Retention Leases for Petroleum - Victoria

Service summary

You will require this licence if you intend to obtain a retention lease for petroleum. This lease provides security of title for petroleum resources that are not currently commercially viable but which have genuine development potential (i.e. development is likely to be commercially viable within fifteen years).

The Minister may request the lessee to re-evaluate the commercial viability of the petroleum production at any time during the term of the lease. Subsequently, if the Minister is of the opinion that extraction of the petroleum is commercially viable, the Minister may direct the lessee to apply for a production licence for the purpose of extraction of petroleum.

An environmental plan must be in force before any activity can be carried out. Furthermore, operations must stop immediately if a new or increased environmental risk is identified.

Please consult the responsible agency for more information and to ascertain the level of compliance (if any) that may be required.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for this licence, you must:

  • Hold either an onshore petroleum exploration permit or an onshore petroleum production licence;
  • Show, with adequate support, that the site is likely to be commercial in 15 years;
  • Provide evidence of the applicant's technical and financial capacity to construct and operate the proposed facilities;
  • Provide all required information and documentation to the relevant authority; and
  • Pay the prescribed fees.

The licensee has 5 years from the date of cessation of production to apply for a lease.


Ongoing requirements

It is an ongoing requirement of this licence that you submit:

  • Six-monthly reports, within 30 days after the end of half-yearly period; and
  • Annual reports, within 30 days after each anniversary date.

All tenements issued under the Act can be varied and transferred to another party with the approval of the Minister. With the approval of the Minister, dealings (agreements assigning interests to other parties and creating agreements) are also registered against tenements.

The Minister must be notified immediately prior to the discovery of petroleum.


A retention lease can be granted for a term of up to 15 years and cannot be renewed.



Please consult the responsible agency for information on fees to be submitted with your application.



Retention Leases Application - Please contact the responsible agency for application forms and registration details.



Three copies of the application for a retention lease over a petroleum discovery should be submitted to the designated Authority, who will then forward it on to the other relevant Authorities. For more information please consult the guidelines for application, available directly from the Agency.

Administering agency

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Energy and Earth Resources

Act(s) name

Petroleum Act 1998 (Victoria)

Regulation(s) name

Petroleum Regulations 2011 (Victoria)

Contact details

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Energy and Earth Resources

Operating address:
Level 15
1 Spring Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3001
Mailing address:
Earth Resources Information Centre
GPO BOX 2392
Melbourne, Victoria 3001


13 61 86

Website: Opens in a new browser window


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