Safety case

A facility cannot be constructed, installed, operated, modified or decommissioned without a safety case in force for that stage in the life of the facility.

The operator of a facility must submit the safety case to NOPSEMA with either a NOPSEMA pro-forma cover sheet or a covering letter stating that it is being submitted for assessment. Since it is the operator that must submit the safety case, registration of the operator must be completed (and a scope of validation for a proposed facility agreed) prior to safety case submission.

The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety) Regulations 2009 (OPGGS(S)) set out the requirements for the contents of safety cases. These Regulations state that NOPSEMA may, by notice in writing, require the operator of a proposed facility or an existing facility, to provide a validation in respect of the proposed facility or in respect of a proposed significant change to an existing facility.


NOPSEMA has developed a policy on validation. In order to deliver a consistent approach to validation of proposed facilities or to significant change to existing facilities, NOPSEMA has recently reviewed and reinforced its internal processes to ensure that an administrative process is in place that is accurately aligned with the requirements of the legislation. Once a validation is requested by NOPSEMA, an operator may not submit the safety case for a facility before the operator and NOPSEMA have agreed on the scope of validation for the proposed facility or proposed significant change to an existing facility.

In general, the regulations impose safety case assessment time frames on NOPSEMA:

  • NOPSEMA has 90 days in which to provide notification to the operator on acceptance or rejection of a new safety case, or that NOPSEMA is unable to make a decision (and set out a proposed timetable for its consideration of the safety case)

  • NOPSEMA has 30 days to provide a similar notification in relation to a revised safety case

During the assessment period, NOPSEMA may formally request further written information in relation to any safety case sumitted.

See information on the safety case approach which includes background on the use of Safety Cases.