The Coalition Government today announced the 2021 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, with around 80,000 square kilometres of new acreage available for exploration in Commonwealth waters.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the release comprises 21 areas across the Bonaparte, Browse, Carnarvon, Otway, Sorell and Gippsland basins off Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.
“The annual Acreage Release is a crucial component of the Government’s gas-fired recovery plan. It is vitally important that Australians have access to reliable and affordable energy both now and in the future,” Minister Pitt said.
“I congratulate the oil and gas industry for their management and commitment to exploration and production throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Exploration will continue to play a key role in supporting Australia’s economic growth by encouraging investment in development prospects, as well as unlocking additional supply.
“This year’s release provides opportunities in established oil and gas provinces with existing infrastructure as well as under-explored areas offshore Victoria, also within reach of existing infrastructure. This is consistent with the drive to deliver current projects as well as the potential to increase supply into the East Coast market.
“The continued release of areas for exploration is important to providing a steady supply of energy for the future. I would welcome and encourage industry bidding on the released areas.”
All areas in the 2021 Acreage Release are based on industry nominations and were subject to a public consultation process. All areas are available for work-program bidding. Bidding will close on Thursday 3 March 2022.
Maps for the 2021 acreage release, public consultation comments and information on the bidding process can be found at the Department’s 2021 Offshore Acreage Release web page.