Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics


Welcome to the 2014 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release

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

The 2014 Acreage Release comprises 30 areas located across four basins in Commonwealth waters in the offshore areas of the Northern Territory, the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands and Western Australia. Twenty-six (26) areas are available for work program bidding and four (4) areas are available for cash bidding.

Release areas have been selected to offer the global petroleum exploration industry a variety of investment opportunities. Areas are located in a range of water depths and vary in size and level of existing geological knowledge. All release areas are supported by pre-competitive geological and geophysical data and analysis undertaken by Geoscience Australia, and information on third party rights or other considerations that may impact upon future petroleum activities in a release area.

General and Special Notices [DOCX 823 kB]

The General and Special Notices provide comprehensive information on third party considerations including environment and heritage protection, native title rights and interests, navigation and maritime safety, fishing activities, defence activities, submarine telecommunication cables, international issues and insurance.

Rounds Areas Bids Close

Work Program Round 1
(14 areas)

Areas: NT14-1, NT14-2, NT14-3, AC14-2, AC14-3,
AC14-4, W14-2, W14-3, W14-4, W14-5, W14-7,
W14-14, W14-15, W14-16.

Closed 2 October 2014

Cash Bid Round
(4 areas)

Areas: W14-20, W14-21, W14-22, W14-23

Thursday 30 October 2014

Cash Bid*:
Thursday 5 February 2015

Work Program Round 2
(12 areas)

Areas: AC14-1, W14-1, W14-6, W14-8, W14-9,
W14-10, W14-11, W14-12, W14-13, W14-17, W14-18, W14-19.

Thursday 2 April 2015

* Only prequalified applicants will be invited to submit a cash bid.

Re-release areas

Areas not attracting bids in previous rounds may be provided for bidding as a re-release area.

The following areas are re-released for work program bidding. Further information is available in the Government Gazette Notice.



Bids Close

2013 Round 1 W13-15, W13-16, W13-17 Closed 2 October 2014
2013 Round 2 W13-8, W13-19, W13-20 Closed 2 October 2014
2014 Round 1 W14-3, W14-14 Thursday, 2 April 2015

Key 2014 Acreage Release information:

2014 release areas and geology

This section contains details of the 2014 Acreage Release areas to assist explorers in their consideration of the acreage on offer. Information is presented by Basin and Sub-basin, with each section containing details on petroleum prospectivity and geological settings, geological data and well listings, shapefiles of the areas on offer and Special Notices advising of third party considerations for integration into bid development.

Exploring, investing and bidding

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.

Supporting products, information and links

This section contains additional information to support the 2014 Acreage Release including links to commercial petroleum-related services of relevance to this release.

Contact us

The producers of the information package welcome any comments or suggestions on its content. Please contact us by email at: petroleum.exploration@industry.gov.au.

2015 Nominations

The nomination period for areas for potential inclusion in the 2015 Acreage Release closed on Monday 30 June 2014. This section provides information on the nomination process and the issues taken into consideration by the Australian Government in selecting areas for release.