The acreage release enables industry to undertake longer term planning to support the ongoing investment in Australia’s offshore petroleum exploration industry.

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The 2018 acreage release includes 21 areas located across six sedimentary basins in Commonwealth waters offshore of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

16 areas are available for work program bidding and five areas for cash bidding. The areas are located in water depths of 15 to 4,534 metres, vary in size from 80 km² to 12,128 km² and also vary in level of existing geological knowledge. All areas are supported by pre-competitive geological and geophysical data and analysis conducted by Geoscience Australia.

All release areas have been nominated by industry, and selected to offer the petroleum exploration industry a variety of investment opportunities. The acreage release provides the petroleum industry with access to pre-competitive geological and geophysical datasets and ensures quality information on third party issues that may impact on successful applicants when conducting exploration work programs.