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Member Country Profile - Australia

Country: Australia
Organisation: National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority
Regime Scope: Offshore petroleum operations or greenhouse gas storage operations in respect of:
  • Health and safety;
  • Well Integrity;
  • Environmental Management.
Administering Agency /Arrangements: Established under statute i.e. Commonwealth (federal) government agency, a body corporate,CEO reports direct to Commonwealth Minister for Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and to the State and Northern Territory Ministers via the Ministerial Council on Minerals, Petroleum and Resources. Legislated formal external review of operations every 3-5 years.
Legislation Type: Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act (2006) and associated regulations for Commonwealth Waters. State Governments have option to confer same responsibilities in State Waters via State 'mirror' legislation.
Extent Of Government Approval: Acceptance of nomination of the operator of a facility;
Agreement to the scope of validation;
Acceptance of:
  • safety cases,
  • diving safety management systems,
  • well operations management plans and
  • environment plans.
Nature Of Duties Imposed: General OHS duties imposed on operators of facilities, people in control of particular work, employers and other duty-holders. Titleholders have an OHS duty in respect of the integrity of wells. Duties are mainly performance based (health and safety risks are reduced to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable) but some occupational health prescription. Regulations require that prior to commencing relevant activities, duty holders must have accepted by NOPSEMA (i) a safety case for facilities (ii) a well operations plan and (iii) an environment plan. Duty holders are required to operate in accordance with the accepted arrangements.
Physical Objects In The Regime: Approximately 30 platforms, 15 FPSO/FSOs, 10 MODUs, 10 Vessels and 90 pipeline facilities. Entry into regime is decided on the basis of the activity performed by the facility. In addition objects include all non-abandoned wells in waters regulated by NOPSEMA.
Assurance Mechanisms: Inspections of facilities by NOPSA OHS and Petroleum Project Inspectors, Validation in certain circumstances by 3rd party (employed by operator). Enforcement through notices issued by inspectors.
Environmental Regulation Responsibilities: Environmental regulation responsibilities commenced on January 2012. The objective of these regulations is to ensure that any offshore petroleum activity is carried out in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development and in accordance with an accepted environment plan that has appropriate environmental performance objectives and standards and measurement criteria for determining whether the objectives and standards have been met.
Oil Spill Response: NOPSEMA is the Statutory Agency responsible for the oversight of response actions to pollution events from offshore petroleum activities in areas of Commonwealth jurisdiction. Oil spill contingency plans are required to be submitted to NOPSEMA as part of the environment plan prior to commencement of an activity. NOPSEMA is not an oil spill combat agency.
Transparency: Website, monthly newsletter including numerical inspection and incident data, industry anonymised aggregate health and safety statistics, safety case, well integrity and environment plan guidance notes, information brochures
Financial Basis: Full cost recovery through prescribed levies and cost based levy on major investigations.
Profile Author: Jane Cutler
Chief Executive Officer
NOPSA
Profile Date: 1 January 2012

 

 
 

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