Legislation and regulations

NOPSEMA has functions and powers conferred on it under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act) and its regulations. The OPGGS Act primarily provides that NOPSEMA is the regulator for health and safety (OHS), structural (well) integrity and environmental management of petroleum exploration and development activities in Australia’s offshore areas beyond the first three nautical miles of the territorial sea.

It is also the sole designated assessor of petroleum and greenhouse gas activities in Commonwealth waters under Part 10, section 146 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

NOPSEMA is a cost recovery agency and the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Act 2003 enables specific levies for OHS, well integrity and environmental management regulatory activities as provided in the associated regulations below:

State and territory legislation

Similar provisions are conferred on NOPSEMA  under other relevant state and Northern Territory legislation as they apply in coastal waters (those areas less than three nautical miles from the territorial sea). As at 1 January 2013 only Victoria has validly conferred structural (well) integrity functions and by default the conferral of OHS functions on NOPSEMA, not including environmental management. While other jurisdictions may consider the future conferral of these functions, it remains the obligation of the proponent to comply with other relevant state and territory legislation, where applicable.

Links to the relevant state and Northern Territory legislation on coastal waters are:

Other Commonwealth legislation

Some petroleum activities may also be subject to the approval from other regulatory bodies under the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981, the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983 or other Commonwealth legislation.