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2012 Petroleum Offshore Exploration Acreage Release

Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release

Welcome to the 2012 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release

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 activities.

The 2012 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release comprises 27 areas, located across nine basins in Commonwealth waters in the offshore areas of Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

Rounds Areas Bids closed
First Round
(15 areas)
Areas: NT12-3, W12-1, W12-2,  W12-3 to W12-5, W12-8, W12-9, W12-12 to W12-14, S12-4,
V12‑1,V12-2, and T12‑1
Second Round
(12 areas)
Areas: NT12-1, NT12-2, W12-6, W12-7, W12-10,
, S12-1 to S12-3, T12-2, V12-3 and V12-4

Release areas have been 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 release areas are supported by pre-competitive geological and geophysical data and analysis undertaken by Geoscience Australia.

2011 Re-release areas

A number of areas from the 2011 Acreage Release were also re-released for industry consideration, with bidding closing on 8 November 2012.

Rounds Areas Bid Close
2011 Re-release
(10 areas)
Areas: NT11-2, AC11-1, W11-3, W11-6, W11-7, W11-16, W11-17, V11-3, V11-4 and V11-6 Closed

The 2012 Acreage Release package contains the following information:

This section contains details of the 2012 release areas to assist explorers’ consideration of the areas on offer.  Information is presented by Basin, with each section containing details on petroleum prospectivity and geological settings, geological data and well listings, shapefiles of the areas on offer and general and Special Notices advising of third party considerations for integration into bid development.

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.

This section contains fact sheets for applicants, titleholders and interested parties and covers a wide range of topics related to offshore petroleum exploration and regulation in Australia.  A checklist to assist preparation of bids for areas is included and its use is recommended.

This section contains additional information to support the 2012 Acreage Release, including hi-resolution figures and links to commercial petroleum related services of relevance to this release.

The producers of the information package welcome any comments or suggestions on its content. These can be emailed to petroleum.exploration@ret.gov.au.

The nomination period for areas for potential inclusion in the 2013 Acreage Release opens on Monday 14 May 2012 and closes on Tuesday 31 July 2012.  This section provides information on how to nominate and issues taken into consideration by the Joint Authority in selecting areas for release.