The 2022 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release has been announced today by the Australian Government, with approximately 46,758 square kilometres of new acreage available for exploration.

The release in Commonwealth offshore waters comprises 10 areas across the Bonaparte, Browse, Carnarvon, and Gippsland basins off the coasts of the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria, and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said the 2022 petroleum acreage release would play an important role in securing future energy supplies.

“The annual release of areas for offshore petroleum exploration supports ongoing investment in the nation’s petroleum sector, which is vital for the economy and meeting the energy needs of Australians,” Minister King said.

“At the same time as we strive to reduce emissions it must be emphasised that continued exploration for oil and gas in Commonwealth waters is central to alleviating future domestic gas shortfalls.”


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Gas will play a key role as a transition fuel as Australia works to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“Australia’s energy sector also continues to support international energy security, particularly during the global turbulence caused largely by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Minister King said.

The 2022 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release focuses on known oil and gas provinces with accessible infrastructure. This will ensure major projects maintain steady supplies into the future and will lower costs of development in a capital constrained world.

All areas in the release are based on industry nominations and were subject to a public consultation process. All areas are available for work-program bidding. Bidding will close on Thursday 2 March 2023.

Originally published by The Hon Madeleine King MP Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia.