Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says the release of exploration permits for offshore petroleum reserves shows the resources sector is still strong, despite spilling from the mainland into the ocean.

It is predicted that $580 million will be made over the next three years, following the award of exploration permits in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia and South Australia.

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the government will allow the mining of any area to serve the nation’s needs, and that Australia is now ready and willing to receive investments from overseas in exchange for our mineral resources.

“The opening up of new oil and gas exploration areas like the Great Australian Bight will ensure that Australia has enough energy to meet our future needs.

“This shows that Australia is an attractive destination for investment in offshore exploration and sends a clear signal that Australia is open for business,” Mr Macfarlane said.

The Department claims the continuing benefit of the permits will be around $730 million in exploration investment over the next six years.

Twenty areas are being offered-up to the highest bidder. A complete list is available here