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 actives.
The 2010 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release comprises 31 areas, located across five basins in Commonwealth waters in the offshore areas of Western Australia (26 areas), the Northern Territory (1 area), the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands (2 areas) and South Australia (2 areas).
Release areas have been carefully 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 selected areas are supported by pre-competitive geological and geophysical data and analysis undertaken by Geoscience Australia.
The 2010 Acreage Release package contains the following information:
2010 RELEASE AREAS AND GEOLOGY
This section contains detail on the petroleum prospectivity and geological settings of the five basins containing the Release areas, to assist explorers in their evaluations prior to bidding.
EXPLORING AND INVESTING IN AUSTRALIA (OVERVIEW FOR APPLICANTS)
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.
BIDDING AND ASSESSTMENT (GUIDANCE NOTES FOR APPLICANTS)
This section sets out information for companies interested in bidding on areas released in the 2010 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.
It contains ‘quicklook maps' of the release areas; special notices outlining the rights and interests of third parties; the requirements for developing and submitting a competitive work program bid; the selection criteria used by the Joint Authority in assessing bids; and the permit conditions and administration requirements that would apply to exploration permits granted as a result of this process.
This section contains fact sheets for applicants, title holders and interested parties and covers a wide range of topics related to offshore petroleum exploration and regulation in Australia.
This section contains a summary of available seismic, well and sample data to assist explorers in evaluating Release areas.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
The section contains details of Commercial Services available to assist explorers in evaluating Release areas, along with links to petroleum related services provided by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, Geoscience Australia, and Industry Associations.