Petroleum licensing report points to reforms

The findings of a new study into Australia’s petroleum licensing regulations has pointed the way to some needed reforms, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said today.

Minister Canavan said the COAG Energy Council had commissioned Noetic Solutions to study how effective the petroleum licensing regulations are in driving prompt commercial development of gas resources and in supporting exploration and expenditure.

“Their report found the central policy objective of all State and Commonwealth jurisdictions is the same,” Minister Canavan said. “This is to provide security of tenure over a resource that was not commercially viable at discovery but may become so within 15 years.

“While the study found no evidence the regulations had allowed gas to be withheld from production or development – referred to as “warehousing” - the report did find areas for improvement.

“The report called for streamlining of licensing processes to reduce development delays.

“The Australian Government is determined to remove barriers to the efficient and timely development of resources. We want to see our resources developed for the benefit of the nation.”

Minister Canavan said the report also suggested introducing a statutory requirement to provide information about the commercial potential of a discovered resource.

“I will certainly be looking at the recommendations of this report in the context of the Resources 2030 Statement that I will be releasing later this year and doing what I can to bring more projects on line,” Minister Canavan said.

Note: The report is available on the COAG Energy Council website at:http://www.coagenergycouncil.gov.au/publications/coag-energy-council-review-petroleum-licensing-regulations

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