Petroleum exploration Special Notices now accessible

Special Notices for significant areas within petroleum acreage release areas 1 of 2016 are now accessible on the Department of Mines and Petroleum website
Date: Thursday, 22 December 2016

Special Notices for sensitive areas within petroleum acreage release areas have been made more accessible through the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) website. Special Notices formally advise any applicants for these areas that conditions may be placed on a title when it is granted as an exploration permit at some point in the future. These conditions can include restricted access to sensitive areas within a permit area.

Special Notices recognise iconic conservation estates, national parks and areas of cultural heritage significance.

DMP Petroleum Division Executive Director Jeff Haworth said that areas of significance have always been identified and recognised with Special Notices, and made available through the Government Gazette.

“However, we now see the need to make these Special Notices more widely available to industry, and the public, through the DMP website,” he said.

“Special Notices describe that entry onto reserve land or heritage places for petroleum exploration purposes is not automatic and may be subject to title conditions and the consent and approval of the Minister.”

The first release of Special Notices on the DMP website is in relation to the 2016 acreage release, which opened areas for bidding in the Kimberley and central Western Australia. Six areas are located in the Canning Basin (Kimberley) and eight in the Officer Basin (central WA), ranging in size from 1,770 square kilometres to more than 8,000 square kilometres.

Mr Haworth said the department had not yet granted any exploration permits, as bidding for the 2016 release areas is still open until 4pm (AWST) on 9 March 2017. After bidding closes, all applications for the areas will be assessed and exploration permits may or may not be granted.

“Any future successful applicant for the release areas, or any other petroleum application area, is subject to State and national Native Title, conservation and environmental protection and heritage laws, and preferred applicants must negotiate and have agreements in place with Native Title parties before the area can be granted as a title,” Mr Haworth said.

The Special Notices for the Kimberley release areas are outlined in the Special Notices Petroleum Acreage Release 1P/2016 on the DMP Website.

The Kimberley acreage of 14 onshore areas within the Officer and Canning Basins was released for bidding by DMP in September 2016. Bidding closes at 4.00pm AWST on Thursday, 9 March 2017. More information is available on the DMP website.