National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) commenced operations on 1 January 2012.

NOPSEMA has regulatory responsibility for occupational health and safety, structural integrity of facilities, wells and well-related equipment, environmental management, and day-to-day operations of offshore petroleum facilities in Commonwealth waters, and in coastal waters where regulatory functions and powers have been conferred under State or Northern Territory legislation.

NOPSEMA is accountable to the Commonwealth Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, and provides nationally consistent safety and environmental regulation across the offshore petroleum industry to deliver world-best practice safety and environmental regulation for Australia.

2015 Operational Review of NOPSEMA

The 2015 Operational Review of NOPSEMA was a legislated requirement under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGSA). The 2015 Review was the first review of NOPSEMA since its establishment on 1 January 2012, and relates to the three-year period beginning on that date. Subsequent reviews will relate to successive five-year periods.

The Review considered the effectiveness of bringing about improvements in occupational health and safety, environmental management and well integrity. The Review was conducted by a Panel of subject-matter experts: Mr Ken Fitzpatrick, former Chief Executive of PTTEP Australasia (Chair); Mr Peter Wilkinson, an international expert in safety and risk management and Head of Risk at Noetic Solutions; and Mr David Agostini, Chairman of the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance. The Panel was supported by an independent consultancy, Noetic Solutions.

The Review was provided to the then Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, on 30 June 2015 and tabled in both Houses of Parliament on 16 September 2015.

Government Response

The Government Response to the 2015 Operational Review of NOPSEMA was tabled in both Houses of Parliament on 2 December 2015 by the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP.

The Government has considered and accepted 15 of the 16 Review Panel’s recommendations, noted one and supports the 26 Findings.

Of the 16 recommendations, implementation of 10 recommendations are the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer of NOPSEMA, one recommendation is the responsibility of Government, to be progressed by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. One recommendation is a joint responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer of NOPSEMA and the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator, and four recommendations are the joint responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer of NOPSEMA and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Submissions 

During the Review the Panel consulted with 39 organisations. Of these, 23 made written submissions and 10 agreed for their submissions to be made public. Below are links to the submissions received where the authors gave permission to publish. Those who declined to have their submissions published are not listed.

Implementation Progress Report

The Government Response to the 2015 Operational Review of NOPSEMA included a commitment to deliver an Implementation Progress Report to the responsible Commonwealth Minister by 31 August 2016.

The Implementation Progress Report details the work carried out in progressing the accepted recommendations.  Implementation of recommendations can be broadly categorised into: measures aimed at improving delivery of regulatory services; and policy and regulatory changes to deal with emerging technologies and other issues.

As outlined in the Report, implementation of the majority of recommendations is ongoing in nature with an element of continuous improvement.  Consequently, completion dates are only provided where relevant.

2011 NOPSA Operational Review Report

In accordance with section 695 of the OPGGSA, in 2011 a panel of experts with backgrounds drawn from across industry, government and corporate sectors undertook a review of the operations of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) (which expanded to become NOPSEMA from 1 January 2012).

The government responded to the 2011 NOPSA Operational Review in May 2012, following consultation with NOPSEMA, and those organisations that provided submissions to the Review Panel. The then Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, released the final Government Response to the 2011 NOPSA Operational Review on 25 May 2012.

In its response, the government considered and accepted all of the Review Panel’s Recommendations. Implementation of many of the recommendations was the responsibility of NOPSEMA, with a number jointly implemented by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and NOPSEMA. A comprehensive implementation plan accompanied the final response, and outlined the timeframe for implementing the accepted recommendations from the Review (see Related documents).

Related documents

More information

For more information about NOPSEMA, or for resource material relating to regulation of safety, well integrity or environmental management, see the NOPSEMA website.

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