Apply for a petroleum title

Apply for a production licence

When a commercially viable petroleum discovery is made under your exploration permit, you have a legal right to a production licence.

A production licence gives you the exclusive rights to carry out petroleum recovery operations within the licence area, according to an approved field management plan and individual activity work approvals.

A production licence is granted for 21 or 25 years.

Before you apply in coastal waters

When you discover petroleum in your coastal waters permit area, you may nominate the blocks which contain the petroleum to be declared as a location under the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1981.

A location must be declared before you can apply for a production licence over the area.

You must apply for a production licence within two years of the location being declared. You can apply for this to be extended for another two years.

How to apply

The process for applying for a production licence is the same under the Petroleum Act 1984 and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1981.

You must apply in writing and your application must also include all of the following:

  • a letter that makes specific reference to sections of the Act under which the application requires approval
  • your name and address
  • the designated number of each block within the application area
  • a map clearly indicating the application area and the boundaries of existing exploration permit, production licence or retention lease areas
  • details of the petroleum exploration permit/retention lease history
  • evidence you have the technical and financial capacity to carry out the proposed work program to and to comply with the Act
  • a field development plan
  • a field environment plan
  • proposed sharing arrangements if there are more than two applicants.


You must pay the relevant fee when you submit your application.

The fee will not be refunded if you withdraw the application or your application is refused.

How to pay

You can use any of the methods below to pay your fee:

  • personal cheques or money orders made payable to the Receiver of Territory Monies
  • Visa or MasterCard - email
  • EFTPOS and cash payment for applications that are lodged in person
  • electronic funds transfer -  call 08 8999 5263 for account details.

Use your company name as the reference and include evidence of the payment with your application.

Submit your application

You can submit your completed application by post, email or in person.

Fees must be paid by credit card for emailed applications. There is no need to post the original documents.

By post or email

Attn: Senior Director Petroleum Operations
Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
Energy Division
GPO Box 4550
Darwin NT 0801

In person

Energy Division
Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
Level 4 Paspalis Centrepoint building
48-50 Smith Street (Corner of Knuckey Street and Smith Street Mall)
Darwin NT 0800

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Last updated: 30 October 2020

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