Increased certainty to pastoralists and the petroleum industry


The Northern Territory Government has endorsed the Petroleum Regulations 2020, providing clarity for Territory landholders and the petroleum industry.

The Petroleum Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) will strengthen regulation and ensure industry is accountable for its practices, while assisting pastoralists and petroleum companies to reach land access agreements for petroleum activities, including the standard minimum protections.

Key matters outlined in the Regulations include:

  • requiring statutory land access agreements to be reached for regulated operations and detailed notices to be issued prior to any airborne surveys and limited preliminary activities
  • provision of mechanisms to assist parties negotiate a statutory land access agreement including mediation or some other form of alternative dispute resolution
  • clarifying minimum protection requirements including the requirement for all statutory land access agreements to contain standard 24 minimum protections specified in the Inquiry which include requirements such as closing gates, ensuring all petroleum company employees receive induction training, minimising disturbance to livestock, giving notice to landholders and managing weeds.

The Regulations were drafted in-line with the recommendations from the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing and with stakeholder consultation including pastoral lease holders, petroleum companies as well as peak industry bodies such as the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and the NT Cattleman’s Association.

Following this consultation, the Petroleum Regulations 2020 will deliver clarity for both landholders and the petroleum industry, bringing to fruition 63 of the Hydraulic Fracturing inquiry’s 135 recommendations.

The Petroleum Regulations 2020 will commence from 1 January 2021.

For more information:


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