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Investing in offshore petroleum exploration

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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 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:

2020 Offshore petroleum exploration acreage release

Consultation is underway on potential areas for inclusion in the 2020 acreage release. Comment on Consultation Hub before 11.59pm AEST 29 June 2020. Read about the acreage release process.

You can nominate areas for future releases at any time on

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

2019 Offshore petroleum exploration acreage release

Bidding for the 2019 acreage release is being assessed.

Past acreage releases

See past acreage releases on the Australian Government Web Archive:

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Last updated: 12 August 2020

Content ID: 46909