PETROLEUM and gas explorers will have the opportunity to further unlock major economic benefits for Queensland following the release of more than 350 square kilometres of land in the prolific Bowen and Surat basins.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps announced two parcels of land were available for release through a competitive tender process to stimulate exploration opportunities in Queensland.

“The Newman LNP Government is working hard every day to create jobs and opportunities by growing a four pillar economy,” he said.

“New gas discoveries could deliver strong economic benefits and create new jobs for our regions.

“Only the LNP has a strong plan to get the state back on track and ensure all Queenslanders share in the benefits of economic growth.”

Interested parties have until 29 January, 2015 to lodge their tender applications.

“All applications for this tender, which includes a cash bid component, will be subject to the same transparent and rigorous evaluation process applied to previous competitive processes, including probity officers and the evaluation of work plans,” he said.

Applicants will need to satisfy all technical and financial capability and environmental requirements as well as regional planning interest and strategic cropping land, land access and native title requirements prior to any decision to grant.

“Preferred tenders will be identified by an impartial evaluation panel supported by specialist technical and financial advisory panels and an independent probity advisor,” Mr Cripps said.

Successful tender applicants will be granted a petroleum and gas authority to prospect exploration permit for an initial term of six years with a work program of six years to align with the initial term.