The National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA or TA) is a statutory position (not an independent agency), and is a branch of the Resources Division within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

NOPTA's key functions in Commonwealth waters are to:

  • provide information, assessments, analysis, reports, advice and recommendations to members of the Joint Authorities and the 'responsible Commonwealth Minister' in relation to the performance of those ministers' functions and the exercise of their powers
  • facilitate life of title administration, including but not limited to Joint Authority consideration of changes to permit conditions, and approval and registration of transfers and dealings associated with offshore petroleum titles
  • manage the collection, management and release of data
  • oversee the keeping of the registers of petroleum and greenhouse gas storage titles.

States and the Northern Territory (NT) maintain a titles administrator role in state/NT waters.

NOPTA's offices are located in Perth and Melbourne.

Offshore Resources Branch (ORB)

The function of the ORB is to provide the Australian Government with high-quality upstream offshore petroleum-related policy advice, including supporting the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia in his role as the Commonwealth member of the Joint Authorities for the offshore areas of each state and the Northern Territory, and as the Joint Authority for the offshore areas of the External Territories and of Eastern Greater Sunrise.

Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia

Information on the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia is available on the department's website at:
The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP—Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia

History of NOPTA

The Productivity Commission (PC) 'Review of Regulatory Burden on the Upstream Petroleum (Oil & Gas) Sector' (April 2009) identified significant unnecessary regulatory burden on the sector.

The PC Review made 30 recommendations including the establishment of a national offshore petroleum regulator in Commonwealth waters and the implementation of regulatory best practice.

The Varanus Island gas pipeline explosion in 2008 and the uncontrolled release of oil and gas from the Montara Wellhead Platform in 2009 also highlighted inadequacies in the offshore petroleum regulatory regime.

The June 2010 'Report of the Montara Commission of Inquiry' recommended that the PC’s proposal to establish a national offshore petroleum regulator should be pursued at a minimum.

The Montara Commission recommended that a single, independent regulatory body should be created, looking after safety as a primary objective, along with well integrity and environmental approvals.

The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Act 2011 (the National Regulator Amendment Act) and associated Acts were passed by the Australian Parliament on 15 September 2011, and received Royal Assent on 14 October 2011.

The National Regulator Amendment Act amended the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGSA) to establish NOPTA and expand the former National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority to become the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

As a result of these amendments, from 1 January 2012, NOPTA and NOPSEMA commenced regulatory functions and powers under the OPGGSA, and the former Designated Authorities were abolished. Amendments to regulations under the OPGGSA have also been made to fully reflect and implement the transfer of regulatory responsibilities from the Designated Authorities to NOPTA and NOPSEMA.

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