The Australian Government has released over 120,000 square kilometres of acreage to be explored by oil and gas companies.
The 2019 offshore petroleum acreage release comprises a record 64 areas, the largest since 2000 and will be released for a single round of work program bidding.
It marks the first release of acreage under a new streamlined system that delivers an annual investment cycle that simplifies bidding, offers greater transparency and responds faster to market demand.
Areas are available for exploration across five basins in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia, Victoria 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.
“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,” Minister Matt Canavan said.
“I am also pleased to see industry interest in petroleum exploration in south east 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.”
Canavan concluded by saying he was looking forward to working with the petroleum industry to ensure Australia maintains its attractiveness as a destination for exploration investment.
Australia has attracted large amounts of investment in the oil and gas sector over the last 50 years and in the last decade over $200 billion has been invested in oil and gas in the country, making it the world’s largest LNG exporter.