Initiative to protect and preserve the environment

Article published in The Regulator | Issue 1: 2020


As a Commonwealth entity, NOPSEMA is also responsible for implementing Australian policy and this includes Australia’s commitment to combatting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

In accordance with Commonwealth legislation and relevant policies, NOPSEMA’s regulation of offshore activities considers the impact of climate change and the plans in place to mitigate and manage greenhouse gas emissions.

NOPSEMA will also continue to support the development of a regulatory framework to enable offshore wind and other clean energy technologies in Commonwealth waters.

In January, the Australian Government Task Force, of which NOPSEMA is a participant, released for public comment a discussion paper outlining a proposed framework. In February, the taskforce held consultation sessions in Perth and Melbourne. The sessions were well attended by stakeholders representing prospective offshore clean energy developers, environmental consultancies, the offshore oil and gas industry, unions, government, legal practitioners and the community. The taskforce is considering the feedback received during the sessions with a view to a phased roll out of a regulatory framework into early 2021.


In 2019, NOPSEMA led efforts as part of the International Offshore Petroleum Environment Regulators (IOPER) forum culminating in the release of a new planning tool for subsea well source control preparedness and response.

Current industry best-practice in planning for a subsea well source control response is detailed in Report 594: Source Control Emergency Response Planning Guide for Subsea Wells, developed by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) Subsea Well Response Subcommittee.

NOPSEMA initiated the subsea wells source control planning tool in the form of a Response Time Model (RTM) which was adopted and completed by the IOGP. The RTM provides a basis for best practice planning in accordance with Report 594, under variety of well locations, designs, and characteristics.

The IOGP has subsequently produced Report 592 – Subsea Capping Response Time Model Toolkit User Guide to accompany the RTM toolkit and support industry to predict an estimated response timeline for capping a subsea well blowout.

Copies of the IOGP Reports and RTM toolkit are available from