Australia releases 21 new offshore petroleum exploration areas

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Australia’s Minister for Resources, Senator Matt Canavan, has announced 21 new offshore petroleum exploration areas at the 2017 APPEA Conference in Perth.

Most of the release areas are in the North West Shelf, spanning the Westralian Superbasin from the Bonaparte Basin in the northeast to the Northern Carnarvon Basin in the southwest.

There are also five release areas in basins close to the Bass Strait and two offshore frontier areas in the Houtman Sub-basin of the northern Perth Basin.

In the 2016 release, one cash bid was awarded. This year one new area has been offered for cash-biding in the Dampier Bus-basin.

Canavan said the release reflected the federal government’s support for the oil and gas industry and its expedite domestic gas supplies by making new areas available for exploration.

“There are 20 areas available for work program bidding, where petroleum companies need to submit comprehensive exploration plans, across a mixture of mature and lightly explored basins. A further area open for cash bidding is located in the highly prospective Dampier Sub-Basin of WA’s Northern Carnarvon Basin,” Sen. Canavan said.

“Following strong bidding on round 2 of the 2016 acreage release, I hope to see this momentum continue to this year’s release.

“The Government is committed to strengthening the east coast gas market and has released five areas that are located close to existing infrastructure and fields in the Bass Strait.”

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