Australian Releases Offshore Areas for Oil Exploration

Source:

"The Australian federal government on Monday released the biggest area in more than a decade for offshore petroleum exploration."

The Australian federal government on Monday released the biggest area in more than a decade for offshore petroleum exploration, in a move to highlight the country's commitment to exploiting its rich endowment of natural resources to meet Asia's surging demand for energy.

A total of 29 areas in nine basins in Australian waters covering around 200,000 square kilometers have been released, stretching from the West Coast through the Northern waters to Victoria in the south.

According to Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, the release of 29 areas for offshore petroleum exploration is vital for Australia's future energy sources.

"The release of acreage is a critical step in maintaining Australia's energy security," Ferguson said in a statement released on Monday.

"With a trade deficit in crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and refined products expected to top 30.97 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, finding new reserves is a priority."

The announcement followed consultations over environmental, fishing, security and other third party considerations with support by data and analysis from Geoscience Australia.

Ferguson said the exploration permits allowed companies an exclusive right to apply to search for oil and gas in those areas.

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