2021 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release: nominated areas for comment

Closed 8 Mar 2021

Opened 19 Jan 2021

Published responses

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


The annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration 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 the government in determining which areas are made available for bidding as part of the 2021 acreage release.

We will make information from submissions 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

We are seeking your feedback on the areas shown in orange on this map. You can find more detailed maps on the associated pages within the survey.

See shapefiles and high-definition A3 maps at the bottom of this page under the "Related" heading.

The areas marked in orange have been nominated by petroleum industry stakeholders to be considered for the 2021 acreage release. Areas nominated for release will not receive an endorsement from the government until submissions resulting from this consultation process can be considered. This publication does not indicate a commitment to a particular course of action.

If you experience any issues with downloading the shapefiles or A3 maps, please email Petroleum.Exploration@industry.gov.au.

Next Steps

Submissions will be considered as part of finalising the areas for inclusion in the 2021 acreage release. If issues raised through the consultation process are considered to be manageable through regulatory approvals processes, the area is likely to be made available for bidding.

We will announce the final areas via Australian Petroleum News. Please subscribe to the newsletter to be kept updated.

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 the 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 respondants indicated otherwise, responses will be published. All comments will be considered in the process of determining the final areas for the 2021 acreage release.

We expect to announce the final areas in June 2021.


  • 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
  • Australian Petroluem Production and Exploration Association and relevant state and territory department contacts
  • Offshore oil and gas companies


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