Bidding is now open for companies wanting to explore for oil and gas in two new onshore blocks in South Australia's Cooper Basin.
Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis said the Cooper Basin is undergoing a renaissance.
"Local and international companies are looking to unlock the vast potential of conventional and unconventional resources in our onshore and offshore provinces," Mr Koutsantonis said.
"These two new blocks being offered provided an opportunity for companies wanting to explore within the Cooper Basin and build on our existing knowledge of these acreages.
"Opening of bids comes at a time when spending on exploration for oil and gas in South Australia is at a record high.
"Spending on oil and gas exploration in SA reached a record $386.3 million in 2012/13 - up from $174.3 million in the previous year."
The blocks are:
• CO2013-A, which covers 627 square kilometres in the southern Cooper Basin. One well (Tawriffic East 1) has been drilled and 876 line kilometres of 2D seismic data have been acquired within the block.
• CO2013-B, covers 3,443 square kilometres in the southern Cooper Basin. No wells have been drilled and 315 line kilometres of 2D seismic data have been acquired within the block.
The blocks are offered on the basis of work program bidding. Bids close at 4 pm Thursday 29 May 2014 and the winning bidders are expected to be announced by the end of July 2014.
The Cooper Basin and overlying Eromanga Basin is Australia's largest and most mature onshore oil and gas province, supplying major south-eastern Australian gas markets since 1969 and producing oil since 1982.
Granting a petroleum exploration licence does not automatically enable regulated activities within those tenements. Approval for regulated activities such as drilling is a separate process involving rigorous assessment and consultation.
Further information on the two blocks on offer and the work program bidding process can be found online at www.petroleum.dmitre.sa.gov.au
01 October 2013