The South Australian Government has deferred the costs linked to exploration and licence fees for the minerals and petroleum sectors to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.
The Liberal Government has implemented an immediate of annual petroleum fees due in the next six months. These licence fees will now not be due until December 31, 2020.
Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the impact of travel restrictions and social distancing on the operation of the state’s mining and petroleum sectors had been significant.
“In addition, there is a 12-month waiver of committed expenditure for all mineral exploration licence holders as well as an expansion of allowable expenditures towards minimum Petroleum Retention Licence requirements during a period of low oil prices,” van Holst Pellekann said.
The government further added that the economic measures will provide the mining and petroleum industries in South Australia with some financial relief and help support the state’s economy to respond to the difficulties posed by the coronavirus containment measures.
Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) chief executive officer Andrew McConville said the measures would particularly help smaller exploration companies.
“Current economic conditions have the potential to irreparably damage oil and gas exploration in Australia unless steps are taken to provide short term relief to allow companies to remain in business until the economy has moved through the worst of the downturn,” McConville said.
“The South Australian Government will carry on supporting our most important industries, and to ensure that our resources industry continues to play a vital role in the growth and development of this state, now and for years to come,” van Holst Pellekaan added.