Australia has launched its 2020 offshore petroleum exploration licensing round with 42 blocks in proven basins made available for competitive bidding.

The permits are released in the Bonaparte basin, Browse basin, Northern Carnarvon basin, Otway basin and Gippsland basin.

The 42 areas were selected following a nomination process by the industry and were subject to a comprehensive public consultation process.

Permits are available for work programme bidding, and bidding will close on 1 June 2021.

Australia's Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said he acknowledged the impact the Covid-19 pandemic was having on the oil and gas industry.