Petroleum titles objections and disputes

This page has information on the process followed for objections to granting petroleum titles or disputes resulting from exploration or production activities.


You may object to the granting of a petroleum title if you own or have an interest in land affected by the application. 

You must send your written objection to the department within two months of the notification date on the advertisement in the NT News.

The objections will be sent to the applicant, who can choose whether or not to respond.

The department takes into account all objections and submissions when making a decision on an application.


Disputes which arise during exploration or production activities, or following a decision on a title application, should be resolved by mediation. 

Where agreement can't be reached through mediation, disputes can be referred to the Northern Territory Civil and Administration Tribunal (NTCAT).

The tribunal can be asked to review or make a decision about  petroleum titles, compensation and land issues.

Petroleum titles

Under the Petroleum Act, you can appeal to the tribunal to review the following decisions:

  • refusal of a petroleum title application
  • refusal of an application to transfer a title.


You can ask the tribunal to appoint a mediator to assist with reaching agreement on compensation issues, or to make a decision on a claim for compensation if the parties can't agree.

Land and other issues

You can apply to the tribunal for a decision about a dispute relating to preliminary exploration, a petroleum title, a title area or a proposed title area.

Areas of dispute include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • the area, dimensions and boundaries of the land being surveyed
  • entry onto land to conduct preliminary exploration or authorised activities under a petroleum title.

How to apply to NTCAT

Applications to NTCAT should be made using the tribunal's Form 3 Ordinary Application, along with the required fee. The form and information about fees can be obtained from the NTCAT website.

Tribunal decisions

The tribunal will make either a decision or a recommendation, depending on what has been referred

For issues about the granting of a title, the tribunal makes a recommendation to the department. The department does not have to follow the recommendation.

For other applications the tribunal makes a decision that everyone must abide by.

Last updated: 04 August 2016


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