New look offshore petroleum exploration acreage release from 2019

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26 September 2018

The annual release of areas for offshore petroleum exploration supports ongoing, sustainable and responsible investment in Australia's petroleum sector.

From 2019, the acreage release will continue to offer an annual investment cycle and will now be more streamlined. These improvements will result in greater transparency, improved opportunities for public comment and a faster response to investment demand.

The changes reflect the opportunities to improve the acreage release process as outlined in the proposal consulted on in May and June 2018.

Key changes

The new acreage release process will include:

  • updated nomination processes – nominations can be made at any time and will no longer be limited to a two month period
  • increased responsiveness to market demand – more nominated areas are expected to be released
  • single consultation period – public consultation will be more transparent and efficient
  • online launch – usually in July each year
  • single closing date for bids each year and bidding by work program only – no scheduled cash bidding
  • improved feedback and communication throughout the process, including at the nomination and bidding stages


The bidding period is expected to open in July 2019 and close in March 2020.

We will develop processes, websites and guidance for industry over the coming months. Stakeholders can stay up to date with all transitional year timeframes and any other new information via the Australian Petroleum News.

Nominations for the 2019 acreage release can be made until 15 November 2018. After this date, you will still be able to nominate, but later nominations will be fed into the subsequent acreage release process.

For further guidance, and to submit nominations for areas to be considered for release in 2019, visit the 2019 area nominations page.

Contact us

Questions relating to the changes to acreage release please email