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    Oz Launches Offshore Acreage Round


This is the largest offering since 2000.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Oz Launches Offshore Acreage Round

The Australian government July 31 announced the 2019 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release, presenting 64 areas - the country's largest offering since 2000.

More than 120,000 km2 of acreage will be released for a single round of work programme bidding. Areas are available for exploration across five basins in waters off Western Australia, Victoria and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

According to the government statement, this will be the first release of acreage under a new streamlined system which delivers an annual investment cycle that simplifies bidding, offers greater transparency and responds faster to the market demand.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the release was a central component of ensuring Australia’s energy security and export earnings into the future.

“Areas for this year’s release are heavily concentrated in the north-west. As Minister for Resources and Northern Australia I am pleased to see continued momentum for exploration in our north and the potential jobs and economic growth it would bring,” Canavan said.

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (Appea) said August 1 that the 2019 release represents the largest acreage release in almost 20 years and provides a wide range of opportunities ranging from frontier areas to mature producing regions.

“Today’s exploration is tomorrow’s production. Significant effort and investment are required to continually discover and extract resources from existing and new reserves across Australia both onshore and offshore,” Appea spokesperson Keld Knudsen said.

According to the government statement, companies will have the opportunity to bid for the released areas until March 5, 2020.