Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release 2013

2014 Nominations

Call for Industry Nominations of Areas

The area nomination process for the 2014 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release opened on 27 May 2013 and closed on 31 July 2013.

Stakeholders are invited to nominate vacant offshore areas to be considered for release in 2014. The sustainable annual release of quality petroleum exploration acreage, to provide the global petroleum exploration industry with a variety of investment opportunities in Australian waters, is a key objective of the Australian Government.

Release areas are carefully selected to offer a range of investment opportunities. Areas selected for inclusion in the Acreage Release will vary in size, known prospectivity, water depth and level of existing geological data and knowledge.

Wherever possible, the Australian Government seeks to ensure that selected areas are supported by pre-competitive geological and geophysical data and analysis undertaken by Geoscience Australia.

From 2014, the Joint Authority will also consider areas for release through a competitive cash bidding process. The cash bidding process may be used to allocate offshore petroleum acreage in mature areas or areas containing known petroleum accumulations. Areas released under the cash bidding process would not be subject to work program commitments; the existing work program bidding system will be maintained for all other areas.

See: Fact sheet on the cash bidding process [PDF 332 kB].

Further information on the cash bidding process will be published through the Australian Petroleum News eNewsletter.

Details of the nomination process

Nomination fact sheet:   PDF 209 kB   DOCX 136 kB

Nominations must be submitted on the nomination template:   PDF 45 kB   DOC 37 kB

All nominations are treated as "Commercial-in-Confidence" and should be submitted electronically to the Joint Authority at by 4.00pm (local time) on 31 July 2013.

Received nominations will be acknowledged by return email. It is the responsibility of the nominee to follow up if confirmation is not received.


All nominations are subjected to a rigorous assessment and short listing process, which may take into account factors such as:

  • previous interest in, and exploration undertaken, in the nominated areas
  • whether there is a new geoscientific story or a new market development, such as domestic demand changes or an opportunity for early field commercialisation, that might generate the interest of potential bidders
  • any potential adverse impact on current offshore petroleum exploration acreage release areas bidding rounds
  • ongoing pre-competitive studies by Geoscience Australia - it is Government practice to allow pre-competitive geoscientific data collection programs to conclude prior to the release of acreage, and
  • international maritime boundary negotiations.

For the 2014 Acreage Release, the assessment and short listing process may also take into account the suitability of the acreage for cash bidding, in respect of acreage in mature areas or areas containing known petroleum accumulations.

Noting the Australian Government's objective of a sustainable annual petroleum exploration acreage release that offers quality exploration investment opportunities, it is possible that nominated areas may not be included in the 2014 Acreage Release.


Industry will be advised of a proposed short list of areas for inclusion in the 2014 Acreage Release through the December issue of Australian Petroleum News.

Proposed areas remain subject to change until the Acreage Release is launched by the Commonwealth Minister.

Please note: any decision to undertake offshore petroleum activities or forward planning on the assumption that a nominated area will be included in the 2014 Acreage Release prior to the official launch by the Minister is a decision for individual operators.

If you wish to be added to the Australian Petroleum News distribution list or have any questions on the nomination process, please email: