The Australian federal government has called on the national regulator to review retention leases off the country's south-east coast.

Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan late last week asked the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator to carry out the review into undeveloped acreage off Victoria and Tasmania.

“Re-evaluating the commercial viability of retention leases in the Victorian and Tasmanian offshore areas will determine if there are resources that could be brought into production,” he said, adding that the government had the power to revoke retention leases if the review found they contained commercially viable resources.