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2020 offshore petroleum exploration acreage released

26 August 2020

A significant announcement from the Coalition Government today will help stimulate investment in the gas industry according to Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt.

The Government today revealed the 2020 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, comprising 42 areas in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia, Victoria, Northern Territory and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

Approximately 100,000 square kilometres of acreage has been made available for exploration across five basins including Bonaparte, Browse, Northern Carnarvon, Otway and Gippsland basins.

Minister Pitt said the annual Acreage Release is a key component of the Government's strategy to promote and encourage investment in petroleum exploration for the benefit of the Australian economy.

“I acknowledge the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the oil and gas industry. The government strongly believes exploration will play a key role in helping our economy recover from the pandemic,” Minister Pitt said.

“This year’s release is dominated by areas in established oil and gas provinces with existing infrastructure. This is consistent with the drive to ensure major projects have and maintain steady supply into the future.

“Most importantly, I want to make sure Australia remains an attractive destination for exploration investment and that we can continue to deliver long-term energy security for all Australians.”

All areas in the 2020 Acreage Release are based on industry nominations and were subject to a comprehensive public consultation process. Areas are available for work-program bidding.

Bidding will close on 1 June 2021.

Maps for the 2020 acreage release and information on the bidding process can be found at industry.gov.au/2020-acreage-release.

Media contact:

Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180