Annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release Process
Offshore petroleum exploration acreage is released annually by the various Australian Government - State/NT Joint Authorities. This is a key part of the Australian Government's strategy to encourage petroleum exploration.
The annual release of acreage for petroleum exploration enables longer term planning for the industry, certainty in the release process, access to comprehensive geological and geophysical data on CD-ROM and the website, and high quality information about issues that may impact on successful applicants.
The main steps of the release process are:
- nominations of areas to be considered for the next release package are sought during June/October (third quarter of each year) through the Australian Petroleum News;
- the shortlisted areas proposed for release are advised to industry through the Australian Petroleum News around late November or early December;
- the annual release announcement generally coincides with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference, normally in March or April;
- on release of the areas, companies have either six or twelve months to prepare their bids, depending on the closing date for a particular release area;
- within two months of a bid closing date, areas that do not attract a bid are generally re-released. Re-released areas are advertised in the Australian Petroleum News and are available until the next bid closing round; and
- information seminars on the release areas are held at domestic and international promotions venues (the venues are advised through the Australian Petroleum News).
If you wish to be notified by E-mail when new editions of the Australian Petroleum News are posted to the website and/or be sent a CD-ROM of the acreage release information package, please E-mail your request and contact details to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ensure that bidders are aware of the rights and interests of others in the release areas, both the Australian Government and States/NT consult respectively with Australian and State/NT agencies that have responsibilities or interests in offshore areas. These agencies cover environment, fisheries, defence, maritime safety, communications, and native title interests. The responses from these agencies are assessed by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
Potential applicants are advised of titleholder obligations and the rights and interests of others (both in general and for specific areas) in the Special Notices section of the 2009 Guidance Notes for Applicants. Successful applicants are responsible for incorporating these notices into their work program timeframe and for consulting with the relevant bodies prior to undertaking exploration activities.