The acreage release encompassed 29 release areas over nine basins and is the equivalent to three times the size of Tasmania.
The 2011 Offshore Acreage Release is characterised by large blocks in offshore frontiers. Area selection has been undertaken in consultation with industry, the states and Northern Territory. Many areas are close to existing infrastructure while others are located in frontier offshore regions. Therefore, the 2011 Acreage Release is of interest to all exploration companies, whether they are small or large, multinationals, independents or national oil companies.
The Westralian Superbasin along the North West Shelf, comprising the Bonaparte, Browse, Roebuck and Carnarvon basins, features prominently in the 2011 release. These are complemented by two large areas in the Money Shoal Basin, offshore Northern Territory. After a two-year hiatus, new exploration areas are also being offered in the Otway and Gippsland basins, offshore Victoria and Tasmania.
Chief Executive of APPEA Belinda Robinson said the release of frontier exploration licences was particularly important, as only the discovery of a major new oil province could address Australia’s worsening petroleum products trade deficit.
Opportunities ranged from onshore to offshore and speakers at the release presentation represented Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and British companies.