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While Australia’s refinery industry is suffering – BP is the latest company to announce the closure of an Australian refinery – gas and petroleum exploration has just received a welcome boost.

On 3 April 2014 the Queensland Government announced that it will release substantial new land areas for petroleum and gas exploration. The land release areas are located in the Carpentaria, Georgina, Isa and Eromanga basins. The map below identifies the six areas, which together cover a total of 16,400 km2.

The Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, said that the announcement followed up the government’s promise that Queensland’s resources would be further developed as one of the “four pillars” of the economy.

The Minister went on to state that:

Queensland’s mining industry will benefit from the release of underexplored land, considered to be frontier areas with little or no previous exploration.

The land we are releasing has potential for new discoveries of both conventional and unconventional petroleum resources, and the area to the west of Quilpie possibly contain oil resources as well.

It is vital we continue to have ongoing exploration as we still have large potential resources in the ground.

There will be a competitive tender process for parties interested in obtaining an authority to prospect in one or more of the six areas. The tender process will not include a cash bidding component. Instead, tenderers will be evaluated on their work program, technical and financial capability and demonstrated commitment to the work program. The successful tenderers for each of the six areas will be required to undertake native title processes prior to the grant of an authority to prospect.

Tenders close at 4:30pm on 29 September 2014.

The tendering process demands strict compliance with complex legal and commercial requirements and regulations. Moulis Legal offers its experience and understanding of these processes and requirements to petroleum and gas explorers and investors interested in participating in this tender.

We invite interested parties to contact us for a copy of the full tender documentation, and to discuss this opportunity further.

For more information, please contact Christopher Hewitt in our Brisbane office on +61 7 3367 6900 or email

This memo presents an overview and commentary of the subject matter. It is not provided in the context of a solicitor-client relationship and no duty of care is assumed or accepted. It does not constitute legal advice.

© Moulis Legal 2014