Australia Opens Bidding for Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration

Ichthys offshore project in the Browse Basin (file image courtesy Inpex)

Published Jun 16, 2021 10:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Australian government has launched the 2021 round of oil and gas licensing as part of strategies to promote offshore exploration.

The government announced that it has opened bidding for 21 exploration blocks across the Bonaparte, Browse, Carnarvon, Otway, Sorell and Gippsland basins off Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. The blocks cover an area of around 80,000 square kilometers of new acreage, with bidding expected to close in March 2022.

Each year, Australian authorities invite companies to bid for the opportunity to invest in the oil and gas industry in the country, which is still committed to fossil fuels. “Exploration will continue to play a key role in supporting Australia’s economic growth by encouraging investment in development prospects, as well as unlocking additional supply,” said Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia.

He added the acreage area provides opportunities in established oil and gas provinces as well as under-explored areas that are within reach of existing infrastructure. “The continued release of areas for exploration is important to providing a steady supply of energy for the future. I would welcome and encourage industry bidding on the released areas,” he noted.

Available lease areas for 2021 (....

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