Australia launches largest offshore acreage release since 2000

The Australian Government has launched the 2019 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release, comprising 64 areas, the largest since 2000.

2019 Acreage Release Areas map

The 2019 acreage release was launched on Wednesday, July 31, with more than 120,000 square kilometers of acreage released for a single round of work program bidding.

According to a statement by the Australian government, companies will have the opportunity to bid on release areas until March 5, 2020.

This will be the first release of acreage under a new system which delivers an annual investment cycle for simplified bidding, greater transparency, and responds faster to market demand.

Areas are available for exploration across five basins in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia, Victoria, the Northern Territory, and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

All areas in the 2019 Acreage Release are based on industry nominations and were subject to a comprehensive public consultation process.

Regarding the release, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said: “Areas for this year’s release are heavily concentrated in the north-west. As Minister for Resources and Northern Australia I am pleased to see continued momentum for exploration in our north and the potential jobs and economic growth it would bring.

“I am also pleased to see industry interest in petroleum exploration in southeast Australia, with nominations leading to seven areas being available for bidding. Future exploration and discoveries in these areas will support our efforts to bring on more gas supplies for the east coast.”

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