Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release 2013


Welcome to the 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release

The Australian Government encourages investment in petroleum exploration through the annual release of offshore petroleum exploration acreage. The Acreage Release is underpinned by Australia's stable economic environment and well-established regulatory framework for offshore petroleum activities.

The 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release comprises 31 areas, located across six basins in Commonwealth waters in the offshore areas of Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

Release areas have been selected to offer the global petroleum exploration industry a variety of investment opportunities; areas vary in size, level of existing geological knowledge and are located in a range of water depths. All release areas are supported by pre-competitive geological and geophysical data and analysis undertaken by Geoscience Australia.

Rounds Areas Bids close

First Round
(20 areas)

Bids closed

Second Round
(11 areas)

Bids closed

2012 Re-release areas

A number of areas from the 2012 Acreage Release have been re-released for industry consideration, with bidding closing on 22 May 2014. Further information is available in Government Notices Gazette

Rounds Areas Bid close

2012 Re-release
(4 areas)

Bids closed

The 2013 Acreage Release package contains the following information:


This section contains details of the 2013 release areas to assist explorers in their consideration of the areas on offer. Information is presented by Basin, with each section containing details on petroleum prospectivity and geological settings, geological data and well listings, shapefiles of the areas on offer and general and Special Notices advising of third party considerations for integration into bid development.


This section provides an introduction to the legislative framework and investment environment for companies interested in becoming involved in the Australian offshore petroleum exploration industry. It also provides an overview of relevant Commonwealth legislation, along with details of key initiatives and programs that may be of interest to potential investors, and information on bidding and assessment requirements.


This section contains fact sheets for applicants, titleholders and interested parties and covers a wide range of topics related to offshore petroleum exploration and regulation in Australia.  A checklist to assist preparation of bids for areas is included and its use is recommended.


This section contains additional information to support the 2013 Acreage Release, including hi-resolution figures and links to commercial petroleum-related services of relevance to this release.


The producers of the information package welcome any comments or suggestions on its content.
These can be emailed to


The nomination period for areas for potential inclusion in the 2014 Acreage Release opens on Monday 27 May 2013 and closes on Wednesday 31 July 2013. This section provides information on how to nominate and issues taken into consideration by the Joint Authority in selecting areas for release.