Australia launches largest offshore acreage release since 2000

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Australia has released 64 areas for offshore oil and gas exploration in the 2019 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release, representing the largest rollout of acreage in 19 years.

Bidding will be open until 5 March 2020 with over 120,000km² released for a single round of work program bidding.

Australia Minister for Resources Matt Canavan said the latest release was the first under a new streamlined system designed to deliver an annual investment cycle that “simplifies bidding, offers greater transparency and responds faster to the 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.

Furthermore, all areas in the release were based on industry nominations and had been subject to a comprehensive public consultation process.

“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,” Mr Canavan said.

“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.”

Maps for the 2019 acreage release and information on the bidding process can be found at www.industry.gov.au/2019-acreage release.

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