Offshore greenhouse gas storage acreage release process

The Australian Government releases offshore areas for greenhouse gas storage. Companies can apply for a greenhouse gas storage assessment permit over an area of interest.

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 greenhouse gas considers a range of factors when selecting nominated areas for 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.

    This includes:

    • government agencies
    • community members
    • conservation groups
    • native title holders
    • the Australian public
    • other marine users, like the following industries:
      • petroleum
      • fishing
      • aquaculture
      • tourism.

    Subscribe to the Australian Petroleum News for upcoming consultations.

    The RCM for greenhouse gas must consider and endorse release areas before they can progress to the bidding rounds.

    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:

    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 firbenquiries@treasury.gov.au.

    Meet exploration and development requirements

    NOPTA assesses bids against:

    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: