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2016 Nominations

Area nomination and selection

The Australian Government encourages investment in petroleum exploration through the annual release of selected vacant acreage. As part of the acreage selection process, stakeholders are invited to nominate vacant areas to be considered for inclusion in the annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release (the Acreage Release).

The nomination period for the 2016 Acreage Release closed on 31 July 2015. Should the nominated area be offered for bidding in the Acreage Release, there is no obligation for a company to place a bid on an area that it has nominated.

Proposed areas for the 2016 Acreage Release

Following the nomination period, all nominated areas underwent a rigorous assessment and short listing process. Each year, this takes into consideration factors such as:

  • Previous interest in and exploration undertaken in the nominated area.
  • Any potential adverse impact on current offshore exploration acreage release bidding rounds.
  • Relevant international maritime boundaries.
  • If there is a new geoscientific story or market development, such as domestic demand changes or an opportunity for early commercialisation of finds, that might generate the interest of potential bidders.
  • 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.
  • Commonwealth marine reserves.
  • Any matters deemed relevant by the state or territory within waters adjacent to the proposed release area, such as sensitive coastal areas or impacts on marine industries.

A map and shapefiles of the proposed areas for the 2016 Acreage Release, as at 6 June 2016, is now available.

This year, the proposed areas are also available on the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s consultation hub.

The proposed areas remain subject to change until the official launch of the 2016 Acreage Release by the responsible Commonwealth Minister.

Areas selected for inclusion in the Acreage Release may be gazetted on a work-program or cash bidding basis.

If you have any questions on this process, please email: petroleum.exploration@industry.gov.au.