Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program

What is the Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program?

The Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program is an initiative that provides entities incorporated in Australia with funding to accelerate exploration and appraisal activities in the Beetaloo sub-basin.


The Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program is a component of the Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan delivered under the Australian Government’s broader Gas-fired recovery plan. The program is designed to encourage investment by accelerating exploration and appraisal activities in the Beetaloo sub-basin within a time-defined window. The program will run over two years from 2021-22 to 2022-23, with an aim to accelerate exploration efforts by the end of 2022.


The objectives of the program are to:

  • accelerate exploration and appraisal activities for prospective petroleum resources in the Beetaloo sub-basin
  • incentivise drilling in the Beetaloo sub-basin to deliver approximately 10 additional wells to build a comprehensive understanding of the resources.

The intended longer-term outcomes of the program are:

  • accelerated development of the Beetaloo sub-basin as a potential world-class gas province and aid commercial investment decisions
  • maximising the downstream value of the gas industry for the Northern Territory and contributing to gas security across Australia in line with the broader gas strategy.



The Australian Government has announced a total of $50 million over 2 years from 2021–22 to 2022–23 for the program. Allocation of the funding will be subject to demand.

The grant amount will be up to 25% of eligible project expenditure.

  • The minimum grant amount is $750,000.
  • The maximum grant amount is capped at $7.5 million per well. You can apply for up to 3 wells.

You are responsible for the remaining eligible project expenditure plus any ineligible expenditure.

Eligible Projects

To be eligible your project must:

  • be aligned with the program objectives
  • propose to bring forward activities by at least 90 calendar days than would otherwise have occurred in the absence of grant funding; or be in addition to your work program activities
  • commence within three months of execution of the grant agreement
  • complete eligible activities prior to the end of the 2022 calendar year.

Eligible exploration and appraisal activities include but are not limited to:

  • airborne and seismic surveying and interpretation
  • drilling
  • downhole geophysical logging
  • site pad preparation for proposed exploration activities (e.g. creation of new well pads, facilitating access roads)
  • water bore drilling for proposed exploration activities
  • geochemical assay
  • hydraulic fracturing
  • well testing
  • evaluation of data acquired from proposed exploration activities (including petro-physical interpretation, core analyses and fracture stimulation design)


Eligible Applicants

Your project must be delivered in the following location:

  • an area within the Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA) boundary for the Beetaloo sub-basin, as defined by the Northern Territory Government.

To be eligible for the Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program, you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN)
  • be an entity incorporated in Australia
  • be a trading corporation

Your trading activities must:

  • form a sufficiently significant proportion of the corporation’s overall activities as to merit it being described as a trading corporation; or
  • are a substantial and not merely peripheral activity of the corporation.

Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program only accept applications:

  • from corporations that hold a petroleum exploration permit or retention licence from the Northern Territory Government, and have commenced all necessary approval processes to undertake petroleum exploration onshore
  • where you can provide a letter from your board (or chief executive officer or equivalent if there is no board) that the proposed exploration and appraisal project:
    • is supported
    • can commence within three months of entering into a grant agreement
    • will be completed as per deadlines that may be set in your grant agreement
    • costs that are not covered by grant funding can be met.
  • where you can provide evidence of how you will provide your share of project costs such as an accountant declaration that confirms you can fund your share of the project costs, including any ineligible expenditure.



Applications close 30 June 2022.

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