The Australian Government has formally released new offshore areas for oil and gas exploration as part of the 2019 acreage release.

This year saw a new approach to the method and timing for the Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.  It took place as part of the APPEA Connect Series on 31 July, and was hosted by APPEA with presentations by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, and Geoscience Australia.

For the first time, there was also an option for live streaming for those unable to attend the event at the Perth Convention Centre.

The 2019 release represents the largest acreage release in almost 20 years, with 64 areas available for work-program bidding. It provided a wide range of opportunities ranging from frontier areas to mature producing regions.

The 2019 release also marks a significant change in the release cycle for offshore areas by offering a more streamlined process. The new model allows nominations to be made at any time, with more nominated areas and a single closing date for bids each year.  The model also incorporates improved feedback and consultation.

The changes are intended to be more responsive to market demand and provide greater transparency and improved opportunities for public comment.

Attendees received important information on the acreage release framework by the Department, detailed geological information on the areas from Geoscience Australia and submission requirements under work-program bidding from National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA).

“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.

The main event was followed by drinks hosted by APPEA to enable members and industry stakeholders to network and discuss key issues and points raised.