New Areas for Petroleum Exploration


Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

As part of its ongoing commitment to meeting Australia's future energy needs, the Australian Government today announced the 2018 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release covering Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. 

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said the areas will provide a wide range of options for the oil and gas industry, from well-known, petroleum-producing basins to frontier basins that are among the most prospective in the world.

“The Australian Government is committed to the safe and responsible development of oil and gas resources,” Minister Canavan said.

“Offshore oil and gas exploration is vital to meeting Australia’s future energy needs.

“The annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release is a key part of our plan to promote investment in new offshore exploration.”

The 2018 release is made up of 21 areas located across six basins.

The Government is now consulting on acreage release reform for future releases. Minister Canavan strongly encouraged all stakeholders to have their say.

“The proposed reform will make future acreage releases more responsive to market demand, improve transparency of consultation processes, and simplify bidding rounds,” said Minister Canavan.

The 2018 Acreage Release is available at

A paper describing the proposed changes for future acreage releases is available at

Media contact: Martin Bowerman   0428 303 189 / 02 6277 7180

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