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Government relations

Throughout the year NOPSEMA has undertaken significant engagement with other commonwealth and state government agencies.

DIIS, as the portfolio agency responsible for the offshore petroleum legislative regime administered by NOPSEMA, progressed a number of significant reform packages during 2018–19.

In addition to amendments to the Environment Regulations to provide greater transparency, NOPSEMA has been working closely with DIIS on the current review of the offshore safety regime. The review is being led by DIIS with the input of a Safety Stakeholder Group which includes representation from the offshore industry, the offshore workforce, unions and relevant government departments and regulatory bodies with responsibilities for the safety of workers.

NOPSEMA has also been working closely with DIIS and the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) to progress initiatives and reforms relating to the management of late life offshore assets and decommissioning. Consultation with stakeholders on decommissioning related initiatives was carried out during the period including the release of a DIIS discussion paper. NOPSEMA has also made a number of modifications to processes and improved interaction with NOPTA to ensure that information in relation to decommissioning and late life asset management is effectively collected from industry and shared between the agencies to improve regulatory, well integrity and environmental management outcomes.

NOPSEMA continued to engage closely with the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy and report to the Minister for the Environment and Energy in relation to its compliance with the endorsed environmental management authorisation process under the EPBC Act. The endorsed process requires that NOPSEMA does not accept an environment plan that would result in unacceptable impacts to matters protected under Part 3 of the EPBC Act. For more information on NOPSEMA’s performance see Appendix 2: EPBC Act streamlining performance report 2018–19.

During the period, NOPSEMA entered into a contract with the DEE to provide assessment services and technical expertise to inform decisions relating to offshore renewables projects and large scale offshore developments referred under the EPBC Act. NOPSEMA is working closely with DEE and relevant state government regulators to ensure a streamlined and technically robust process is in place for cross jurisdictional developments and emerging offshore renewables projects.

NOPSEMA continued to provide information and analysis to the relevant state and Northern Territory ministers on its assessments, inspections, investigations and enforcement actions. Engagement with state and Northern Territory governments on a number of initiatives to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden including aligning processes and conferring regulatory powers and functions was also undertaken during the year.

NOPSEMA maintained an active role in the Upstream Petroleum Resources Working Group (UPR) comprising Australian, state and Northern Territory government regulators and officials who collaborate to progress the upstream oil and gas reform agenda of the COAG Energy Council.