Companies seeking opportunities to reduce emissions should consider participating in the offshore greenhouse gas storage acreage release.
Acreage release process overview
Companies nominate areas
Companies nominate areas offshore that they have an interest in exploring for greenhouse gas storage potential.
The responsible Commonwealth Minister (RCM) for offshore greenhouse gas storage considers a range of factors before progressing an area to public consultation.
Areas released for bidding
The RCM considers all consultation comments before endorsing a release area for the bidding round.
Companies submit bids
The RCM invites work program bidding on release areas. Bids are then submitted.
NOPTA assesses applications
NOPTA assesses applications and provides technical advice to the RCM to inform a decision by the RCM to offer new permits to successful bidders.
Permits offered to successful bidders
NOPTA offers the successful bidders an offshore greenhouse gas storage assessment permit on behalf of the RCM.
Exploration activities can begin
Following a decision to offer permits, successful bidders can accept the offer and subsequently be granted a new title. Greenhouse gas storage exploration activities can begin once the necessary additional approvals have been sought, for example, environment plans.
Nominate areas for future exploration
You can nominate areas for future acreage releases using the online form on business.gov.au.
As a guide:
- Your nomination must indicate:
- a strong interest in exploring the area
- that you will be bidding in the next scheduled acreage release.
- You must include details about any potential sources of greenhouse gas for storage purposes.
- You must nominate areas separately if they do not share a border.
Nominations are not restricted to vacant petroleum acreage. Your nomination can include graticular blocks that:
- overlap active petroleum titles
- cross offshore state boundaries (but do not enter state waters within 3 nautical miles from the shoreline).
You must provide reasons for nominating an area.
Greenhouse gas storage formations
Nominations must include any identified storage prospects.
The entire proposed storage formation needs to fall wholly within the nominated area. This is in line with the legislative definition of a greenhouse gas storage formation. Greenhouse gas storage formations that are partially outside an active greenhouse gas title cannot be declared under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (the Act).
Considering area nominations
The responsible Commonwealth Minister (RCM) for offshore greenhouse gas storage considers a range of factors when agreeing to progress areas to public consultation. These include:
- national security and maritime boundaries
- environmental regulations
- commercial interest
- proximity to markets and supporting infrastructure
- social licence to operate
- other marine users and offshore titleholders
- the source of greenhouse gas
- integrity and storage potential of the proposed storage formation
- strategic priorities of the government.
We also consult with:
- state and territory governments
- other Australian Government agencies.
Have your say on release areas
The government undertakes consultation before releasing nomination areas for bidding.
We seek feedback from anyone who:
- has an interest in a specific release area
- can provide information relevant to potential storage formation exploration and appraisal in that area.
- government agencies
- conservation groups
- native title holders
- First Nations peoples
- the Australian public
- other marine users, like the following industries:
Subscribe to the Australian Resource News for upcoming consultations.
The RCM for offshore greenhouse gas storage must consider all submissions received and endorse release areas before they can progress to the bidding rounds. An area will not be included in the release if any issues cannot be managed through regulatory approvals.
2023 offshore greenhouse gas storage acreage release: have your say
Bid for exploration permits
The RCM will invite companies to bid on release areas. The Australian Government Gazette publishes available bidding areas and due dates.
See the 2021 offshore greenhouse gas storage acreage release areas.
Planning your work bid
When planning your work bid, you may want to:
- Find all offshore titles, instruments and work program activities in the National Electronic Approvals Tracking System (NEATS). Find out how to use the NEATS portal.
- Consider comments provided by the public and other marine users during the consultation phase.
- Find bidding criteria and information about how to apply in the offshore greenhouse gas storage guidelines on the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) website.
- Assess Geoscience Australia’s interactive maps for the correct map sheet references and graticular blocks.
- Assess geological information about Australia’s offshore basins on the Geoscience Australia website.
Applying as a foreign investor
If you’re a foreign investor, you should familiarise yourself with Australia’s foreign investment framework. Failure to comply with the law may result in penalties.
You’re responsible for obtaining any relevant Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approvals.
You must submit evidence of your FIRB approval with your application to NOPTA. If your FIRB approval is pending, provide evidence of this to NOPTA with your application.
NOPTA will not offer greenhouse gas storage assessment permits until they receive the required FIRB approvals.
See requirements for foreign investment in mining on the FIRB website.
Email general enquiries to email@example.com.
Meet exploration and development requirements
NOPTA assesses bids against:
- application criteria in the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006
- requirements in the Australian Government Gazette Notice invitations to bid
- expectations in the offshore greenhouse gas storage guidelines.
NOPTA provides technical advice to the RCM to help them decide which bids are successful.
NOPTA offers successful bidders an offshore greenhouse gas assessment permit on behalf of the RCM. Successful bidders can renew their 6-year title for 2 further periods of 3 years each.
Explore data and maps to support nominations and bidding
You can find data and maps to support your nominations and bidding:
- Search seismic survey data and well data on Geoscience Australia’s petroleum data repository.
- Use NOPTA’s interactive map on the NEATS public portal.
- Find all Australian offshore petroleum wells and seismic surveys on the National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System (NOPIMS) website.
- Find spatial context with other marine, coastal and regional geological data on Geoscience Australia’s marine and coastal interactive maps.