Petroleum guidance material

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (the department) has developed guiding material to help proponents meet their obligations for Environment Management Plans (EMPs) under the Petroleum (Environment) Regulations 2016.

In addition to this guidance, it is recommended that the Petroleum Assessments Branch be contacted via in the early phases of the preparation of EMPs for more detailed project specific advice.

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Code of Practice: Onshore Petroleum Activities in the Northern Territory

The Code of Practice: Onshore petroleum activities in the Northern Territory PDF (1.7 MB) (the Code) provides minimum standards that the onshore petroleum industry in the Northern Territory must adhere to.

The Code applies to all regulated activities including those associated with:

  • both conventional and unconventional oil and gas
  • exploration, appraisal and production activities.

Environment Management Plans are now required by law to demonstrate how the Code will be complied with in the proposed activities and will not be approved if they are not compliant with the requirements of the Code.

Preliminary guideline: Groundwater monitoring bores for exploration petroleum wells in the Beetaloo Sub-basin

This guideline PDF (504.7 KB) provides the department minimum expectations in relation to groundwater quality monitoring, in order to detect any potential leaks from petroleum wells.

These requirements will be enforced through Environment Management Plan (EMP) approval decisions taken by the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources. The decision will be supported by advice from the independent Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA).

The guidelines apply to exploration scale activities in the Beetaloo Sub-basin only and will be updated as the information base for the area expands.

The guidelines are only one element of the range of regulatory tools and requirements to ensure well integrity and the protection of groundwater resources.

Weed management planning guideline: Onshore petroleum projects

Appropriate management of weeds was an important focus of the 'Scientific Inquiry Into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory'.

Recommendations 8.2 to 8.4 outlined requirements for:

  • baseline weed surveys
  • weed management plans and
  • dedicated weeds officers.

Minimum requirements for these matters are spelled out in this guideline PDF (185.0 KB).

Bushfire management planning guideline: Onshore petroleum projects

A Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) is central to best practice bushfire management and should cover preparedness, mitigation and response actions.

A BMP should be operationally focused and must include:

  • site specific analysis of bushfire risks
  • how you will collaborate with neighbours
  • a map identifying bushfire management zones including access tracks and neighbouring land
  • site specific bushfire management objectives and actions to address identified risks in above zones.

The minimum requirements for the development of a BMP are spelled out in this guideline PDF (1.1 MB).

Last updated: 24 February 2020

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