February 2017


  • Results of 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release Cash Bid Auction
  • Exploration opportunities available - 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release Round Two closing 23 March 2017

Cash Bidding Auction Results

The Commonwealth-Western Australia Offshore Petroleum Joint Authority has awarded release area W16-17 to Chevron Australia New Ventures Pty Ltd for an amount of $3,000,000.  The new permit number is WA-526-P.

On 2 February 2017, the cash-bid auction for the 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release was held. Two companies prequalified for the auction. At the close of the auction:

  • 1 bid was received for release area W16-7
  • No bids were received over release areas W16-22 and W16-25 and as a result these have reverted to vacant acreage.

Cash bidding is an equitable and efficient system of permit allocation. It also encourages more effective activities in areas where only minimal further exploration may be required.

In 2014, the government introduced the cash-bidding system to allocate offshore petroleum exploration permits in mature areas or areas known to contain petroleum accumulations.

Following disappointing cash-bid auctions as part of the 2014 and 2015 acreage releases, it is encouraging to see an area successfully awarded this year. The award of a cash-bid exploration permit highlights that Australia remains an attractive petroleum exploration investment destination.

The full media release from Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia can be viewed here.

Exploration opportunities available

Bidding closes on Thursday 23 March 2017 for 12 areas released for Round Two work program bidding and 12 re-release areas from Round One as part of the 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.

These areas are located offshore Western Australia and in the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.  Further information can be found at

About the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science helps shape Australia's future economy through a strong industry and resource sector, science, learning and discovery. Together with the wider portfolio, we are working to build more competitive industries, accelerate productivity growth and secure Australia's prosperity.
We engage with business, industry, science, government and the broader community to strengthen the economy, lift productivity and create more jobs.

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