An application for a Exploration Licence can be lodged at any time over any area of the state which is not in a highly prospective region, and under existing licence/application for particular regulated resource sought. Applications for Highly prospective regions requires the Minister to call for tenders specifying a specific closing date and time. More than one Exploration Licence or Production Licence can be granted over the same area provided the rights to explore for a particular regulated resource for each licence differs. Some areas are alienated from exploration operations (eg some protected areas under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972) . An application should be made in accordance with legislative requirements and be accompanied by the prescribed fee.
An application can be made by an individual(s) or a company(s) or a combination of an individual(s) or a company(s). Where a foreign body corporate makes application for, and is granted a licence under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000, such foreign body corporate may be subject to the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001.
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (external site) gives further information in relation to the requirements for foreign bodies carrying on business in Australia.
All applications are regarded as confidential, however certain information of a successful bid (other than details of the financial and technical abilities of the applicant or any interpretive data) may be made public.
Competing applications are assessed having regard to the most effective proposed work program providing the financial and technical abilities of the applicants are satisfactory.
The applicant must submit with the application a summary of the technical qualifications of the applicants (or consultants /agents of the applicant) to satisfy requirements that the applicant is capable of satisfying compliance with the Petroleum Act and the terms and conditions of the licence.
Evidence of the financial position of the applicant is to be supplied to demonstrate ability to fulfil the proposed work program. Such evidence can be in the form of the latest annual report or a verifiable statement from an independent accountant, auditor or financial institution. If financial resources are not available for the full term, the applicant will have to provide evidence that there are financial resources available for at least the first licence year program (or subsequent years as provided by the applicant) prior to the grant of the licence. Offshore permits require a minimum of years 1 to 3 guaranteed.
The applicant must submit with the application a statement of exploratory operations the applicant proposes to carry out in each year of the term of the licence, including an estimate of exploration expenditure to be incurred in each year of the licence.