The Australian government launched the 2017 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release making 28 new oil and gas areas available for bidding.
The areas sit across eight basins in Commonwealth waters off the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia coasts, and in the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.
Australian Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said in a statement that the annual release will support the government’s strategy to boost domestic gas supply by exploring new potential oil and gas areas.
“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,” 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,” he added.
All areas in the release are supported by analysis from Geoscience Australia. They were nominated by industry, and are subject to a comprehensive assessment process including public consultation, the statement reads.