The Australian Federal Government is considering changing its retention lease regime in a bid to boost oil and gas production.

Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson released a discussion paper outlining possible changes. He has also called on the industry to provide input and suggestions over the next two months.

In 1990, less than 4% of Australia’s offshore gas titles were held under retention leases, said the paper. Last year, more than 40% of the titles were held under retention lease.

Almost 50% of the retention leases are associated with potential large liquefied natural gas projects. This includes the giant Gorgon LNG project, which is underpinned by gas reserves sitting in numerous retention leases owned by Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell.