Exploration is increasing despite the NT’s fracking ban.

The NT Government’s decision on the future of the ban is expected soon, but it has not stopped companies like Santos from looking for new resources.

Santos told a recent mining conference in Alice Springs that it is continuing exploration in the Southern Amadeus Basin.

The company has collected 943 kilometres of 2D seismic data south of Alice Springs in the last year, and is about to follow-up on the findings.

The company says it will drill exploration wells in the area in coming months.

Santos is also looking to the north, after gaining approval from Australia's offshore petroleum regulator, NOPSEMA, for its the Barossa-Caldita Offshore Project Proposal, 300km north of Darwin.

Managing director and chief executive Kevin Gallagher says it is a big step forward.

“It reinforces Barossa's position as the only gas supply source capable of meeting Darwin LNG's timetable,” he said.

Additionally, onshore gas producer Central Petroleum has received ACCC approval to sell more gas to the eastern seaboard.

Central is creating a number of new wells to feed into the new Northern Gas Pipeline.

Central plans to increase production from 15 terajoules a day to more than 60, feeding the new market created by the 622 km pipeline linking Tennant Creek in the Territory with Mount Isa in Queensland.

The Alice Springs conference also heard that a Federal Government geological survey of land between Tennant Creek and Mt Isa revealed minerals over an area three times bigger than first thought.