JPT Northern Territory Unconventional Resources: A Regulatory Perspective 

In the Northern Territory, the Department of Mines and Energy (DME) is the agency responsible for regulating the exploration and production of oil and gas and the administration of petroleum tenures and petroleum pipelines onshore and in designated coastal waters up to 3 nautical miles seaward from the Territorial Sea Baseline of the Northern Territory. The DME’s role is to ensure that best-practice regulatory principles are applied for the sustainable and safe exploration and production of natural resources in the Northern Territory. In the Northern Territory, hydraulic fracturing has taken place since 1967, mainly as a process to enhance hydrocarbon production from conventional reservoirs with vertical wells. Since 2011, however, hydraulic fracturing has been carried out during exploration for unconventional hydrocarbons. Until now, developmental drilling has taken place only in producing fields in the Amadeus Basin.