The Government has announced 15 new oil and gas exploration permits as a result of Block Offer 2014. This continues the Government’s previous announcements granting new exploration permits.
The new permits are shown in the following map.
The permits represent more than $110 million in committed expenditure on initial exploration. The initial exploration in offshore blocks is likely to involve a 3D seismic survey from specialist vessels like the Polarcus Alima (pictured).
Additionally, 2014 has been the first full year where the new EEZ legislation has been in force and the transitional provisions no longer apply. Under this it is necessary to obtain marine consents from the Environmental Protection Authority before undertaking some types of exploration drilling. It will be interesting to see the EPA’s application of the EEZ Act as further exploration marine consents are applied for.