Australia offers 28 new offshore areas for petroleum exploration

The Australian Government on Thursday launched the 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release making 28 new areas available for bidding in Commonwealth waters offshore from Western Australia and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

The 2016 acreage release comprises 28 areas located across five basins, Bonaparte, Browse, Offshore Canning Basin, Roebuck, and Northern Carnarvon Basin.

According to a statement by Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan, launching this Acreage Release is a priority for the Australian Government as the oil and gas industry is of high importance to the Australian economy.

Offshore extraction of gas will help Australia become the world’s leading exporter of LNG in coming years, Canavan said.

Nominations from industry for this year’s release were heavily concentrated in the north-west.

Senator Canavan added: “As Minister for Resources and Northern Australia I am pleased to see continued momentum for exploration in our north and the opportunities for boosting jobs and economic growth this presents.”

All areas in the 2016 acreage release were released for public consultation in February 2016 and they are based on industry nominations. Release areas are located in a range of water depths and vary in size and level of existing geological knowledge.

The acreage is available through the usual combination of work-program rounds and a cash bid auction.