(s) or a company(s).  Where a foreign company makes application for, and is granted a licence under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000, such company may be subject to the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001.

Further information in relation to the requirements for foreign companies carrying on business in Australia can be found via the following link:
http://www.asic.gov.au/asic/asic.nsf/byheadline/foreign%20companies?opendocument

All applications are regarded as confidential, however certain information of a successful bid (other than details of the financial and technical abilities of the applicant or any interpretive data) may be made public.

Competing applications are assessed having regard to the most effective proposed work program providing the financial and technical abilities of the applicants are satisfactory.

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How to Apply


The following excerpts from the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Regulations 2000 set out the specific requirements which must be addressed in any application for an exploration licence under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000:

Part 2 - Licence Applications
4 - General Requirements
An application for a licence, or for the renewal of a licence, under the Act:—
(a) must be addressed to the Minister; and 
(b) must be signed or executed by the applicant; and 
(c) must include, or be accompanied by, the following information or material (in addition to the material required by the Act): 
 (i) the full name, business address and telephone number of the applicant; 
 (ii) the name and telephone number of a person who can be contacted about the application; 
 (iii) a description of the area or route to which the application relates, using co-ordinates in a form determined or approved by the Minister and, if available, cadastral boundaries; 
 (iv) in the case of an application for a licence —a map indicating the area or route to which the application relates and, in the case of an application for a pipeline licence, indicating significant topographical, environmental and cultural features; 
 (v) information on the size of the area or length of the route to which the application relates, expressed in square kilometres or kilometres (as appropriate); 
 (vi) in the case of an application for a licence;— 
 (A) in the case of an incorporated body —a copy of the body's most recent audited annual financial statements;
  (B) in any other case —statements that demonstrate the expected financial position of the applicant over the anticipated term of the licence (or a shorter term determined by the Minister); 
 (vii) in the case of an application for a licence —a statement of the technical qualifications and experience of the applicant; 
 (viii) in the case of an application for a licence —if the application is being made by more than one person —information on the interest that each person will have in the licence (which may be expressed as a percentage). 
6 —Exploration licences
An application for an exploration licence, or for the renewal of an exploration licence, must also include, or be accompanied by, the following information or material: 
(a) the proposed work program and information as to the approximate cost of operations to be carried out under the program in each year of the licence; and 
(b) a technical report that assesses the prospectivity of the area and how the proposed work program relates to this prospectivity; and 
(c) if applications have been invited by public advertisement —a statement that addresses the stated criteria. 

Notes:

Applications should be addressed to:

The Executive Director
Energy Resources Division
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
GPO Box 320
ADELAIDE  SA  5001

All coordinate descriptions are to be expressed in degrees of longitude and latitude, GDA94.

An exploration licence is granted for a term of five years (including rights of renewal pursuant to provisions under the Act), and any proposed work program should as a minimum include the drilling of one well targeting the regulated resource for which the exploration licence relates.

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Tenement Requirement Summary

Exploration Licence (GEL)Associated Activities Licence (AAL)
Geothermal Production Licence (GPL)Special Facilities Licence (SFL)
Geothermal Retention Licence (GRL) 

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Geothermal Exploration Licence (GEL)
 

ONSHORE
Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000

Application fee -
(Exempt from GST)
$4,348
Maximum area3,000 km2 per GEL
Annual fee - (Exempt from GST)*minimum $3,678 or $1.40 per km2 whichever is the greater
Initial term of tenement5 years
Relinquishment at end of term50% or 33.3%
Application for renewal -
(Exempt from GST)
$2,175
Application for variation -
(Exempt from GST)
$2,175
Application for suspension - (Exempt from GST)$2,175
Renewal term5 years

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Geothermal Production Licence (GPL)
 

ONSHORE
Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000

Application Fee -
(Exempt from GST)
$4,348
Maximum area1,000 km2
Annual fee -
(Exempt from GST)
*minimum $3,678 or $160 per km2 whichever is the greater
Initial and 1st renewal termN/A
Royalty Rate (of wellhead value)2.5%

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Geothermal Retention Licence (GRL)
 

ONSHORE
Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000

Application Fee -
(Exempt from GST)
$4,348
Maximum area1,000 km2
Annual fee -
(Exempt from GST)
*Minimum $3,678 or $160 per km2 which ever is greater
Initial term5 Years
Application for renewal -
(Exempt from GST)
$2,175
Renewal termRenewable for further 5 year terms

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Associated Activities Licence (AAL)
 

ONSHORE
Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000

Application Fee -
(Exempt from GST)
$4,348
Maximum area5 km2 for a permanent facility or 1,500 km2 in any other case
Annual fee -
(Exempt from GST)
$3,678 or $1,964 per km2 whichever is the greater for a permanent facility or $3,678 in any other case
Term (Permanent Activity)Granted for the same term and renewable at the same time as the primary licence
Term (Temporary Activity)Granted for a term determined by the Minister

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Special Facilities Licence (SFL)
 

ONSHORE
Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000

Application Fee - (Exempt from GST)$4,348
Maximum areaLimited to an area no greater than 5 km2
Annual fee - (Exempt from GST)$3,678 or $1,840 per km2 of the total licence area, whichever is the greater
Initial termGranted for a term determined by the Minister

Fees current as at 1 July 2017.
*The annual licence fee for a low level supervision operator will be reduced by an amount not exceeding 50%.

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Payment of Regulated Fees


Regulated fee and royalty payments can be made by cheque made payable to Department of the Premier and Cabinet, or by direct bank transfer to:

BankCommonwealth Bank of Australia
100 King William Street
Adelaide  SA  5000
BSB065-266
BIC/Swift CodeCTBAAU2S
Account NameDepartment of State Development - Collections
Account Number1000 0565

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For more information, contact:

Mr Joe Zabrowarny
General Manager
Licensing and Legislation
Energy Resources Division

(08) 8463 3203
joe.zabrowarny@sa.gov.au
Mr Shane Farrelly
Manager
Licensing and Legislation
Energy Resources Division

(08) 8463 3216
shane.farrelly@sa.gov.au