Government releases largest offshore acreage in 20 years

Comprising 64 areas, more than 120,000 km2 in total, the acreage has been released for a single round of work program bidding which is open until 5 March 2020.

The areas released were nominated by the oil and gas industry before consultation was undertaken with the public, governments and stakeholders to determine the final release.

Acreage has been opened in the Bonaparte, Browse, Northern Carnarvon, Otway and Gippsland basins.

Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the new release would bring economic growth particularly to the north of Australia.

“I am also pleased to see industry interest in petroleum exploration in southeast Australia, with nominations leading to seven areas being available for bidding,” he said.

“Future exploration and discoveries in these areas will support our efforts to bring on more gas supplies for the east coast.

“I look forward to working with the petroleum industry so we can ensure Australia maintains its attractiveness as a destination for exploration investment, and to underpin our long-term energy security.”

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Spokesperson Keld Knudsen said oil and gas exploration needed to continually be a focus for Australia.

“Today’s exploration is tomorrow’s production,” he said.

“Significant effort and investment are required to continually discover and extract resources from existing and new reserves across Australia both onshore and offshore.”

For more information visit the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science website.

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