Australia Offers 29 Offshore Blocks for Bidding in 2015 Acreage Release

Australia Offers 29 Offshore Blocks for Bidding in 2015 Acreage Release
Australia offers 29 offshore oil and gas blocks for bidding in its 2015 Acreage Release.

The Australian Government offered 29 offshore oil and gas blocks for bidding by investors in the country's annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, the Department of Industry and Science's entity Geoscience Australia revealed in an announcement Monday.

The 2015 Acreage Release, comprising blocks located in eight basins offshore the Northern Territory, the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, includes 23 areas for work program bidding and six areas for cash bidding.

Work Program Round 1, which requires bids to be submitted by Oct. 29, offered the following 12 offshore blocks:

  • NT15-1 (in Petrel Sub-basin, Bonaparte Basin, Northern Territory and Western Australia)
  • W15-2 (in Sahul Syncline, Bonaparte Basin, Western Australia)
  • AC15-1 and AC15-2 (in Vulcan Sub-basin, Bonaparte Basin, Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands)
  • AC15-3 (in Northern Caswell Sub-basin, Browse Basin, Western Australia)
  • W15-5 (in Rowley Sub-basin, Roebuck Basin, Western Australia)
  • W15-13, W15-16, W15-17 (in Exmouth Plateau, Northern Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia)
  • W15-18 (in Yampi Shelf, Browse Basin, Western Australia)
  • V15-2, V15-3 (in South Eastern Gippsland Basin, Victoria)

Bidders can submit their interests for the 11 offshore blocks available in Work Program Round 2 by April 21, 2016. They are:

  • W15-3, W15-4 (in Central Caswell Sub-basin, Browse Basin, Western Australia)
  • W15-6, W15-7, W15-8 (in Dampier Sub-basin, Northern Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia)
  • W15-14 (in  Exmouth Plateau, Northern Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia)
  • S15-1 (in Ceduna Sub-basin, Bight Basin, South Australia)
  • V15-1, T15-1, T15-2 (in Nelson Sub-basin, Otway Basin, Victoria)
  • T15-3 (in Northern Sorell Basin, Tasmania)

Six blocks have been offered under the Cash Bid Round, with pre-qualification closing Oct. 15 and the shortlisted companies to submit cash bid by Feb. 4, 2016. The available blocks are:

  • NT15-2, W15-1 (in Petrel Sub-basin, Bonaparte Basin, Northern Territory and Western Australia)
  • W15-9, W15-10, W15-11, W15-12 (in Dampier Sub-basin, Northern Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia)

The Australian Government is also re-offering areas that did not attract investors in the 2014 bidding rounds and the closing date for submission is Oct. 29. The three blocks on offer are:

  • 2014 Round 1
    • W14-2 (in Caswell Sub-basin, Browse Basin, Western Australia)
  • 2014 Round 2
    • AC14-1 (in Vulcan Sub-basin, Bonaparte Basin, Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands)
    • W14-6 (in Rankin Platform, Northern Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia)

The blocks available in the 2015 Acreage Release have been selected to provide the petroleum exploration industry a variety of investment opportunities, covering areas that are located in a range of water depths and vary in size and level of existing geological knowledge.

"All release areas are supported by pre-competitive geological and geophysical data and analysis undertaken by Geoscience Australia, and information on third party rights or other considerations that may impact upon future petroleum activities in a release area," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the nomination period for areas for potential inclusion in the 2016 Acreage Release opens May 18 and closes July 31.

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