Oil and Gas News

New acreage to increase offshore exploration

Otway offshore

The oil and gas industries in Western Australia, Victoria, Northern Territory and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands have been bolstered by the Australian Government’s 2020 offshore petroleum exploration acreage release.

This release comprises of 42 areas in Commonwealth waters, with 100,000 square kilometres of acreage being made available for exploration across the Bonaparte, Browse, Northern Carnarvon, Otway and Gippsland basins.

Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said the annual acreage release was a key component of the government’s strategy to promote and encourage investment in petroleum exploration for the benefit of the Australian economy.

“I acknowledge the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the oil and gas industry. The government strongly believes exploration will play a key role in helping our economy recover from the pandemic,” Pitt said.

“This year’s release is dominated by areas in established oil and gas provinces with existing infrastructure. This is consistent with the drive to ensure major projects have and maintain steady supply into the future.”

All areas in the 2020 acreage release are based on industry nominations and were subject to a comprehensive public consultation process. Areas are available for work-program bidding, which will close in June 2021.

Pitt added that in order for Australia to remain an attractive destination for exploration investment, the government had to ensure it could continue to deliver long-term energy security for all Australians.

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