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New acreage for exploring the energy revolution

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

New Acreage for Exploring the Energy Revolution 14 May 2012

The Australian Government has today announced the 2012 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release comprising 27 areas across nine basins in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Announcing the release at the annual APPEA conference in Adelaide, Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said industry nominations underpinned all but one of those areas.

“The 2012 Acreage Release encompasses large frontier basins suited to exploration programs with numerous targets as well as smaller blocks of relinquished and highly prospective acreage in more mature areas,” Minister Ferguson said.

“The high level of early stakeholder participation led to multiple nominations for many of these areas, which are located in a range of water depths and vary in size and exploration history.

“The available acreage is supported by data and analysis by Geoscience Australia and all exploration and development activities will be subject to comprehensive assessment.”

The release of exploration acreage helps to maintain energy security and economic growth in Australia’s petroleum sector.

There has been an unprecedented expansion in the discovery and development of national energy resources in recent years, with natural gas leading the way.

Australia is now home to 70 per cent of global liquefied natural gas capacity under construction and is the world’s fourth largest LNG exporter, generating $10.4 billion in 2010-11.

“Today’s Acreage Release will allow offshore petroleum explorers to seek a larger role in an energy revolution, with a high probability of ongoing major petroleum discoveries in Australia, and more than 40 sedimentary basins yet to be fully explored.”

Maps and further information on the release areas and bidding process are available at

Media Contact:

Cathryn Tilmouth - 0401 222 941

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