Acreage Release and Promotion Project


Each year, the Australian Government formally releases new offshore areas for oil and gas exploration. Each release is supported by an updated, web-based comprehensive information package prepared by Geoscience Australia in close collaboration with the Department of  Industry, Innovation and Science.

The package comprises information about administrative aspects of the acreage release process including area nomination, work program and cash bidding, bid-assessments  permit award and permit management. Geoscience Australia provides petroleum geological details, including regional geological overviews, prospectivity assessments and access to a wealth of petroleum data which exploration permit operators submit to the Government as prescribed by the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act (OPGGSA) 2006.

The main driver behind Geoscience Australia’s petroleum geological work program is the provision of pre-competitive data that assists industry stakeholders in making informed  business decisions. Most of the work is carried out by the Energy Systems Branch and the Resources Advice and Promotions Branch who acquire new geological, geophysical and geochemical data and integrate these with existing data sets in order to improve the understanding of oil and gas prospectivity in Australia’s sedimentary basins, especially in those regions that have remained un- or underexplored.

In order to attract further investment and/or to attract newcomers to Australia's oil and gas market, the Acreage Release and Petroleum Promotion Section regularly advertises emerging investment opportunities. Shortly after the release of new exploration acreage, Geoscience Australia joins staff from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science  to disseminate related information to key stakeholders as part of a promotional tour to capital cities in the Asia region. The tour forms an integral part of maintaining and enhancing stakeholder relationships with some of Australia’s most important trade partners.

The promotion of new exploration acreage also occurs at several industry meetings throughout the year. Domestically, the annual APPEA (Australian Petroleum Production and  Exploration Association) conference, the venue at which new offshore acreage is release, and the smaller Good Oil conference are firm events on the promotion agenda. Internationally, Geoscience Australia coordinates the promotional events for AUSTRALIA Petroleum which combines geoscientists and regulators from the State/Territory geological surveys and their federal counterparts. The main  event is the North American Prospect Expo (NAPE) which attracts around 15 000 delegates every February in Houston, Texas.

Other international events include the biannual SEAPEX (South East Asian Petroleum Exploration) conference in Singapore and, depending on the location, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists International Conference and Exhibition (AAPG-ICE), which is held annually on a different continent. AUSTRALIA Petroleum is currently  evaluating options to increase the impact of its promotional activities and discussions with Austrade, who have provided assistance in the past, are being intensified.

Further Information

The following web-pages provide detailed information about acreage release and related data access: