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2012 Petroleum Offshore Exploration Acreage Release

2013 Release Nominations

Call for Industry Nominations of Areas

The area nomination process for the 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release opens on 14 May 2012 and closes on 31 July 2012.

Stakeholders are invited to nominate vacant offshore areas to be considered for release in 2013. 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 Government seeks to ensure that selected areas are supported by pre-competitive geological and geophysical data and analysis undertaken by Geoscience Australia.

Details of the nomination process

Nomination fact sheet [PDF, 1.9MB] [DOC, 58KB]

Nominations must be submitted on the nomination template [PDF,61KB] [DOC, 16KB]

All nominations are treated as "Commercial-in-Confidence" and should be submitted electronically to the Joint Authority at petroleum.exploration@ret.gov.au by 31 July 2012.

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.

Noting the Australian Government's objective of a sustainable, annual petroleum exploration acreage release offering quality exploration investment opportunities it is possible that nominated areas may not be included in the 2013 Acreage Release.


Industry will be advised of a proposed short list of areas for inclusion in the 2013 Acreage Release through the December issue of Australian Petroleum News.

Proposed areas remain subject to change until the Acreage Release is launched by the Australian Resources and Energy 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 2013 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: petroleum.exploration@ret.gov.au.