News & Media
Considerations for five-year environment plan revisions
NOPSEMA has published a new information paper providing advice to titleholders on things to consider in the preparation of a five-year revision to an environment plan for long-term activities. For more information see the news and media page.
New Commonwealth decommissioning guidelines
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has released a guideline regarding decommissioning obligations under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. For more information see the news and media page.
Safety improvement initiatives survey results
NOPSEMA recently collected survey data from facility operators and wells titleholders regarding the types of safety improvement initiatives being undertaken. To view the survey report see the Publications page.
We want to hear from you
NOPSEMA is pleased to invite expressions of interest from interested persons to join our newly established Community and Environment Reference Group (CERG). For more information see the news and media page.
Media reporting on diving incident
In response to media reports regarding diving activity associated with the Inpex Ichthys project, NOPSEMA wishes to clarify the current status of regulatory actions. For more information see the news and media page.
Enforcement action related to the Ocean Monarch facility
NOPSEMA has taken OHS enforcement action against BHP Billiton Petroleum Pty Ltd, Diamond Offshore General Company, and Expro Group Australia Pty Ltd in relation to non-compliances associated with well abandonment activities carried out on the Ocean Monarch facility. For more information see the News & Media page.
Expressions of interest: Community & environment reference group
NOPSEMA is pleased to invite expressions of interest for our newly established Community and environment reference group. For more information see the Stakeholder engagement and transparency page.
Added transparency for offshore oil and gas
The Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator the Hon Matt Canavan, has announced a series of changes to implement the recommendations of the Offshore Petroleum Consultation and Transparency Review. For more information see the media release at minister.industry.gov.au.
Safety alert #67: Understanding Light Well Intervention safety systems
NOPSEMA has published a safety alert following an incident where the failure to fully understand a light well intervention safety system’s functionality caused two 1.6kg dropped objects. For more information see Safety Alert #67.
New guidance on transfers of operational control
Following a public comment period, NOPSEMA has finalised and published a new guidance note on transfers of operational control. For more information see the news and media page.
Environmental reference case open for comment
NOPSEMA has published for public comment the first environmental reference case covering the management of sewage, grey-water and putrescible wastes from offshore petroleum activities. For more information see NOPSEMA's media release.
Potential for fatalities from electrical incidents
NOPSEMA has published a safety alert following three notifications in less 90 days of dangerous occurrences involving personnel performing electrical work which could have resulted in electric shock or electrocution. For more information see Safety Alert #66.
Vessel facilities subject to external hydrocarbon hazards
Following the consideration of industry comment, NOPSEMA has published a new safety case guidance note to assist vessel facility operators in addressing external hydrocarbon hazards and providing the appropriate information in the associated safety case or safety case revision. To access the report see the Safety case guidance notes page.
Stakeholder engagement and transparency
NOPSEMA has published the final report for our Stakeholder Engagement and Transparency work program. We will continue to progress initiatives through the newly established Transparency Taskforce. To access the final report of for more information see the Stakeholder engagement and transparency page.
NOPSEMA releases offshore project proposal for public comment
NOPSEMA has released the first Offshore Project Proposal for public comment. For more information see NOPSEMA's media release.
NOPSEMA issues improvement notice to PTTEP Australasia
On 21 June 2017, NOPSEMA issued PTTEP Australasia with an improvement notice relating to environmental management non-compliance associated with its Montara operations. For more information see NOPSEMA's media release.
New guidance addressing change to the titleholder with operational control of activities open for comment
NOPSEMA has published for comment a draft guidance note to assist incoming and existing titleholders (relevant parties) in maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements when there is a change to the titleholder with operational control of a well or petroleum activity.
For the purposes of the guidance, a titleholder with operational control of an activity is defined as the entity that has responsibility for day to day oversight and management of the activity under that entity’s corporate policies, management systems, contracts and other arrangements.
NOPSEMA is seeking feedback from industry and other stakeholders to understand if the guidance will assist relevant parties in ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements during a transfer of operational control. To provide feedback, please submit all comments in writing to email@example.com before 22 September 2017.
New community information section on NOPSEMA website
NOPSEMA has launched a dedicated Community Information section on its website where the community can find information on the offshore petroleum approval process. Further details on this initiative can be found in NOPSEMA's news announcement.
No fatalities or injuries reported in offshore oil and gas in 2016
NOPSEMA has released its Annual Offshore Performance Report for the year ending 31 December 2016. The report's findings show that 2016 was the first year since the establishment of a national safety regulator that no fatalities or major injuries were reported. For more information or to read the report see the media release.
NOPSEMA takes interim step in Bass Strait oil sheen investigation
On 19 April 2017, NOPSEMA’s issued Esso Australia Pty Ltd an Environmental Improvement Notice for failing to follow the procedures for obtaining a representative sample of spilt oil in accordance with their accepted environment plan. For more information see the News and Media page.
Human factors - Critical task analysis information paper
NOPSEMA has recently published an information paper on critical task analysis as part of the human factors information papers series. This series of guidance provides information about the way organisational, individual, and job factors influence human reliability. For further information see the Human factors information paper page.
Updated EP decision making guideline
NOPSEMA recently updated its Environment plan decision making guideline following a public comment period and further consultation with organisation that provided written submissions. To read the guideline see the Decision making guideline page.
Draft safety case guidance note open for comment - deadline extended
NOPSEMA has published for comment a draft guidance note to assist vessel facility operators to more effectively document in their safety cases how they will address external hydrocarbon hazards and reduce the associated risks to a level that is ALARP. For more information see the Safety Case Guidance Notes page.
Safety alert: Collared eyebolts as lifting equipment
NOPSEMA has published a safety alert following an incident where two collared eyebolts failed during lifting operations resulting in a 21.7 tonne diverter falling up to 1.8 metres to the facility floor. To read the alert see the Safety Alert page.
NOPSEMA takes enforcement action
A recent NOPSEMA inspection identified maintenance on safety-critical equipment was not carried out consistent with commitments made in the facility safety case. As a result, NOPSEMA took action to prevent a potential major incident risking health and safety. For more information see the Published notices page and refer to notices 639, 640, 641 and 642.
Update on NOPSEMA's compliance strategy
NOPSEMA has finalised its review of stakeholder feedback on the compliance strategy and associated policies. For further information see the Compliance strategy page.
2017 stakeholder survey
NOPSEMA is now seeking feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives implemented as part of our Stakeholder Engagement and Transparency Strategic Improvement Program. For more information see the Stakeholder engagement and transparency page.
Oil pollution risk management guidance open for comment
NOPSEMA has revised its Oil pollution risk management information paper to provide insight into the regulatory requirements for developing an acceptable EP and OPEP. The paper is now open for industry comment. For more information see the Oil pollution risk management information paper page.
Revised DPP concordance table now available
NOPSEMA has revised the Diving Project Plan (DPP) Concordance Table (FM1453), incorporating stakeholder feedback, where appropriate. For more information, or to download the concordance table, see the Diving operations page.
Hydrocarbon sheen in the Bass Strait - West Tuna platform
On 1 February 2017, NOPSEMA was informed by Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd of an identified oil sheen adjacent to the West Tuna platform in the Bass Strait, 45km off the Gippsland coast, Victoria. For more information see the Media Alert.
NOPSEMA regulatory correspondence - no more snail mail
Currently much of NOPSEMA’s outgoing regulatory correspondence, such as letters to duty holders advising of NOPSEMA regulatory decisions, are both emailed and posted. From 1 February 2017, all outgoing regulatory communications from NOPSEMA will only be sent via electronic means, such as email or secure file transfer. Electronic documents sent by NOPSEMA will be in searchable Portable Document Format (PDF) and will have an electronic authorisation number in place of a signature (a unique number and date-stamp).
This change is aimed at improving the way NOPSEMA manages regulatory correspondence. It will also eliminate unnecessary duplication and waste, as well as aligning with industry, which is already providing all correspondence to NOPSEMA electronically.
New well integrity guidance
NOPSEMA has published a suite of guidance notes to assist titleholders to comply with their well integrity responsibilities following amendments made in 2016 to Part 5 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011. To read the series of guidance notes see the Well Integrity Resources page.
Draft DPP concordance table open for comment
NOPSEMA is seeking comment on a revised draft of the Diving Project Plan (DPP) Concordance Table (FM1453). For more information, or to review the draft concordance table, see the Diving operations page.
BP withdraws environment plans for drilling in the Great Australian Bight
On 20 December 2016, BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd withdrew their environment plan submissions for their Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program and their Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Programme (Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1). For more information see the media release page.
Safety alert: Quality assurance of diving system audits
NOPSEMA has published a new safety alert following recent inspections where NOPSEMA has identified a trend in the standard of audits conducted on diving systems and equipment. For more information see the Safety alert #63: Quality assurance of diving system audits page.
Derrick O’Keeffe appointed Head of Division, Safety and Integrity
NOPSEMA today announced the appointment of Derrick O’Keeffe as the Head of Division for Safety and Integrity. For more information see the NOPSEMA appoints Derrick O’Keeffe as Head of Division, Safety and Integrity media release.
Open days on offshore petroleum environmental approvals
NOPSEMA is hosting a series of open days to assist stakeholders in better understanding the environmental management approvals process.
This is a unique opportunity for interested stakeholders to gain insight into the regulator’s deliberative processes and to discuss NOPSEMA’s new environment plan decision-making guidelines in greater detail.
For more information see the Open days on offshore petroleum environmental approvals announcement.
New PSZ and ATBA guidance
NOPSEMA has published a new guidance note in relation to petroleum safety zones (PSZ) and the area to be avoided (ATBA) primarily for owners and operators of commercial fishing vessels working in the Bass Strait and other areas where there is petroleum infrastructure. To read the guidance note see the Petroleum Safety Zones page.
New guidance on when to submit a proposed revision to an EP open for comment
Environments in which petroleum activities are conducted are dynamic and can result in changes to the environmental impacts and risks identified in the accepted environment plan (EP) for the activity. Some of these changes require that a proposed revision to the EP be submitted for reassessment under certain circumstances.
NOPSEMA has developed a guideline in consultation with an industry working group on when a change is likely to trigger the requirement to submit a proposed revision of the EP. To this end, NOPSEMA welcomes further feedback on the guideline. To provide feedback, please direct all comments in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9 December 2016.
NOPSEMA grants BP an extension to provide further information
On 28 September 2016, NOPSEMA requested further information from BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd (BP) relating to their environment plan for drilling of the Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 exploration wells in the Great Australian Bight. On 28 October, NOPSEMA granted a request from BP for an extension to the timeframe to provide this information. For more information see the NOPSEMA grants BP an extension to provide further information news announcement.
BP announcement on plans for the Great Australian Bight
NOPSEMA is aware of the announcement by BP Developments Australia (BP) on 11 October that it will not be progressing its exploration drilling programme in the Great Australian Bight. This decision by BP not to proceed with plans to drill exploration wells is a commercial decision for the company, and questions regarding the decision should be addressed to BP. For more information see NOPSEMA's BP announcement on plans for the Great Australian Bight news announcement.
NOPSEMA requests further information from BP
On 28 September 2016, NOPSEMA requested further information from BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd (BP) relating to their environment plan for drilling of the Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 exploration wells in the Great Australian Bight. The requested information is expected to be provided by 28 October 2016, at which time NOPSEMA will recommence the assessment. BP can request an extension of this timeframe if required. For more information see the NOPSEMA requests further information from BP for Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 drilling environment plan media release.
BP drilling proposal to undergo further assessment
NOPSEMA has advised BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd that it will be taking additional time to assess the company’s environment plan proposing the drilling of the Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 exploration wells in the Great Australian Bight. NOPSEMA will deliver its next assessment decision for this plan by 29 September 2016.
NOPSEMA has updated the status of the assessment on the Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Programme (Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1) activity page. Stakeholders are encouraged to subscribe to the page to receive email alerts of any changes.
Sedco Forex International Inc v National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority
On 2 August 2016, the Fair Work Commission dismissed the proceedings against the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority commenced by Sedco Forex International Inc. The proceedings were dismissed by the parties consent. Improvement Notice 0539 has been complied with and there are no outstanding issues relating to this matter. Information regarding the proceedings can be found on the Fair Work Commission website at fwc.gov.au
Equipment integrity in offshore oil and gas operations
In response to media reporting and related commentary, regarding potential safety concerns of some offshore oil and gas drilling equipment, NOPSEMA wishes to clarify actions taken in Australia regarding this matter.
In early 2013 NOPSEMA contacted all drilling rig operators in Australian waters requesting them to inspect the connector bolts used in offshore equipment such as risers and subsea blowout preventers (BOPs). This request related to a recall by the connector bolt manufacturer, General Electric (GE). As a result of this request by NOPSEMA, an inspection program was undertaken by all operators of offshore oil and gas facilities. Any bolts from the batch of GE manufactured bolts subject to the recall were immediately replaced by operators.
While no incidents involving the failure of subsea bolts have occurred in Australian waters, NOPSEMA continues to follow-up during planned inspections of facilities to confirm that operators are ensuring that all equipment, including risers and subsea BOPs, remains fit for purpose.
HSR Handbook update
NOPSEMA has updated its HSR Handbook. The latest version has been revised and updated to provide HSRs with concise and easy-to-read guidance that is of value to both new and experienced representatives. Click here to view the latest version of the HSR Handbook.
New environment alert highlights issues with transition of titleholder
NOPSEMA has published its second environment alert, addressing issues arising from a failure to comply with environmental management requirements due to titleholder asset ownership changes. To read this click here.
NOPSEMA welcomes stakeholder feedback on its Compliance Strategy
NOPSEMA is developing its Compliance Strategy as an overarching strategic policy document outlining the framework and principles applied by the regulator in undertaking its regulatory activities. NOPSEMA welcomes feedback on the strategy by 14 October 2016. For more information, see the Compliance Strategy page.
NOPSEMA receives second submission for exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight
On 19 August 2016, NOPSEMA granted a request from BP for an extension to the 31 December 2016 for resubmission of their Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program environment plan. NOPSEMA has also received a new environment plan submission from BP which proposes to drill two of the four exploration wells that were originally proposed in the above environment plan. For more information see the NOPSEMA's media release.
Draft PSZ and ATBA guidance open for comment
NOPSEMA is seeking comment on a new draft guidance note in relation to petroleum safety zones (PSZ) and the area to be avoided (ATBA) primarily for owners and operators of commercial fishing vessels working in the Bass Strait and other areas where there is petroleum infrastructure. To read the draft guidance note or for more information see the Petroleum Safety Zones.
New guidance for offshore project proposals rolled out to industry
NOPSEMA has published updated information relating to Offshore project proposals (OPP) submitted under the Environment Regulations. This includes the release of the OPP Assessment Policy, updates to the existing Information Paper on the public comment process and guidance note on OPP content requirements. For more information see the Offshore Project Proposals page.
NOPSEMA provides BP opportunity to modify drilling environment plan
On 16 May 2016, NOPSEMA provided BP an opportunity to modify and resubmit their environment plan for exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight. On 12 July, NOPSEMA granted BP’s request for an extension of the timeframe for resubmission so they may address the matters raised by NOPSEMA in the assessment. The modified plan is now expected to be resubmitted by 31 August, at which time NOPSEMA will recommence the assessment.
New safety alert published
NOPSEMA has published a new safety alert following a recent incident where a vessel facility lost position while diving activities were being conducted approximately 130 metres from a hydrocarbon facility. For more information see the Safety Alerts page.
New well integrity guidance rolled out to industry
NOPSEMA has published a suite of new well integrity guidance following amendments to Part 5 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011. For more information see the New well integrity guidance rolled out to industry page.
NOPSEMA releases Annual offshore performance report
NOPSEMA has released its Annual offshore performance report containing key industry performance data for the 2015 calendar. To read the report see the Data reports and statistics page.
NOPSEMA provides BP opportunity to modify drilling environment plan
On 16 May 2016, NOPSEMA provided BP an opportunity to modify and resubmit their environment plan for exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight. If BP accepts this opportunity, the modified plan is expected to be resubmitted by 15 July, at which time NOPSEMA will recommence the assessment. For more information see the NOPSEMA provides BP opportunity to modify drilling environment plan page.
Frequently asked questions
NOPSEMA has published answers to a number of frequently asked questions to clarify the offshore petroleum environmental regulatory process and NOPSEMA's role as regulator.
New online submission portal for environment plans
As part of NOPSEMA's commitment to continuous improvement in the use of digital technology and to reduce regulatory burden on industry, NOPSEMA has developed a new online submission portal for environment plans and financial assurance documents which is now live. For more information see the New online submission portal for environment plans page.
Offshore petroleum environmental approvals
NOPSEMA has published a new brochure on the offshore petroleum environmental regulatory process in Commonwealth waters. For more information see NOPSEMA's Brochure - Offshore petroleum environmental approvals - May 2017 (PDF 501KB).
New guideline on consultation
NOPSEMA has published a new guideline describing how it considers consultation requirements when assessing an environment plan. To read the Assessment of Environment Plans: Deciding on Consultation Requirements guideline (GL1629) see the Consultation process page.
New safety case guidance
NOPSEMA has published a new guidance note on emergency planning (GN1053), the last of a planned suite, and a guidance note providing a cross reference of safety case content requirements with the specific guidance notes which address them. To view the guidance notes see the Safety Case Guidance Notes page.
Oil spill preparedness workshop
On 2 May, NOPSEMA is co-hosting a half day workshop for industry and regulators on the oil spill preparedness topic of ‘How Much is Enough?’. To register see email email@example.com with the subject line: Expression of Interest, APPEA OSR Forum – IOPER Joint Workshop, 2nd May 2016.
Submission to the Senate Inquiry
NOPSEMA has made a submission to the Inquiry into oil and gas production in the Great Australian Bight. To read NOPSEMA's submission see aph.gov.au.
Guidance for HSRs on PINs
NOPSEMA has written a guideline to provide additional clarification for health and safety representatives (HSRs) on how to complete a Provisional OHS Improvement Notice (PIN). The guideline (GL0517), along with a revised template of the PIN form, can be found on the safety Enforcement page.
Vessels subject to the Australian offshore petroleum safety legislation
NOPSEMA has published a new guidance note intended to assist the Australian offshore petroleum industry establish when a vessel is subject to Schedule 3 of the OPGGS Act 2006, and associated regulations. The guidance note (GN1661) is available on the Safety Case Guidance Notes page.
Environment alert highlights change management processes
NOPSEMA has published an environment alert in relation to the proper application of the management of change (MoC) control measure. NOPSEMA is concerned inadequate or poorly applied MoC procedures may fail to continually identify and reduce environmental impacts and risks to levels that are as low as reasonably practical (ALARP). To read the environment alert see the Environment Alerts page.
NOPSEMA resumes environmental assessment for exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight
On 15 March, BP resubmitted their environment plan for proposed exploration drilling in the Great Australia Bight. NOPSEMA will now resume its assessment against the requirements of the Environment Regulations. To stay up-to-date with the status of the assessment, expected decision dates and decisions made subscribe to the Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program submission page.
NOPSEMA to participate in oil spill prevention and preparedness conference
From 2-6 May, NOPSEMA will be participating in Australia’s premier event for those working in and around oil spill prevention, preparedness and response. Spillcon 2016 will be held in Perth WA and boasts an exceptional line-up of international and Australian speakers. NOPSEMA will deliver two presentations and specialists will be available for discussion on all related matters at NOPSEMA’s exhibition booth. For more information visit spillcon.com.
NOPSEMA has published a new guideline for operators outlining NOPSEMA's expectations relating to the inspection, maintenance and testing of TEMPSC (Totally Enclosed Motor Propelled Survival Craft) on all facility types. The guideline describes the types of evidence NOPSEMA inspectors look for when verifying operators are maintaining TEMPSC in a fit for purpose condition at all times. The guideline can be found on the safety Guidance page.
NOPSEMA engages with IMCA on draft guidance note
On the 23 February 2015 NOPSEMA hosted a workshop with members and guests of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) seeking early feedback on the outline of draft guidance note relating to vessel facilities subject to external hydrocarbon hazards. NOPSEMA is currently drafting the guidance note which will be made available for wider industry comment in the coming months. To view the workshop presentation see the Presentations page.
National regulator releases seismic survey environment plan assessment for the Great Australian Bight
Media release - Published 12 January 2016
NOPSEMA has released the environment plan assessment of the seismic survey proposed to be undertaken in the Great Australian Bight by Bight Petroleum. The release of the plan concludes the multi-stage process of releasing documents to the public relating to the survey, which began in December 2014. The release of documents on this matter has been in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982. To read more see NOPSEMA's 'National regulator releases seismic survey environment plan assessment for the Great Australian Bight' media release.
Stakeholder engagement and transparency work program update
NOPSEMA recently completed consultation regarding a range of changes to policy and guidance with the intention of improving environmental management consultation and decision-making processes for the offshore petroleum industry. This work has been undertaken as part of NOPSEMA’s Stakeholder Engagement and Transparency Work Program. For more information on the work program, the result of work undertaken to date and proposed changes see the Stakeholder engagement and transparency page.
MODU mooring systems in cyclonic conditions – Information paper
On 20 August 2015, NOPSEMA hosted a workshop with 50 industry participants to develop and disseminate the key issues and findings from the Atwood Osprey mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) mooring failure incident. Workshop participants highlighted the need to re-evaluate MODU mooring arrangements ahead of the impending cyclone season. Further, participants contemplated and contributed to a NOPSEMA information paper addressing the key issues. This information paper has now been published: IP1631 - MODU mooring systems in cyclonic conditions - Rev 0 - December 2015 (PDF 220KB).
Well Integrity - New guidance
Amendments to Part 5 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011 will commence from 1 January 2016. NOPSEMA is publishing a series of guidance notes to assist titleholders to comply with their well integrity responsibilities under the amended regulations. To view the first in this series of guidance notes see the Well Integrity Resources page.
Hammelmann Australia Pty Ltd convicted and fined
On 14 December 2015, Hammelmann Australia Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $20,000 in the Magistrates’ Court of Western Australia, for breaching their duty to comply with the duties of care owed by manufacturers of equipment under clause 12 of Schedule 3 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. For more information see NOPSEMA's 'Hammelmann Australia Pty Ltd - convicted and fined' announcement.
Stena Clyde fatalities - Summary of facts
The Summary of facts used in the criminal proceedings against Stena Drilling Australia is now available on NOPSEMA's website. For more information see NOPSEMA's 'Stena Clyde fatalities - Summary of facts' announcement.
NOPSEMA's assessment of the Great Australian Bight Drilling Program
Stakeholder interest continues in relation to NOPSEMA's assessment of the Great Australian Bight Drilling Program environment plan submitted by BP. Information on the progress of NOPSEMA's assessment will be updated here when available.
Administering campaign emails sent to NOPSEMA
Ensuring that a titleholder has considered and addressed the concerns of relevant persons is an important part of NOPSEMA’s environment plan assessment process. Recent campaign correspondence received by NOPSEMA relating to BP’s proposed drilling activities in the Great Australian Bight will be forwarded to BP for consideration. For more information see the 'Administering campaign emails sent to NOPSEMA' update.
Safety alert 61 highlights the risks associated with electric storage batteries
NOPSEMA has published a safety alert in relation to a fire that occurred in the battery room on a production facility. This incident has highlighted the potential for thermal runaway events, specifically, when there is short circuit between two or more battery banks of uninterruptible power supply. To read the safety alert see the Safety alerts page.
BP drilling proposal to undergo further assessment
Media release - Published 28 October 2015
NOPSEMA has advised BP that it will be taking additional time to reach an initial decision on a proposal to undertake exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight. To read more see NOPSEMA's 'BP drilling proposal to undergo further assessment' media release.
NOPSEMA receives first environment plan submission for proposed drilling in the Great Australian Bight
On 1 October 2015, BP submitted an environment plan for proposed exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight to NOPSEMA for assessment. For more information about NOPSEMA’s assessment process and the submission please click here.
NOPSEMA's Program endorsed under the EPBC Act
The independent review of NOPSEMA’s environmental management authorisation process (the Program), endorsed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), is complete. For more information or to read the Program Review Report see the Environment page.
Stena Drilling Australia Pty Ltd convicted and fined
On 3 September 2015 the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria imposed a criminal penalty of $330,000 against Stena Drilling Australia Pty Ltd for their failure to implement and maintain systems of work that were safe and without risk to health as required under clause 9(2)(d) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006.
Stena Drilling Australia Pty Ltd pleads guilty
The sentencing hearing for the fatalities that occurred on the Stena Clyde mobile offshore drilling unit was held on 26 August 2015. Stena Drilling Australia Pty Ltd entered a plea of guilty to the charge of failing as an employer to take all reasonably practicable steps to implement and maintain systems of work that were safe and without risk to health. The decision on the penalty was adjourned to 3 September 2015.
Environmental streamlining in coastal waters
The Department of Industry and Science is seeking public comment on key documents relating to the authorisation process for streamlining petroleum activities in South Australian and Northern Territory waters. To submit feedback or for further information regarding the process please visit industry.gov.au.
Report highlights Australia's offshore petroleum industry performance
NOPSEMA released its 2014 Annual offshore performance report at the APPEA Oil and Gas Conference & Exhibition in Melbourne on 18 May 2015. The report provides the offshore petroleum industry, workforce, and wider community with key industry performance data to 31 December 2014. To view the Annual offshore performance report click here.
NOPSEMA is participating in this year’s National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies annual exercise (Exercise Westwind). The aim of the exercise is to simulate a coordinated response by the Australian and Western Australian governments and the offshore petroleum industry to a Level 3 maritime environmental emergency. The exercise will take place in Perth and Exmouth, WA and Canberra, ACT in late May and early June and have separate strategic and operational components. For further information visit industry.gov.au.
Changes to the EP Submissions and Summaries web page
NOPSEMA has enhanced its environment plan (EP) Submissions and Summaries web page to increase the accessibility and transparency of information about petroleum and greenhouse gas activities in Commonwealth waters. Key changes include a subscription/email alert function, activity description overviews and location maps. Users now have the ability to search and filter activities according to the titleholder, type and region. To view the EP Submissions and Summaries Search page click here.
Environmental cost recovery guidance
NOPSEMA has updated its guidance on environmental management cost recovery under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Regulations 2004. The guideline clarifies NOPSEMA's approach to regulatory requirements and has effect from the date of publication. To view the Environmental management cost recovery guideline click here.
EPBC Act streamlining review
An independent review of NOPSEMA’s performance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) streamlined arrangements has commenced. For more information about the review see the Environmental Management page.
Financial assurance arrangements
On 1 January 2015, titleholders will be required to demonstrate to NOPSEMA that they meet the financial assurance requirements of section 571(2) of the OPGGS Act. For finalised NOPSEMA guidance on financial assurance requirements see the Financial Assurance page.
Consultation on wells regulations
The Department of Industry and Science is conducting consultation sessions with interested stakeholders on the draft amendments to Part 5 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011. To register for the sessions or for more information visit industry.gov.au.
Update on Stena Clyde investigation
Legal proceedings have commenced through the Magistrates' Court of Victoria. For more information see NOPSEMA's Media release - Update on Stena Clyde investigation - 26 Aug 2014 (PDF 123KB).
Successful prosecution of employer in relation to diving incident
Technip has been convicted and fined by the Perth Magistrates Court following specific health and safety breaches. For more information see NOPSEMA's Announcement - Successful prosecution of employer in relation to diving incident - 6 August 2014 (PDF 131KB).
Clarifying arrangements for environmental regulation in Commonwealth waters
On 28 February 2014, NOPSEMA became the sole regulator of petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters in an effort to reduce duplication of environmental assessment processes. Amendments to the Environment Regulations also clarified and simplified regulatory requirements and regulatory practice. For NOPSEMA guidance on the amendments to the Environment Regulations see the Environmental Management page.
Report highlights important lessons for the Australian offshore petroleum industry
Farewell message from the CEO
Jane Cutler, CEO of NOPSA and the inaugural CEO of NOPSEMA, has released a 'Farewell from the CEO' message reflecting on her five year tenure.
Review of Well Integrity Regulations
The Department of Industry is currently undertaking a review of Part 5 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011. For more information see the Department of Industry's website.
Announcement on Stena Clyde investigation
NOPSEMA is continuing to investigate the accident which claimed the the lives of two members of the workforce during drilling operations on the Stena Clyde mobile offshore drilling unit on 27 August 2012. For more information see NOPSEMA's Announcement - Update on investigation into fatalities on Stena Clyde drilling rig - 16 June 2014 (PDF 100KB).
Streamlining environmental approval processes
The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET) has released draft Terms of Reference for the proposed structure of a strategic assessment of the environmental management authorisation process for petroleum activities administered by NOPSEMA. For more information visit ret.gov.au/streamlining.
NOPSEMA responds to 60 Minutes
NOPSEMA has provided written comment to Channel Nine's '60 Minutes' relating to the program’s story on oil spill response measures. To read NOPSEMA's correspondence with 60 Minutes please click here.
NOPSEMA publishes revised guidance on noise management in the offshore workplace
NOPSEMA has published updated guidance notes entitled noise exposure standards and noise management. To read the guidance (Revision 4 June 2013) see the Safety Resources page under the Safety tab at nopsema.gov.au
Report signals challenges and opportunities for improved safety performance
NOPSEMA at SPILLCON 8-12 April 2013
NOPSEMA is a proud supporter of the International Oil Spill Prevention and Preparedness Conference (Spillcon) in Cairns. NOPSEMA’s CEO and General Manager Environment will be participating in panel sessions at the conference. While in Cairns on 8 April, NOPSEMA will facilitate the Offshore Petroleum Forum on spill preparedness and response to identify ways to improve oil spill capability between industry and government. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Environment Regulations review issues paper released
As part of the Environment Regulations review, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism has released an issues paper. To read the issue paper for more information see ret.gov.au.
OSMP Information Paper public comments due 31 March 2012
The Operational and Scientific Monitoring Programs (OSMP) Information Paper was released for public comment in December 2012. If you intend to review the document please email your comments to OSMP@nopsema.gov.au by the due date to ensure that your input can be considered prior to finalisation of the document.
APPEA HSR and Safety Workforce Forum - 12 November 2012
HSR's from all jurisdictions meet, exchange information and develop strategies to assist in the management of offshore safety issues in the workplace. NOPSEMA will participate in the 2012 APPEA HSR Forum which will be held in the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Western Australia. For more details see the APPEA HSR Forum website.
Email and document security classifications and sensitivity markers
Environment plan assessment timeframes
NOPSEMA has published an overview of the assessment timeframe for an environment plan from submission to acceptance by petroleum activity type during the period 1 March 2012 to 1 Sept 2012. To read the overview see WITHRAWN-Environment plan assessment timeframes by petroleum activity type - 1 January to 30 June 2012 (PDF 140KB).
Successful prosecution over Montara platform blowout
Independent investigation into fatal incident on Stena Clyde, Bass Strait
Fatalities on offshore drilling facility, Bass Strait
Environment Plan Guidance Note
On Thursday 31 May 2012, NOPSEMA instigated an industry workshop to inform and seek feedback from titleholders and operators on the Environment Plan Guidance Note (EPGN) project. For more information see Environment Guidance Note Development Workshop - Feedback and NOPSEMA response - June 2012 (PDF 131KB).
Cost Recovery Impact Statement (CRIS) 2012-2014
Cost recovery is accomplished through a system of levies on duty holders. NOPSEMA has prepared a new CRIS to consolidate the three separate cost recovery arrangements. For more information see the Cost Recovery and Levies page.
New incident reporting form
NOPSEMA is reducing the burden on operators by providing a single form for reporting both OHS and environmental incidents. The two existing incident report forms will be withdrawn. See FM0831 - Report of an accident, dangerous occurrence or environmental incident - Rev 8 - Jan 2015 (DOCX 127KB) on the Safety Resource - Forms page.
Handbook for health and safety representatives
The legislative framework for offshore petroleum safety makes clear provision for workforce representation. NOPSEMA has developed a Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) Handbook taking account of relevant legislation as at 1 January 2012. Te HSR's handbook can be found on the Health and Safety Representatives page.
Varanus Island report reinforces need for continuous improvement
Report flags safety lessons for offshore petroleum industry
NOPSEMA releases environmental management inspection policy
PL0973 - Petroleum environmental inspections - Rev 3 - March 2015 (PDF 175KB) on the Environmental Resources page explains the legal basis for inspections and NOPSEMA’s application of powers and responsibilities.
Second Triennial Review Report released
The Second Triennial Review Report of NOPSA's operational effectiveness was completed in November 2011. Read the report on our Corporate Plans and Reports page. The Independent Review Panel presented the report to the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon. Martin Ferguson, on 29 November 2011.
New regulator for offshore safety and environment ready to start in 2012
Competent and respected safety regulator - findings of independent review
NOPSEMA's new environment responsibilities - Jan 2012
On 7 December 2011 the Federal Executive Council approved amendments to legislation governing environmental management arrangements for offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage activities in Commonwealth waters. These amendments, which came into effect on 1 January 2012, are summarised in the Information paper - Changes to environmental management arrangements for offshore petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters - December 2011 (). The approval of these amendments mean that NOPSEMA's role expands to include not only the regulation of occupational health and safety, wells and well operations, but also the structural integrity of facilities and environmental management within Commonwealth waters. From 1 January 2012, the amalgamation of these functions into a new agency, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is expected to reduce regulatory burden on industry and standardise Australia's offshore petroleum regulation to a best practice model.
Keeping you informed
In mid-October, consecutive workshops were held and there were several Presentations in Perth and Melbourne to consult with industry on the new arrangements for regulation of Environment Plans, regulatory requirements, levy structures and expectations from government, the regulator and from industry. At the 2011 APPEA National Environment Conference, NOPSA provided further information relating to the transition from NOPSA to NOPSEMA:
- Information booklet - New arrangements for offshore petroleum environmental management regulation - November 2011 (PDF 4.1MB)
- National Regulator Bill for legislation information