2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release: Proposed areas

Closed 29 Feb 2016

Opened 9 Feb 2016


The annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release (the acreage release) is a key part of the Australian Government's strategy to encourage petroleum exploration in Australia’s offshore waters. The acreage release is underpinned by Australia's stable economic environment and well-established, objective-based regulatory framework which seeks to balance environmental, social and economic considerations in the development of Australia’s natural resources.

Each year, areas for the acreage release are nominated and assessed for suitability by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and Geoscience Australia. Prior to the official launch of the acreage release (which this year will be in early June), the proposed areas are made publically available via an occasional newsletter called the’ Australian Petroleum News’. This year, the department has broadened the availability of the proposed areas to include the use of the consultation hub, to ensure a wide variety of stakeholders are given the opportunity to share their views.

Why We Are Consulting

This process aims to increase community awareness of the acreage release process and of the proposed areas to be released in 2016. It also enables persons with a specific interest in an area to provide information that may be of use to potential explorers when applying for the release area or when undertaking exploration activities.

What Happens Next

The survey has now closed. The responses will be treated as confidential and will be considered in the process of determining the final areas for the 2016 acreage release.


  • Local Governments in regions along the coast of the acreage release areas
  • Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) with an interest in environmental management and wildlife protection
  • Businesses
  • Interested members of the public


  • Energy and natural resources
  • Offshore petroleum exploration acreage release
  • Offshore oil and gas exploration