AusGeo News  June 2007  Issue No. 86

Offshore petroleum exploration set to increase

Jenny Maher

Recent successes have significantly increased known oil and gas reserves

Fig 1. Location of offshore petroleum exploration areas.

Each year the Australian Government releases new opportunities for offshore petroleum exploration through the annual release of offshore acreage. Interest in offshore exploration for oil and gas is increasing rapidly with the take-up rate of acreage released rising from just short of 50 per cent in 2002–03 to 90 per cent for the 2005 acreage release. Borrowings of pre-competitive data from Geoscience Australia, used by explorers to define the best drill locations, have trebled between 2004 and 2006.

Figure 1. Location of Australia’s 2007 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Areas. (Larger image [JPG 733.0kb])

The 2007 Release of Offshore Petroleum Exploration Areas was announced on 16 April by the Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP, Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, at the annual Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) conference in Adelaide.

Thirty four new exploration areas, located in six of Australia’s offshore sedimentary basins, were released (figure 1).

The new areas on offer include:

All areas are available for uptake through a work program bidding system. The closing date for those release areas in the first closing round is 18 October 2007 whilst bids for the areas in the second round close 17 April 2008.

Geoscience Australia has a number of products that could assist explorers in reviewing potential acreage. In particular an Acreage Release Data Room has been established at Geoscience Australia’s Symonston ACT headquarters and the Data Room is available for visitors interested in the 2007 release areas from mid-June 2007 until bids for the 2007 release areas have closed.

Alternatively, packages of specific seismic surveys are now available in either Geoframe, Kingdom or Landmark format. These data packages also include digital Well Completion Reports and the 2007 release area shapefiles and can be ordered through the Geophysical Repository at the cost of transfer.

For more information on the 2007 Offshore Acreage Release or to book into the 2007 Acreage Release Data Room phone Jenny Maher on +61 2 6249 9111 (email or visit the Geoscience Australia website.

Information on the 2007 Release of Offshore Petroleum Exploration Areas can also be obtained from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources website.

Related websites

2007 Offshore Acreage Release (Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources)

Data supporting the 2007 release areas (Geoscience Australia)

Geophysical Repository

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