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New areas for offshore petroleum exploration

15 May 2017

Twenty-one new areas in Commonwealth waters will be available for oil and gas exploration through the 2017 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release announced today.

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.

Speaking at the annual Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) conference in Perth, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the release supported the Government’s action to strengthen domestic gas supply by making new areas available for oil and gas 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,” Minister 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.”

All areas in the 2017 acreage release are supported by expert analysis from Geoscience Australia. They were nominated by industry, and are subject to a comprehensive assessment process including public consultation.

Maps and further information on the 2017 release areas and bidding process, as well as how to nominate areas for the 2018 release, are available at http://www.petroleum-acreage.gov.au/

Media contact: Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180