Environment resources

NOPSEMA has developed a series of advice documents to inform and assist stakeholders to interpret and meet the requirements of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009 (Environment Regulations). Policy documents provide NOPSEMA's interpretation of legislative requirements and guideline documents provide guidance on how to meet those legislative requirements. Guidance note documents provide NOPSEMA's expectations on a specific environmental management topic and information papers provide further information, background and practices on a topic to foster improved environmental management outcomes.  

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse
Gas Storage Act 2006

Establishes the National Offshore Energy Regulator (NOPSEMA) and provides the regulatory framework for all offshore petroleum exploration, production and greenhouse gas activities in Commonwealth waters.

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas
Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009

Defines the regulatory requirements relating to environmental management that must be met when undertaking a petroleum or greenhouse gas activity.

Environment plan
assessment policy

Outlines the objectives and provides guiding principles on how NOPSEMA administers the requirements of the legislation.

Environment plan decision
making guidelines

Provides specific detail on the approach, expectations and criteria NOPSEMA uses in applying statutory discretion. In general a titleholder not complying with the guidelines should provide good justification for not doing so.
take into consideration
during decision making


Provides NOPSEMA’s interpretation of regulatory requirements, however this advice is not authoritative. Titleholders may offer an equally valid interpretation and provide a plan based on their interpretation of the regulations (but must still show that it meets the regulations).


Provides information, background and practices to foster good/better practice within industry. The advice shall be broadly consistent with the regulations, the concepts of an objective based regime and government policy.
Good practice

*Other guidance also includes brochures, environment alerts, bulletins, the Regulator articles, forms and other published material.


Environment plan assessment policy (PDF 311KB)

Offshore project proposal assessment policy (PDF 288KB)

Financial assurance requirements for petroleum titles policy (PDF 178KB)

Environmental inspections policy (PDF 218KB)

Enforcement policy (PDF 234KB)

Sharing information with Australian and international agencies policy (PDF 169KB)

Assessment policy (PDF 180KB)

Provision of title related compliance information and advice to NOPTA policy (PDF 161KB)

Environment plan levies and cost recovery policy (PDF 253KB)

Offshore oil pollution incidents policy (PDF 570KB)

S572 Maintenance and removal of property regulatory policy (PDF 288KB)


Environment plan decision making guideline (PDF 272KB)

Financial assurance for petroleum titles guideline (PDF 264KB)

When to submit a proposed revision of an environment plan guideline (PDF 208KB)

End of the operation of an environment plan – Regulation 25A - guideline (PDF 188KB)

Making submissions to NOPSEMA guideline (PDF 203KB)

Consultation with agencies with responsibilities in the Commonwealth marine area guideline (PDF 262KB)

Guidance notes

Responding to public comment on environment plans guidance note (PDF 199KB)

Petroleum activity guidance note (PDF 201KB)

Environment plan content requirements (PDF 953KB)

Petroleum activities and Australian marine parks guidance note (PDF 474KB)

Change to the titleholder with operational control of activities guidance note (PDF 257KB)

Oil pollution risk management guidance note (PDF 465KB)

Notification and reporting of environmental incidents guidance note (PDF 207KB)

Offshore project proposal content requirements guidance note (PDF 414KB)

Information papers

Acoustic impact evaluation and management information paper (PDF 721KB)

Operational and scientific monitoring programs information paper (PDF 2MB)

Making public comment on offshore project proposals information paper (PDF 239KB)

Considerations for five year revisions information paper (PDF 178KB)

Streamlining environmental regulation of petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters information paper (PDF 177KB)

Reducing marine pest biosecurity risks through good practice biofouling management information Paper (PDF 387KB)

Australian dispersant acceptance processes information paper (PDF 428KB)


Titleholder report on public comments form (DOCX 84KB)

Environment plan summary statement form (DOCX 83KB)

Environment plan submission cover sheet (DOCX 108KB)

Offshore project proposal submission cover sheet (DOCX 94KB)

Financial assurance confirmation form (PDF 392KB)

Financial assurance declaration form (PDF 326KB)

Notification of end of operation of environment plan form (DOCX 88KB)

Regulation 29 - Notification of start and end of activity form (DOCX 94KB)

Report of an accident, dangerous occurrence or environmental incident form (DOCX 122KB)

Monthly environmental incident reports form (DOCX 95KB)


Clarifying statutory requirements and good practice consultation (PDF 295KB)

Oil spill modelling (PDF 340KB)

Recording and reporting marine mammal observer data

Regulator articles

Complete issues of the Regulator are published on the Publications page.


Everything must go 

Initiative to protect and preserve the environment 

Stewarding Australia's offshore assets 

Ensuring regulatory effectiveness

Maintenance is still a must 

Maintaining focus on maintenance and decommissioning of property 

Technology holds the key to better whale detection


Science and evidence informs best-practice environmental management

Effective testing of oil spill response arrangements

Source control workshop brings together global experts

Insight into the public comment process for exploration environment plans

Referring to supporting documentation in published environment plans

More than a century of experience behind our Spill Risk Team

Benchmarking leading practice environmental management regulation


Engaging with stakeholders on environmental management 

Contingency measures for subsea drilling operations

Improving environmental impact assessments for seismic surveys

New publication requirements for environment plans - referring to information already provided

Managing biosecurity risks 

NOPSEMA's expectations of industry to improve oil spill response

Overcoming scientific uncertainty and oil spill preparedness challenges

The regulators perspective on marine seismic surveys: Identifying and managing environmental impacts

Environment inspections focus on source control

Plans for marine parks take effect

Meeting your obligations for decommissioning

Improved consultation and transparency gains momentum


Marine oil pollution response arrangements in Western Australia: Are you compliant? 

Inspecting oil spill response service providers and equipment stockpiles

An open discussion about environmental management

Is your activity occurring where it shouldn't be?

International meeting of environmental regulators

Oil spill response - competency and training

Lessons learned from environmental enforcement action 

New national recovery plan for marine turtles

Continuous improvement of oil spill response preparedness through international engagement

Finished the petroleum activity?  How to end your environment plan

Improved transparency in environment plan submissions

NOPSEMA concerned about misuse of ‘management of change’

Improving access to environmental management information

Preparing your EP five-year revision?


Working with stakeholders to address environmental management challenges

NOPSEMA supports WA strategy for marine science collaboration

IOPER annual general meeting and new research outcomes on sound and marine life

Has your Environment Plan reached the end of its life? …if so, here’s how to end it!

Offshore Project Proposal (OPP) – guidance updated

The importance of a nominated liaison person

Collaborative opportunities for oil spill preparedness and response

Inspecting environmental consultation performance

Deciding on environmental consultation requirements

Monitoring financial assurance compliance


Chemical selection and substitution warnings

Consultation for larger scale seismic surveys

Optimising dispersant selection for offshore pollution risks

Managing scientific uncertainty in environmental impact assessments for seismic surveys

Effective consultation and opposing views


Monitoring of impacts to the environment from oil pollution

Referring to information previously submitted

Request for further information

Commencement of financial assurance requirements

Addressing stakeholder concerns on consultation

Environment plan levies for title applicants

Environment inspections post 1 October 2014

Clarifying environmental input in oil pollution response arrangements

Science in complex environmental decisions

New ‘Oil pollution risk management’ information paper

Changes to environmental reporting requirements

Achieving effective consultation with relevant persons

Produced Formation Water - Oil in water


Sufficient information for consultation

Effective environmental consultation for offshore petroleum activities

Environment culture - planning to respond

Developing appropriate environmental performance standards

Building strong environmental foundations


Off the shelf monitoring programs

Managing the risks of marine pests

Environmental monitoring – one size fits all?

Reporting environmental incidents can drive continuous improvement


See the Resources page for frequently asked questions, publications, presentations and data reports and statistics.

Note: NOPSEMA's advice documents should not be relied on as advice on the law, nor treated as a substitute for legal advice in any relevant situation. NOPSEMA's assessment, monitoring and enforcement activities are undertaken in accordance with the Environment Regulations. NOPSEMA’s advice documents are subject to periodic review and update. Comments and suggestions on the content of any advice documents are welcomed can be directed to environment@nopsema.gov.au.