Australia: 2013 acreage release presents petroleum opportunities

Resources and Energy Alert: 31 May 2013

The Federal and Queensland Governments have recently released their 2013 acreages for petroleum exploration and are calling for tenders. The Federal Government is also inviting nominations for its 2014 release.

This Alert sets out the areas subject to tender and relevant deadlines for interested parties.

Federal offshore petroleum release – non-cash competitive bids

Yesterday the Federal Government announced the annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, whereby 31 areas have been released in the Commonwealth waters of the Northern Territory, the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Western Australia and Victoria.

The Offshore Petroleum Joint Authority has invited bids and applications for renewal to explore the areas under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006.

The 31 areas subject to bidding are:

First Round

  • NT13-4, NT13-5 – located in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, in the Southern Petrel Sub-basin
  • AC13-1 – located in the Nancar Trough, in the western Bonaparte Basin
  • AC13-2, AC13-3 – located in the northern part of the Vulcan Sub-basin
  • Ac13-3 – located in the northern part of the Vulcan Sub-basin, with the eastern portion extending onto the Londonderry High
  • AC13-4 – located in the southwestern part of the Vulcan Sub-basin
  • W13-1, W13-2, W13-3 – located in the Caswell Sub-basin, the northernmost depocentre of the Browse Basin
  • W13-9 – located on the Exmouth Plateau of the Northern Carnarvon Basin, northeast of the Io/Jansz field
  • W13-10 – located in the Beagle and Dampier Sub-basins
  • W13-11, W13-12 – located in the Dampier Sub-basin
  • W13-13 – located in the Dampier and Barrow Sub-basins
  • W13-14, W13-15 – located on the Exmouth Plateau of the Northern Carnarvon Basin, within the Investigator Sub-basin
  • W13-16, W13-18 – located in the Exmouth Sub-basin
  • W13-17 – located in the Exmouth Sub-basin and a portion of the Exmouth Plateau
  • V13-1 – located partly within the Shipwreck Trough extending onto the Prawn Platform in the eastern Otway Basin.

Second round

  • NT13-1, NT13-2 – located in the north eastern Bonaparte Basin in the Timor Sea, in the Malita Graben. NT13-1 partly overlaps the Darwin Shelf Release
  • NT13-3 – located in north eastern Bonaparte Basin in the Timor Sea, mostly in the northern Petrel Sub-basin
  • W13-4, W13-5 – located in the Barcoo Sub-basin, the southernmost depocentre of the Browse Basin, extending onto the Leveque Shelf. W13-5 also overlaps the Oobagooma Sub-basin of the offshore Canning Basin in the south and Rowley Sub-basin of the Roebuck Basin in the southwest
  • W13-6, W13-7, W13-8 - located on the northern part of the Exmouth Plateau in the Northern Carnarvon Basin
  • W13-19, W13-20 – located in the North Perth Basin, including large areas of the Houtman and Abrolhos Sub-basins, and parts of the Gascoyne and Zeewyck Sub-basins
  • V13-2 – located in the Gippsland Basin, extending into the Bass Canyon.

The closing time for bids and applications is 4pm local standard time, Thursday 21 November 2013 for the first round releases and Thursday 22 May 2014 for the second round releases. Bids and applications must be submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator for assessment in accordance with the Assessment of Bid and Renewal Applications Guidelines.

Based on the Administrator's advice, the Joint Authority awards each permit to the applicant most likely to achieve the fullest assessment of the petroleum potential within that area. The Joint Authority will consider the applicant's exploration strategy, proposed work program, technical and financial competence, and any past performance issues within Australia or internationally in the past five years that may adversely impact the work program.

Federal Government 2014 Acreage Release

The Joint Authority is currently accepting nominations for areas to include in the 2014 Acreage Release. Nominations for the 2014 release close on Wednesday 31 July 2013.

Further details on the 2013 release and 2014 nominations can be found at by clicking here.

Queensland onshore petroleum release – non-cash competitive bids

The Queensland Government has released six areas of the State for petroleum and gas exploration, calling for tenders for authorities to prospect (ATPs) under the Petroleum and Gas (Safety and Production) Act 2004 (Qld).

The land is being released through a non-cash competitive tendering process. Applicants will be competitively assessed according to their proposed work program, technical and financial capacity, and capacity to meet all relevant evaluation criteria.

More than 8,700 sq km (over 2,800 subblocks) has been released in under-explored and greenfield areas in central, south-western and far north Queensland.

The six areas subject to tender are:

  • PLR2013-1-1, located in the southwest Surat Basin, 70km southeast of Cunnamulla
  • PLR2013-1-2, located in the deeper part of the Taroom Trough of the Permian-Middle Triassic Bowen Basin, 25km west of Moura
  • PLR2013-1-3, located on the eastern side of the Taroom Trough, about 25km east of Moura
  • PLR2013-1-4, located on the western side of the Taroom Trough, 30km southwest of Surat
  • PLR2013-1-5, located on the western side of the Taroom Trough, 50km northeast of St George
  • PLR2013-2-1, located in the Pascoe River area in northeast Cape York Peninsula, 12km east of Weipa.

The closing time for tenders is 4:30pm AEST Friday 22 November 2013. Calls for Tenders documents can be found at by clicking here.

© HopgoodGanim Lawyers

Award-winning law firm HopgoodGanim offers commercially-focused advice, coupled with reliable and responsive service, to clients throughout Australia and across international borders.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Kylie Panckhurst
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