NOPSEMA accepts ESSO's revised operations environment plan for Bass Strait operations

20 May, 2021

Today NOPSEMA has accepted Esso’s revised EP for its Bass Strait operations. The revised EP was necessary to ensure the ongoing management of all Esso facilities in the Bass Straight, both operational and non-operational.

While Esso’s EP addressed aspects of decommissioning work at its non-operational facilities, the scale of the work required, and the associated timeframes, are beyond the scope of the EP.

To ensure decommissioning activities are undertaken at non-operational facilities in a timely fashion NOPSEMA has issued a general direction requiring Esso to complete all preparatory decommissioning activities, including plugging or closing wells and commencing topside dismantling by 2027, and to ensure facilities are maintained so that structures and equipment can be safely removed in the future.

Additionally, Esso must explore opportunities to reduce the timeframe for completing the decommissioning activities and report regularly on progress to NOPSEMA.

Esso has a large number of ageing assets and this will be the first time decommissioning on this scale has been undertaken in Australia. NOPSEMA will be closely monitoring Esso’s progress.

The issuing of the general direction is consistent with the approach spelt out in NOPSEMA’s decommissioning strategy and plan, published on 20 April.

As this strategy and plan are rolled out NOPSEMA will continue to work with government and industry to ensure that decommissioning activities in Australia are carried out in a timely, responsible and efficient manner.

A further maintenance general direction has been issued requiring Esso to conduct integrity assessments on all operational facilities, as well as three improvement notices to address identified corrosion issues on the Tuna and West Tuna platforms.

For further information see our published directions and notices page

To view Esso's accepted Environment Plan please visit NOPSEMA online

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