2018 Release Areas

You are here

2019 Area Nominations

Nominations for the 2019 acreage release can be registered until 15 November 2018. Nominations received after this date will be fed into the subsequent acreage release process.

Following consultation on nominated areas in early 2019, it is expected that the 2019 acreage release bidding period will open in July 2019 and close in March 2020.

Nominations can be registered online at:


Information supporting nominations is treated as 'Commercial-in-Confidence'.

Areas nominated by industry can generally be expected to progress to public consultation. Exclusion of areas, or parts of areas, before public consultation is only likely to occur where there is a legal reason or national security consideration. For example, if a nominated area extends into a green or yellow marine park zone, the relevant part of the nominated area would be excluded prior to consultation.

The areas that progress to consultation will represent petroleum industry interest and as such there may be significant fluctuation in the numbers of areas consulted on from year to year.

Nominating parties should note that nomination of large numbers of areas could create concerns from other marine users and impact on community acceptance of the offshore petroleum industry. In acknowledgement of these concerns, the Australian government encourages nominations only where there is genuine interest to commence exploration activities in the immediate term.

As a matter of guidance, for an exploration and production company, a nomination would indicate that the nominator has a strong interest in exploring that area and potentially placing a bid in the next scheduled acreage release. For a geophysical company, it would be expected there is recent non-exclusive data1 available over the area or data will become available before or during the next scheduled bidding period (July to March).

There are no restrictions on the number of nominations that can be put forward by an individual or organisation. However the Australian government reserves the right to review this position in future if nominated areas are routinely not bid on by any parties and/or if nominations are consistently lacking in detailed rationale.  The areas that progress to consultation will represent petroleum industry interest and will not yet have received government endorsement as areas proposed to be made available for bidding in an acreage release.

Information relating to the 2019 acreage release will be communicated through this website and the Australian Petroleum News. You can view or sign up to receive these newsletters here.

[1] Data is taken to mean all data products including reprocessing and derivatives.

How to nominate an area

Once opening a new SmartForm through the business.gov.au link as above, you will be directed to a nomination form where you can nominate multiple areas using the one nomination form.

Please complete page one, ‘Nominee details’ that includes your company or organisation details and a contact person, should the department or Geoscience Australia have any queries relating to your nomination.

On page two, ‘area description’ the heading ‘area 1’ refers to the first offshore area you wish to nominate, you can add another offshore area to nominate at the bottom of the page by clicking ‘Add Area’. Please only nominate one contiguous area at a time.

A short description on each requested item on page two of the nomination is below:

  • Offshore area – refers to the adjacent state/territory or external territory you are nominating.

  • Basin – refers to the sedimentary basin the nominated area is located i.e. Browse or Bonaparte basin.

  • Sub-basin – refers to the secondary basin the nominated area is located in i.e. Vulcan sub-basin:

    • Recognising that an area may cross multiple sub-basins, to add another sub-basin, click ‘add sub-basin’.

  • Map Sheet (1:1,000,000) and 5’ graticular blocks – please refer to Geoscience Australia’s Interactive Maps webpage for the correct map sheet references and graticular blocks used under the Commonwealth Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006:

    • The map sheet reference is two letters followed by two numbers i.e. SF49

    • If you are nominating a large number of graticular blocks, you can upload an attachment by clicking on ‘Too many graticular blocks to enter into form….’ and an upload button will appear. Otherwise please enter each graticular block number following by the ‘Add Graticular block’ to enter another.

    • If you manually enter the graticular blocks using the above steps, the nomination form will automatically calculate how many blocks you are nominating and the approximate size of your nominated area.

  • Frontier – If you consider the area you are nominating to be frontier or lightly explored, please indicate this and provide a geotechnical justification.

  • Consultation – If you are aware of users of the marine environment in the area you have nominated who you think should be consulted as part of the acreage release process, please list these in the box provided.

  • Map – you must attach a map of the area you have nominated by using the ’click to upload’ button

When completing the nomination form, it can be saved for up to three days. To save the form at any stage, please click ‘Save for later’ located near the top, left hand corner of the nomination form. Please note that if the form is not submitted or updated within three-days, it will be deleted and cannot be recovered.

To return to your form, click the online nomination form link above and click ‘resume a saved form’ located at the top of the page. You will be then asked to enter your tracking number – this is the number you were provided when you saved your form.

On submission of your nomination, you will receive a tracking number. This indicates that your nomination has successfully been received. Please use this tracking number if you need to enquire about your nomination.

If you would like to receive a copy of your nomination form, you can either email it to yourself or download a pdf version by clicking ‘download a copy’.

For any further queries when completing this form, please email petroleum.exploration@industry.gov.au.