Australian government has launched its 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, making available 28 new areas for exploration offshore Western Australia and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

As promised by Minister Frydenberg at the recent APPEA conference in June, launching this Acreage Release is a priority for the Australian Government. The oil and gas industry is of high importance to the Australian economy. Offshore extraction of gas will help Australia become the world’s leading exporter of LNG in coming years.

Nominations from industry for this year’s release were 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 opportunities for boosting jobs and economic growth this presents.

All areas in the 2016 acreage release were released for public consultation in February 2016. They are based on industry nominations and present a variety of investment opportunities. Release areas are located in a range of water depths and vary in size and level of existing geological knowledge.

All areas are supported by pre-competitive geological and geophysical data and analysis, undertaken by Geoscience Australia and information on considerations that may impact upon future petroleum activities in a release area. The acreage is available through the usual combination of work-program rounds and a cash bid auction.