Granting of shale gas licences land access and property rights in Australia
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In Australia although there is legislation relevant to petroleum, there is currently no specific legislation dealing with the exploration and production of shale gas. Unless subsequent regulatory legislation specifically focused on the production of shale gas in enacted, once shale gas extraction commences it will be regulated based upon general legislation dealing with petroleum which included shale gas. This chapter will deal with who owns petroleum in Australia, the nature of and the process for awarding of shale gas licences and the implications for titleholders and landholders in relation to rights to access land for the purpose of producing petroleum. Since Australia is a Commonwealth of six states and two territories, and the issue of production of onshore petroleum including shale gas is primarily a state matter, each state has a different though similar legislative framework. As the major shale gas deposits are fund in the stats of Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory the primary focus of this chapter will be on these jurisdictions.
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