Acreage Release 2012

The regular release of offshore acreage is a key part of the Australian Government's strategy to encourage investment in petroleum exploration. The 2012 Release Areas are located in Commonwealth waters offshore Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

A total of twenty-seven new exploration areas in nine offshore sedimentary basins are offered for work program bidding. Closing dates for bid submissions are either six or twelve months after the release date, i.e. 8 November 2012 or 9 May 2013, depending on the exploration status in these areas and on data availability.

The traditional strong representation of new release areas offshore Northern Territory and Western Australia is this year well balanced with ten areas along Australia’s southern margin in the Bight, Otway, Sorell and Gippsland basins. Following the award of four permits in the Ceduna Sub-basin (Bight Basin) to BP in January 2011, three more areas are being released this year offering additional exploration opportunities. The Otway, Sorell and Gippsland areas offer a mix of shallow water areas close to existing hydrocarbon production and deep water underexplored areas.

The 2012 Offshore Acreage Release is characterised by large blocks in offshore frontiers, bringing the released acreage to approximately 200 000km2. Area selection has been undertaken in consultation with industry, the States and Northern Territory. Many areas are close to existing infrastructure while others are located in frontier offshore regions. Therefore, the 2012 Acreage Release is of interest to all exploration companies, whether they are small or large, multinationals, independents or national oil companies.

Data supporting the 2012 Release Areas

  • 2012 Acreage Release Data Packages: Seismic data are available in GeoFrame™, Kingdom® formats and as exported SEGY.
    Digital well completion reports and logs for specific wells are available in original format.
    Email:, Phone: +61 2 6249 9222
  • Geoscience Australia's Data Room: Seismic data relevant to the 2012 acreage release round are available in workstation format for viewing and workup in Geoframe™ and Kingdom®. Associated digital well data are also accessible.
  • 2012 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release website: This site assists prospective applicants in preparing applications for exploration permits. It contains an 'Overview for Applicants', 'Guidance Notes for Applicants', geology summaries and listings of available data including well, drill-core and sample analytical data.
    Available at: External site link
  • Seismic survey listings [XLS 178KB] of all identified 2D and 3D surveys that intersect any one of the 2012 release areas.


Tom Bernecker
Project Manager, Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release
Phone: +61 2 6249 9239

2012 Acreage Release Data Packages

In support of the annual offshore acreage release process, Geoscience Australia has, over the last five years, provided seismic data in a 'workstation ready' package to allow industry to load the data directly into their interpretation platforms; saving considerable time and expense.

These workstation packages are available in GeoFrame™4.5, Kingdom™8.5 formats and as exported SEGY with navigation in the headers ready for loading into any platform. Data is packaged on a 2TB external hard drive that contains:

  • all available open-file 2D and 3D seismic in the release areas
  • well logs, well completion reports, destructive analysis reports and tiff images of scanned well log plots.

Previously delivered limited interpretation over the North West Shelf for the 13 Geoscience Australia surveys are also included. This year selected regional scale interpretations have also been included for a selection of seismic lines in, and adjacent to, the 2012 Release Areas in the Bight Basin.

The 2012 data package contains approximately 44 300km2 of 3D and 435 000kms of 2D. 2D projects have been divided into six main regional areas over the acreage and the workstation package has a variety of culture data loaded including well header data, bathymetric, magnetic and gravity grids as geo referenced tiffs. All other well logs if available will be located on the 2TB drive as digital files or scanned tiffs. New seismic data for the 2012 release has been loaded primarily as 16 bit. 3D seismic surveys have generally been kept as separate projects except for the Victoria regional project which contains the 3D-Geo 50 meter phase matched merged grid for the Gippsland 3Ds.

Seismic Data Coverage for Release Areas

Due to the complexity of this figure no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at for an alternate description.

Map of Australia showing 2012 offshore acreage release areas.

Download the 2012 Seismic Workstation Information folder and/or order form containing Excel spreadsheets, kml and shapefiles for all 2D and 3D seismic.


Andrea Cortese
Geophysical Analysis and Data Access
Ph: +61 2 6249 9129

Topic contact: Last updated: April 7, 2014