Flexibility for offshore oil and gas explorers during COVID-19

New measures will enable explorers to meet ongoing work program commitments during the pandemic.
Arial photo of large and small exploration boats in the ocean

New measures will provide offshore oil and gas explorers with flexibility to meet ongoing work program commitments. The Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australian announced the measures following agreement by COAG Resources Ministers at their Roundtable meeting last week.

Greater flexibility will be available to explorers to help the sector manage and plan through the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure ongoing, future investment.

The measures provide:

  • a simplified application process to suspend and extend existing work programs
  • further flexibility applied to well expectations when renewing exploration permits

The National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) prepared guidance on the measures.

The 2020 offshore petroleum acreage release will proceed as planned with some key adjustments. These include an increased consultation period on nominated areas and an alternative to the public launch event later this year.

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