Areas for possible petroleum exploration released

Offshore oil exploration acreage announcement 16000646 800504505 0 0 7006936 300

Australia's resources and energy world has received some big news, with what may be a controversial announcement about areas available for offshore petroleum exploration.

The federal government has announced the 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, which comprises of 31 areas across waters offshore of the Northern Territory, the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Western Australia and Victoria.

Each year, the government announces new offshore areas for consideration by the global petroleum exploration industry, and it's the first step towards the search for the resource in Australian waters.
Areas chosen  are usually a mix of shallow-water and deep-water locations, areas close to existing hydrocarbon production as well as underexplored and rank frontier regions.

Usually, companies can place bids for exploration permits within a six or 12 month timeframe.

While Australia is home to only about 0.3 per cent of the world's oils reserves, minister for resources and energy Gary Gray said that this acreage announcement signals significant new exploration opportunities for the global petroleum industry.

"The 2013 Acreage Release includes areas in highly prospective mature basins including the Northern Carnarvon and Gippsland as well as exciting new areas in relatively underexplored basins such as the Perth Basin," Mr Gray said.

"As with previous releases, there was strong interest in the area nomination process with 29 of the 31 areas underpinned by industry nominations."

Geoscience Australia, Australia's national geoscience agency delivering advice and information to the federal government, nominated two exploration areas in the North Perth Basin.

The reason for releasing exploration acreage is to ensure the growth of the nation's petroleum sector, and presents the global industry with a number of new investment opportunities they can factor in when planning their future strategies.

"Today's Acreage Release will assist the offshore petroleum exploration industry in transforming the energy future of Australia and that of our major trading partners," said Mr Gray.

According to Geoscience Australia, the acreage release includes information about environmental, fishing, security and other third party considerations that may impact on petroleum activities in the area.

Also provided for consideration is comprehensive geological and geophysical data and analysis of each area.

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To make sure you're getting a competitive deal, consult an electricity comparison service. 

Posted by Charlie Moore