Petroleum exploration expenditure in Australia - both onshore and offshore combined - rose over the September quarter by about 4%, or A$8.4 million, to $220.2 million.
This compares to $211 million in the June quarter which was the worst period for exploration in over a decade.
Queensland led the way with oil and gas operators spending about $84 million over the period. Western Australia was not too far behind with companies spending $70.2 million in exploration.
Explorers in South Australia spend 26.8 million while industry spend about $20 million in the Northern Territory.
Exploration spending in New South Wales was unchanged from the June quarter at about $1.6 million.
Onshore oil and gas exploration spending jumped from $146 million in the June quarter to $155.4 million over the three months ending September 30. In fact, onshore exploration spending was $3.1 million higher than the September quarter of 2019 and nearly $50 million higher than the same period in 2018.
Offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell to a new low however, offsetting spending increases onshore.
This was expected, after a recent report from the Chief Economist found onshore petroleum was worth more than offshore for the first time in three decades, with a 52% increase over the period period compared with the 27% fall in the offshore sector.
Over the third quarter Australian oil and gas companies spent just $64.8 million on offshore exploration. This is down from $65 million in the June quarter and a fall of $145 million compared to this time last year.
Year-to-date industry has spent $747.4 million on exploration.