A Northern Territory mining company wants to explore land near Darwin for petroleum.

MBS Oil has lodged an application to explore in an area of 89 blocks along the coast and inland to Point Stuart, about 100 kilometres east of Darwin.

MBS Oil is a subsidiary of Australian Oil and Gas (AOG).

The directors of that company include the owner of Ilmenite Resources, Jerry Ren, and the executive director of Sherwin Iron, Rodney Illingworth.

But the Northern Territory Environment Centre is calling for the application to be rejected.

It says the Government is throwing open the door too wide to mining companies, and some areas should be off limits.

Director Stuart Blanch says he believes that the areas marked for exploration cover important sites in Darwin's rural area and further east.

"Places like Shoal Bay Conservation [area] and Aboriginal land, sensitive wetlands between Darwin and Mary River National Park," he said.

"There should be areas where oil and gas companies are not allowed to go, because they are too precious."

Dr Blanch says the Territory's "open for business" policy fails to do what other jurisdictions have done in establishing exploration exclusion zones.

"The Queensland Nationals, not renowned for their environmental concerns, have put permanent buffers around all towns and villages around Queensland as no-go areas," he said.

"You cannot explore for oil and gas within a couple of kilometres of towns in Queensland.

"Why can't the Territory at least do the same."

He says areas of high conservation and cultural values should be off-limits for mineral exploration.

Comments on the MBS Oil proposal can be lodged over the next two months.

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