Offshore Acreage Release
Encouraging petroleum exploration is a high priority for the Australian Government.
The annual release of offshore petroleum exploration acreage is a key part of the Australian Government’s strategy to further petroleum exploration in Australia’s offshore waters. The release enables industry to undertake longer term planning, provides certainty in the release process, ensures access to comprehensive pre-competitive geological and geophysical data, and ensures the provision of quality information about issues that may impact on successful applicants.
The main steps of the acreage release process are:
- Nominations of areas to be considered for the next gazettal round are sought during a three month period after the formal annual release by the government. The proposed areas are then published in the December issue of Australian Petroleum News (APN), a digital newsletter published by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. It is important to note that nominating an area does not guarantee inclusion in the gazettal round. Please email email@example.com if you wish to be added to the distribution list
- Consultation then takes place with the relevant Australian Government, State and Territory agencies that have responsibilities or interests in offshore areas. These agencies cover Australia’s maritime boundaries, environment, fisheries, defence, maritime safety, communications, and native title interests
- The annual release announcement generally coincides with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference, normally held between March and May of each year
- Areas released are notified in the relevant Australian or State/Territory Government Gazette and a comprehensive Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release information package is made available to stakeholders via the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism’s Acreage Release website
- Information seminars on the release areas are held at domestic and international promotions venues, which are advised through the APN
- On release of the areas, companies have either six or twelve months to prepare their bids, depending on the closing date for a particular release area, which is determined by the status of the acreage
- Within two months of a closing date, areas that do not attract a bid are generally re-released. Re-released areas are advertised in the APN and are open for bidding until the next closing round and
- The bids for areas released are assessed against the selection criteria by the relevant Joint Authority, with winning applications offered an exploration permit.
Topic contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Last updated: May 27, 2013