Getting oil from the Great Australian Bight is a long term prospect, but Resources Minister Matt Canavan says it could make Australia self-sufficient again.

He says new areas for oil and gas exploration should be opened up for consideration to keep energy costs lower.

‘The Great Australian Bight is an opportunity for us. It’s a long term one, it’s not going to be something that can happen tomorrow,’ Senator Canavan told Adelaide radio 5AA on Wednesday.

‘But there’s a lot of people interested around the world. It really is seen as perhaps the richest off-shore opportunity in this space.

‘I think it would be a great thing to get back to self-sufficiency in oil one day – we used to have that with Bass Strait.’

Senator Canavan said keeping energy costs low meant manufacturing in South Australia and Victoria could remain strong.

‘That’s why I’m passionate about looking at (new) areas, we’ve still got a long way to go in the Great Australian Bight, there’s a lot of environmental approvals and assessments to be made, the geology is not completely known yet,’ he said.

‘But why would we close that off for your state? The economic opportunity that could come from that is amazing.’