Legislation and regulations

The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act) provides the regulatory framework for all offshore petroleum exploration, production and greenhouse gas activities in Commonwealth waters (those areas more than three nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline and within the Commonwealth Petroleum Jurisdiction Boundary).

The OPGGS Act is supported by regulations covering matters such as occupational health safety, diving operations, structural (and well) integrity and environmental management:

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).

Victoria is the only state to have 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. 

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 the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, or other Commonwealth legislation.