2018 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release

15 May 2018

The Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan has formally released the 2018 offshore petroleum exploration areas at the annual APPEA Conference in Adelaide.

The Australian Government's annual release of offshore petroleum exploration acreage encourages investment and contributes to the responsible development of Australia's oil and gas resources.

A total of 21 areas have been released for offshore petroleum exploration. They are located in the Bonaparte Basin, Browse Basin, Northern Carnarvon Basin, Bight Basin, Otway Basin and Gippsland Basin. All release areas were supported by industry nominations indicating that interest in exploring offshore Australia's basins remains strong, despite the significant decrease in the number of exploration wells drilled in recent years.

Map of Australia showing offshore areas released for petroleum exploration as part of the 2018 acreage releaseOverview map of the 2018 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release, overview and inset A

In order to attract robust industry participation in the bidding process, the released areas are selected to reflect geological and geographical diversity to cater for the full gamut of petroleum exploration companies.

Geoscience Australia continues to support industry activities by acquiring, interpreting and integrating pre-competitive datasets that are made freely available as part of the agency's regional petroleum geological studies. The regional evaluation of the petroleum systems in the Browse Basin have been completed and work continues on assessing the distribution of Early Triassic source rocks and related petroleum occurrences across the North West Shelf.

Offshore areas released for petroleum exploration as part of the 2018 acreage release. Located in the Bonaparte, Browse Basin, Northern Carnarvon, Bight, Otway and Gippsland basinsOverview map of the 2018 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release, insets B and C

A wealth of seismic and well data, submitted under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 are available through the National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System (NOPIMS). Additional datasets are accessible through Geoscience Australia's petroleum data repository.

Further information: