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Investing in offshore petroleum exploration

The annual offshore petroleum exploration acreage release is part of the government’s strategy to promote offshore oil and gas exploration. Each year, the government invites companies to bid for the opportunity to invest in oil and gas exploration in Australian Commonwealth waters.

Why invest in offshore petroleum exploration

  • Australia is an attractive investment location with abundant energy resources for exploration and development.
  • Australia’s seabed territory covers more than 14.6 million km² — one of the largest marine jurisdictions in the world.
  • Many of Australia’s sedimentary basins remain largely underexplored and have the potential to host significant volumes of hydrocarbons.
  • Only around 20% of Australia’s offshore basins are covered by petroleum titles.

Australia is a low risk environment to invest and do business, our competitive position is based on:

  • a strong and resilient economy
  • supportive government policies
  • mature trade links with key markets
  • the world’s major oil and gas companies participating at all stages of the supply chain

Australia offers oil and gas explorers:

2022 Offshore petroleum exploration acreage release

Public consultation is now open for the 2022 acreage release. There are 10 areas located offshore of:

  • the Ashmore and Cartier Islands
  • Northern Territory
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia.

Consultation closes Tuesday 14 December 2021.

2021 Offshore petroleum exploration acreage release

The 2021 acreage release is now open. Bidding on these areas closes on Thursday 3 March 2022.

We consulted on areas for inclusion as part of the acreage release process. View feedback from stakeholders on our Consultation hub or learn more about the nomination process for future releases.

Subscribe to the Australian Petroleum News for exploration acreage investment opportunities.

2020 Offshore petroleum exploration acreage release

Bidding for the 2020 acreage release is being assessed.

Past acreage releases

See past acreage releases on the Australian Government Web Archive:

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Last updated: 2 November 2021

Content ID: 46909