New developments in oil and gas

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Resources and energy minister Gary Gray, in announcing the 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release at this year’s APPEA conference in Brisbane on 27 May 2013, confirmed that, from 2014, some areas selected for the annual Acreage Release will be considered through a competitive cash bidding process. Cash bidding was first introduced in 1985 under amendments to the offshore petroleum legislation; however, it has not been used since 1993.

The cash bidding process would be used to allocate exploration permits in areas containing ‘known’ petroleum accumulations, while the existing work programme bidding system will be maintained for allocations in remaining areas. In addition to a consideration of each applicant’s technical qualifications and financial resources and the available technical advice, assessment under the cash bidding process is based on the amount each applicant is prepared to pay for the grant of an exploration permit, with permits often being awarded to the highest cash bidder…

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