Land tenure and availability

Petroleum reserved blocks

A petroleum reserved block is an area where you can't explore or drill for petroleum resources.

This is further outlined under section nine of the Petroleum Act 1984.

The Northern Territory Government has finalised its reserved block policy following public consultation. Read the reserved block policy PDF (1.7 MB).

Reserved blocks in the Northern Territory (NT) are being declared in four stages known as tranches PDF (79.3 KB).

The Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing determined there are areas in the NT that should be reserved blocks.

These areas include towns, parks, reserves and areas of high ecological value.

To read the report visit the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing website.


Reserved blocks, also known as no-go zones, will be declared over 49% of the NT land mass.

Get a map of all areas identified as reserved blocks PDF (1.9 MB).

There are seven reserved block categories.

1. Parks and reserves

All parks and reserves in the NT will be reserved blocks.

Get a map of the parks and reserves to be declared PDF (3.8 MB).

2. Towns

All gazetted towns with a two kilometre buffer, the Katherine municipality and the Alice Springs municipality will be declared.

Get a map of the areas to be declared PDF (1.8 MB).

Get a map of the Katherine areas to be declared PDF (645.1 KB).

Get a map of the Alice Springs areas to be declared PDF (624.7 KB).

Communities on Aboriginal Land Rights Act (ALRA) land will be declared following discussions with the land councils.

3. High conservation value

There are 67 sites of conservation significance in the NT. They protect diversity values including threatened species and wetlands.

All sites of conservation significance will be declared. Get a map of the areas to be declared PDF (4.3 MB).

4. Indigenous Protected Areas

These are areas covered by an agreement between traditional owners and the Commonwealth Government to promote biodiversity and cultural resource conservation.

All Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) will be declared. Get a map of the IPAs to be declared PDF (3.8 MB).

5. Cultural significance

Areas that are culturally significant can be declared.

Sacred sites are fully protected under existing legislation.

6. High tourism value

Areas of high tourism value often fall into another category.

If an area of high tourism does not fall into another category, the Minister for Resources will consider declaring the area after consulting with the Minister for Tourism.

7. No petroleum potential

Get a map of the areas of no petroleum potential that will be declared PDF (3.7 MB).

Reserved blocks will be declared in four tranches.

Review the decision tree PDF (189.4 KB) that was used to determine which tranche an area belongs to.

Tranche one

Tranche one includes areas where there is no granted exploration permit.

Tranche two

Tranche two includes joint managed parks.

These will be declared once the relevant boards of management have been notified.

Tranche two includes 29 parks and reserves.

Tranche three

Tranche three includes areas where there is a granted exploration permit.

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources will negotiate with the permit holders to relinquish those areas.

Tranche four

Tranche four includes areas that are on ALRA land.

These areas will be declared when land councils advise the Minister for Resources that they support the declaration.

Sixty per cent of the area to be declared is on ALRA land.

The areas below have been declared as petroleum reserved blocks in the NT.

Get a print-friendly version of the reserved blocks map PDF (687.7 KB).

Original reserved blocks

Reserved block numberName Gazette date
RB2 West MacDonnell National Park 28/05/2008
RB4 Town of Katherine 18/07/2012
RB5 Town of Tennant Creek 18/07/2012
RB5 Town of Alice Springs 18/07/2012
RB51 Port of Darwin 31/05/2012
RB53 Marrakai Dam 31/05/2012
RB54 Bynoe Harbour 25/07/2012
RB55 Bradshaw 19/12/2012
RB56 Greater Darwin Area 3/10/2013
RB57 Dulcie Range National Park 9/10/2013
RB60 Warrai Dam 15/10/2013
RB66 Elsey National Park Extension 26/08/2015
RB67 Nitmiluk National Park 1/11/2016
RB68 Manton, Darwin River Dam and AROWS 12/01/2017
RB69 Watarrka National Park 24/05/2017

Reserved blocks Gazetted 23 October 2019

Category 2 - towns and residential areas

Reserved block numberName
RB70 Town of Adelaide River
RB71 Town of Alice Springs
RB72 Town of Batchelor
RB73 Town of Borroloola
RB74 Town of Brocks Creek (2km buffer)
RB75 Town of Burrundie (2km buffer)
RB76 Town of Finke
RB77 Town of Fleming (2km buffer)
RB78 Town of Harts Range (2km buffer)
RB79 Town of Hatches Creek
RB80 Town of Jabiru
RB81 Town of Kalkarindji
RB82 Katherine Municipality
RB83 Town of Maranunga
RB84 Town of Mataranka
RB85 Town of Newcastle Waters
RB86 Town of Pine Creek (2km buffer)
RB89 Town of Ti Tree
RB90 Town of Timber Creek and Victoria River Deport Historical Reserve
RB91 Town of Union Town (2km buffer)
RB92 Town of Urapunga
RB93 Town of Yulara

Category 3 - sites of conservation significance (SOCS)

Reserved block numberName
RB94 Chambers Bay
RB95 Elkedra River floodout swamps
RB96 Frew River floodout swamps
RB97 Howard Sand Plains
RB98 Lake Sylvester System
RB99 Mary River Coastal floodplain
RB100 Mud Hut Swamp
RB101 Shoal Bay
RB102 Wood Duck Swamp

Category 1 - parks and reserves

Reserved block numberName
RB103 Adelaide River Foreshore Conservation Area
RB104 Anna’s Reservoir Conservation Reserve
RB105 Attack Creek Historical Reserve
RB106 Barrow Creek Telegraph Station Historical Reserve
RB107 Butterfly Gorge Nature Park
RB108 Central Mount Stuart Historical Reserve
RB109 Channel Island Conservation Reserve
RB110 Channel Point Coastal Reserve
RB111 Connells Lagoon Conservation Reserve
RB112 Cutta Caves Nature Park
RB113 Daly River (Mt Nancar) Conservation Area
RB114 Douglas River/Daly River Esplanade Conservation Area
RB115 Fish River Gorge Block
RB116 John Flynn Historical Reserve
RB117 Kintore Caves Conservation Reserve
RB118 Leaning Tree Lagoon Nature Park
RB119 Limmen Bight Marine Park
RB120 Limmen National Park (part only)
RB121 Litchfield National Park
RB122 Mac and Rose Chalmers Conservation Reserve
RB123 Oolloo Crossing Conservation Area
RB124 Ryan Well Historical Reserve
RB125 Stray Creek Conservation Area
RB126 Tennant Creek Telegraph Station Historical Reserve
RB127 Tjuwaliyn (Douglas) Hot Springs Nature Park
RB128 Umbrawarra Gorge Nature Park
RB129 Woodgreen Conservation Reserve
RB130 Newry Station Gouldian Finch Conservation Covenant
RB131 St Vidgeon Management Area (part only)
RB132 Keep River National Park
RB133 Keep River National Park Proposed (part only)

Category 7 - geological areas with no petroleum potential (NPP)

Reserved block numberName
RB134 Musgrave Province
RB135 Archean Part 1
RB136 Archean Part 2
RB137 Davenport Province Part 1
RB138 Davenport Province Part 2
RB139 Warramunga Province Part 1
RB140 Warramunga Province Part 2
RB141 Aileron Province Part 1
RB142 Aileron Province Part 2
RB143 Aileron Province Part 3
RB144 Aileron Province Part 4
RB145 Aileron Province Part 5
RB146 Aileron Province Part 6
RB147 Aileron Province Part 7
RB148 Irindina Province Part 1
RB149 Irindina Province Part 2
RB150 Warumpi Province Part 1
RB151 Warumpi Province Part 2
RB152 Warumpi Province Part 3
RB153 Warumpi Province Part 4
RB154 Warumpi Province Part 5
RB155 Warumpi Province Part 6
RB156 Tanami Region Part 1
RB157 Tanami Region Part 2
RB158 Tanami Region Part 3
RB159 Tanami Region Part 4
RB160 Tanami Region Part 5
RB161 Tanami Region Part 6
RB162 Murphy Province Part 1
RB163 Murphy Province Part 2
RB166 Pine Creek Orogen Part 1
RB167 Pine Creek Orogen Part 2

You can view current granted petroleum titles and applications for petroleum titles on the STRIKE website.

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Last updated: 24 October 2019


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