PetraGas owns the exploration license for unconventional shale oil and gas is situated in the Midlands region. PetraGas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Petratherm a geothermal company based in South Australia.
The license was granted in February 2014, lasts for five years and covers 3900 km².
The exploration area includes high-value agricultural land that has been enhanced through recent investment in irrigation schemes. Sheep grazing properties in the Midlands produce super-fine wool, while UTAS's Greenhill Observatory on Bisdee Tier, east of the Midland Highway at Spring Hill contributes to the international effort to detect earth-like planets in space. Bothwell lures tourists to the Nant distillery and is home to the oldest golf course in the southern hemisphere. The popular tourist town of Richmond is also covered by the exploration license, as is a significant portion of Hobart's drinking water catchment.
The moratorium on fracking announced by the Hodgman Government in February 2015 doesn't affect the status of PetraGas' license. The announcement does clarify that fracking won't be permitted for exploration or production during the moratorium period.
Terra Tasmania Resources (TTR) is currently targeting conventional oil in the Northern Midlands. TTR's license will come up for renewal in late 2016.
Overseas Energy Holdings had a license across the North Coast for five years, which expired in September 2015. They did some conventional drilling, but did not find a viable resource.
The license that was held by Great South Land Minerals in the Central Highlands expired in 2012 and is now available to bidders. It is listed as pending on the MRT website. The license area includes the upper reaches of Hobart's drinking water catchment, Aboriginal Land and World Heritage area. Before any new licence is granted, it is likely that these tenures will be removed.