Exploration permits for about one million hectares of the Northern Territory are available.
To explore this land you need only to pay annual lease fees of less than $100,000 a year.
The NT Government has confirmed EP 162 and EP 189 has not been renewed by Santos as it focuses on its heavy investment in the near Beetaloo Basin.
These two permits include 171 blocks of land in the Roper Valley and Central Arnhem land.
EP 162 is centred about 180km east of Katherine and EP 189 joins it to its north.
Project Country Alliance said the announcement came as a relief for Big River Station's Daniel Tapp .
"It's quite a relief. Its been in the back of my mind ever since the talk began of fracking in the Territory," he told the ABC.
"While its a long way from the final nail, as they are still continuing to frack down there in the Beetaloo Basin that basically waters the Roper River which is our catchment area.
"The Tindall aquifer all comes from that area so we are still far from out of the woods on the issue. But it is certainly good news that they are not going to be fracking here right in this area."
Santos and Origin Energy are still to announce when they will resume their exploration activities in the Beetaloo after calling a halt to the work during the coronavirus travel restrictions.
Santos had only drilled one exploration well on either lease, and that was four years ago.
It says it wants to focus on its "more prospective" permits in the Beetaloo.
" Renewal of EPs is a commercial decision which could be influenced by any number of factors including market influences, change of company focus or prospectivity of the area," a spokeswoman for the Department of Primary Industry and Resources said.
"Petroleum exploration permits can be viewed online at strike.nt.gov.au. The Spatial Territory Resource Information Kit for Exploration (STRIKE) is the department's web-mapping application for geoscientific data and minerals and energy tenure information in the NT for both industry and government users."
The department said an application for an exploration permit can only be made under section 16 of the Petroleum Act 1984 by the Minister inviting applications (and no such invitations have been made).
The recent amendments to the Act (to commence 28 June 2020) will require the Minister to publish a notice in a newspaper inviting applications and submissions as to whether the area is suitable for exploration.
These amendments implement recommendation 14.2 of the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Onshore Unconventional Reservoirs in the Northern Territory Final Report.
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