Producing basins

All past and current onshore gas and oil production in the Northern Territory is from conventional fields in the Palaeozoic Amadeus Basin.

The Amadeus Basin covers approximately 170,000 km2 in area in the Northern Territory and extending into Western Australia.

Petroleum systems

There are up to five conventional petroleum systems present in the Amadeus Basin, including the Ordovician system that hosts the Mereenie and Palm Valley fields that have been in production since 1983. This petroleum system also hosts the Surprise oil field that was in production in 2014 and 2015 and the Dingo gas field which commenced production in 2015.

Three of the other four petroleum systems are Neoproterozoic in age and the fourth is Neoproterozoic to Cambrian. A variety of structural and stratigraphic traps are present within the basin. The basin is also a target for helium and naturally-occurring hydrogen in Neoproterozoic sub-salt plays.


Total production from the basin to the end of 2020 is 454 billion standard cubic feet (bscf) of gas and 18.6 million barrels of oil.

In 2020-21, 14.20 bscf of gas was produced from the basin comprising 10.02 bscf from Mereenie, 2.94 bscf from Palm Valley and 1.24 bscf from Dingo. 0.159 million barrels of oil was produced from the Mereenie field in 2020-21. These fields are operated by Central Petroleum Ltd. Annual updated production figures for the Mereenie, Palm Valley, Dingo and Surprise fields can be found on the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade website. An overview of current exploration activities can be found at the onshore exploration page.

Geological and exploration data and reports

The eastern and northern sections of the Amadeus Basin are well covered by seismic including limited 3D seismic and over 100 petroleum wells.

A more detailed description of the geological potential of the Amadeus Basin can be found in Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) Report 22.

Open file petroleum company reports and all NTGS data and information on Amadeus Basin is available from the GEMIS website.