2019 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release - nominated areas for comment

Closed 31 Mar 2019

Opened 12 Feb 2019

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release (acreage release) is a key part of the Australian Government's strategy to encourage petroleum exploration in Australia’s offshore waters. We seek to balance environmental, social and economic considerations in the development of Australia’s natural resources.

This consultation process provides an opportunity for you to comment on potential areas for release and highlight how exploration activities may impact you. Submissions will be considered by government in determining which areas are made available for bidding as part of the 2019 acreage release.

Information from submissions will be made publicly available unless marked confidential. Once published, potential bidders or explorers can access the information when preparing bids or as part of planning for exploration activities.

Areas for Consultation

Your feedback is sought on the areas shown in orange on the below map. Detailed maps can be found on the associated pages within the survey.

The areas marked in orange have been nominated by petroleum industry stakeholders to be considered for the 2019 acreage release. Areas nominated for release will not receive endorsement from government until submissions resulting from this consultation process can be considered. This publication does not indicate a commitment to a particular course of action.

You are encouraged to review the nominated areas on the interactive NOPIMS GIS map to determine how nominated areas may relate to existing petroleum titles, maritime boundaries, treaties, Australian Marine Parks and defence practice areas.

Next Steps

Submissions will be considered as part of finalising the areas for inclusion in the 2019 acreage release. If issues raised through the consultation process are considered to be manageable through environment and safety approvals processes, the area is likely to be made available for bidding.

The final areas are expected to be announced in July 2019 and will be communicated via Australian Petroleum News. Please subscribe to the newsletter to be kept updated.

Read more about the acreage release process.

The release of acreage does not necessarily mean exploration activities will occur. Exploration companies must bid for a release area and be assessed as a deserving applicant prior to award of a petroleum exploration permit. Should a permit be awarded, it authorises the holder to apply to Australia's independent offshore petroleum regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), for approval to undertake an exploration activity.

Any work or forward planning by companies prior to an official release announcement is done at the commercial risk and cost of individual operators. The reader should rely on their own inquiries to independently confirm the information and comment on which they intend to act.

What happens next

The survey has now closed. Unless indicated otherwise by respondents, responses will be published online on Consultation Hub and industry.gov.au. All comments will be considered in the process of determining the final areas for the 2019 acreage release.

The final areas are expected to be announced in July 2019 and will be communicated via Australian Petroleum News. Please subscribe to the newsletter to be kept updated.


  • Businesses who hold licenses and/or operate in or near to the areas proposed areas
  • Interested members of the public
  • Local governments in regions adjacent to the proposed acreage release areas
  • State and Territory Government Agencies


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