Open for comment: NOPSEMA releases offshore project proposal for public comment

Media release - Published 13 July, 2017

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has released the first Offshore Project Proposal (OPP) for public comment. The Barossa Area Development OPP, submitted by ConocoPhillips Australia Exploration Pty Ltd, is available on NOPSEMA’s website ( and open for public comment for a period of eight weeks ending on 6 September 2017.

"Providing the public with opportunities for participation and consultation is an integral part of an environmental impact assessment and assists in ensuring responsible offshore petroleum environmental management," said Mr Stuart Smith, CEO. All interested parties are encouraged to review the OPP and submit comments to NOPSEMA.

Introduced in 2014, an OPP is a regulatory permissioning document required for all proposed offshore projects in Commonwealth waters. It covers offshore activities including production drilling, the construction and installation of facilities and infrastructure such as pipelines, the recovery of petroleum and associated operation of facilities, through to decommissioning.

An OPP provides a mechanism for the potential environmental impacts and risks of petroleum activities conducted over the life of a proposed offshore project to be assessed. It is a requirement of the OPP process that the public are provided an opportunity to scrutinise and comment on the OPP.

If NOPSEMA determines a proponent has not evaluated and addressed public comment adequately or the final OPP does not meet all of the requirements of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009 then NOPSEMA cannot approve the OPP.

Approved OPPs will be published in full and available to the public through NOPSEMA’s website. Interested parties may also subscribe to receive the latest environmental management news, including the publication of OPPs. To subscribe, or for further information about OPPs, visit


The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is Australia's independent expert regulator for health and safety, environmental management, structural and well integrity for offshore petroleum facilities and activities in Commonwealth waters.

By law, offshore petroleum activities cannot commence before NOPSEMA has assessed and accepted detailed risk management plans documenting and demonstrating how an organisation will manage the risks to health and safety to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) and the risk to the environment to ALARP and with acceptable environmental impacts.

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