2018 Release Areas

Welcome to the 2018 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release

Overview map of the 2018 release areas

The 2018 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release

The Australian Government’s annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release (acreage release) is a key part of the Australian Government's strategy to promote petroleum exploration in Australia’s offshore waters. The acreage release provides explorers with new offshore areas the government has made available for either work program or cash bidding. It enables industry to undertake longer term planning to support the ongoing investment in, and development of, Australia’s offshore petroleum exploration industry.

The acreage release is underpinned by Australia's stable economic environment and well-established, objective-based regulatory framework that seeks to balance environmental, social and economic considerations in the development of Australia’s natural resources.

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

The 2018 acreage release comprises 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 undertaken by Geoscience Australia.

Further information on the release areas and the basins of interest, is available by following the links in the menu on the left hand side.

2018 release areas and closing rounds

Round

Release areas

Closing date for bids

Round One - work program

AC18-1, W18-1, W18-9, W18-11, W18-12, V18-1, V18-2, V18-4, V18-5

Thursday 18 October 2018

Cash bid prequalification

W18-6, W18-7, W18-8, W18-10, V18-3

Thursday 4 October 2018

Cash bid auction*

W18-6, W18-7, W18-8, W18-10, V18-3

Thursday 7 February 2019 

Round Two - work program

W18-2, W18-3, W18-4, W18-5, S18-1, V18-6, V18-7

Thursday 21 March 2019

*Only prequalified applicants will be invited to submit a cash bid

General and Special Notices

The General and Special Notices provide comprehensive information on third party considerations including environment protection, native title rights and interests, navigation and maritime safety, fishing, defence, submarine telecommunication cables, international issues and insurance.

Re-release Areas from the 2017 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release

11 areas from the 2017 release have been re-released in 2018.

Round

Release areas

Closing date for bids

Round One - work program

AC17-2, NT17-1, T17-1, T17-2, V17-2, V17-3W17-4, W17-5, W17-8, W17-9, W17-10

Thursday 18 October 2018

Please refer to the 2017 Acreage Release webpage under the Past Releases tab for more information on the areas.