A.2.2 Tenure types for petroleum

The exploration, development and tenure types for petroleum resources (including coal seam gas, CSG) in Queensland are currently governed by the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (the Act). Prior to 2004, similar matters were administered under the Petroleum Act 1923. To explore for CSG in Queensland a company (or individual) must be granted an exploration permit for petroleum (EPP), also known as an authority to prospect (ATP). An EPP is granted by the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, following receipt of applications for the exploration permit which are submitted after a ministerial ‘call for tenders’.

An EPP can only be granted from a call for tenders under section 35 of the Act. There are certain requirements for making such a tender, especially around providing suitable details of an initial work program. These are specified in sections 37 and 48 of the Act and section 13 of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Regulation 2004. In general, the details required about each applicant’s proposed annual exploration and testing work plan must be provided for at least the first four years. The maximum area of any single EPP that can be published in a call for tenders is 100 blocks. Each block is approximately 67 km².

The maximum period for which an EPP can be granted is 12 years. There are also periodic requirements (at least every four years) to relinquish some areas of the tenement. This usually equates to 33% of the tenement area every four years.

Separate to an EPP, a petroleum lease (PL) gives the holder the right to explore, evaluate and produce petroleum (including CSG) within the PL area. The maximum size of a PL is 75 sub-blocks, and the maximum term is 30 years. To apply for a PL, an initial development plan must be submitted to provide details about the nature and extent of proposed activities.

Last updated:
5 January 2018
Thumbnail of the Galilee subregion

Product Finalisation date