11 August 2016

Launch of the 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release

Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, today launched the 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release. The 2016 acreage release comprises
28 areas across five basins in
Commonwealth waters offshore of the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands and Western Australia. There are 25 areas available for work program bidding and three areas available for cash bidding. 
The 2016 acreage release consists of three rounds, two work program and one cash bid round with the following closing dates:
  • Cash bid prequalification: Thursday 20 October 2016
  • Round one - work program: Thursday 8 December 2016
  • Cash bid auction*: Thursday 2 February 2017
  • Round two - work program: Thursday 23 March 2017
* Only prequalified applicants will be invited to submit a cash bid.
Detailed information on the 2016 acreage release can be found online at

All release areas are supported by precompetitive geological and geophysical data and analysis undertaken by Geoscience Australia. Information on other considerations that may impact upon future petroleum activities in the release areas are collated and available in the special notices.
Geoscience Australia has developed the National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System (NOPIMS) as an on-line data discovery and delivery system for Australian offshore petroleum wells and seismic surveys.

Reminder - 2017 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release nominations


The nomination period for the 2017 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release closes on 
12 August 2016. Thank you to all those who have already submitted nominations.


More information on how to nominate is available online 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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