NOPTA News Issue 01—November 2011

Welcome

Welcome to the inaugural issue of NOPTA News, the National Offshore Petroleum Title Administrator's (NOPTA) newsletter for stakeholders.

On 15 September 2011 the Australian Parliament passed a package of amendments to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act) and associated Acts that implement a number of major reforms to the regulation of upstream petroleum in Commonwealth offshore areas.

These reforms had been announced on 25 May 2011 by the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, when he released the government's responses to the 'Productivity Commission Review of Regulatory Burden on the Upstream Petroleum (Oil & Gas) Sector' and the 'Report of the Montara Commission of Inquiry'.

The reforms include creating NOPTA in the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET) to advise the Joint Authorities on petroleum titles in Commonwealth offshore areas and to administer titles and data. NOPTA will also advise the responsible Commonwealth Minister on greenhouse gas storage titles in these areas. It is intended that NOPTA will also administer mining titles in Commonwealth offshore areas subject to necessary amendments to the Offshore Minerals Act 1994. NOPTA will operate on a full cost recovery basis.

Other major reforms include expanding the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) to become the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

NOPSEMA will be the regulator of occupational health and safety, integrity of facilities, wells and well related equipment, environmental management and day-to-day petroleum and greenhouse gas storage activities in Commonwealth offshore areas.

The Government is committed to NOPTA and NOPSEMA commencing operations on 1 January 2012.

The NOPTA Establishment Team within the Resources Division of RET is working with states and Northern Territory regulators, NOPSA, Geoscience Australia and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) to implement the new regulatory arrangements in as seamless a manner as possible.

This newsletter is intended to provide a regular update on the establishment of NOPTA. Your feedback and comments are welcome and I look forward to working with you.

Mr Graeme Waters
General Manager, NOPTA