Ministers for the Department of Industry and Science
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$297 million in new offshore exploration investment

6 October 2015

Four offshore petroleum exploration permits, representing $297 million in new investment, have been granted in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia as part of the second round of the 2014 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.

Three of these new permits are located on the northwest shelf while the fourth permit will extend the search to uncover a new petroleum province in the Great Australian Bight.

The long-term growth of the oil and gas industry depends on exploration as an essential step in the discovery and development of natural resources. Australia’s oil and gas industry directly employs 24,000 people and tens of thousands indirectly. New exploration will continue to strengthen Australia’s highly-skilled workforce.

In total, the 2014 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release has resulted in 10 new exploration permits being awarded, with possible investment of $473.6 million over the six-year life of the permits.

At the end of October, the Government will call for bids for round one of the 2015 Acreage Release to continue the strong pipeline of exploration investment into the Australian economy.

Further information on titles under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 can be found at http://neats.nopta.gov.au/ and on acreage release at http://www.petroleum-acreage.gov.au/.

Media contacts: Mr Frydenberg's office 02 6277 7180