The Australian Government has announced the 2014 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, comprising 30 areas across four basins in Commonwealth waters off the Northern Territory, the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, and Western Australia.
Speaking at the annual Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) conference in Perth, Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said the release heralds a new era of offshore exploration opportunities in Australia.
“The 2014 Acreage Release includes for the first time since the 1980s several areas for cash bidding. These four areas are considered mature in exploration status and will be attractive to explorers,” Macfarlane said.
“There are also 26 areas available for work program bidding in the highly prospective Northern Carnarvon and Browse Basins and the under-explored Bonaparte Basin.
“Following strong industry interest in the Great Australian Bight off southern Australia, the 2014 Release also includes a large work program area in the frontier Eyre Sub-basin of the Bight Basin.
“Australia’s energy future is enhanced by the efficient exploration of our sedimentary basins,” Macfarlane said.
All areas in the 2014 Acreage Release are supported by expert analysis from Geoscience Australia.