Before petroleum recovery operations can commence (outside of exploration and appraisal), you must have:
Further information on rate of recovery and equipment and procedures is on NOPTA’s website.
A titleholder should also consider if a pipeline licence and/or an infrastructure licence is required.
Approvals relating to safety, well and facility integrity, and environmental management will also be required from NOPSEMA.
A titleholder may apply for a production licence under Part 2.4 or Schedule 4 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (the Act). Schedule 4 relates to the Offshore Petroleum (Royalty) Act 2006.
Part 4 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011 (RMAR) applies to FDPs and rates of recovery.
Development drilling should not begin until the FDP is accepted.
Please allow up to six months for a production licence application or FDP application to be determined. The time taken will depend on the quality of the submission.
Before a titleholder submits a production licence or FDP application (including FDP variation), they should discuss timeframes and process with NOPTA.
As there is no further information process for a FDP, NOPTA offers to review the FDP in preliminary (draft) form before a titleholder submits the FDP application.
A production licence application must include:
NOPTA may request further information from the applicant to support the licence assessment process.
If the application relates to a Royalty Act title, the State will consult with the applicant on the rate of royalty and make a recommendation to the Joint Authority. Other titles are subject to Petroleum Resource Rent Tax.
A FDP application must include:
Production licence and FDP applications are submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. NOPTA provides advice to the Joint Authority as the decision-maker. The Joint Authority may apply conditions to a production licence or a FDP.
The supporting information must include evidence that the block(s) contains petroleum and set out details of the applicant’s proposals for work and expenditure in relation to the block(s). For example:
The minimum content requirements for a FDP are set out in Reg. 4.07 of the RMAR.
The FDP is generally expected to include:
For the Joint Authority to accept a FDP, the FDP must also demonstrate that the titleholder will manage the field in a manner that is:
While a variation may need to be submitted in other instances, a titleholder must apply for acceptance of a variation of an FDP if (regulation 4.08):
For a major change, the application for a variation to the accepted FDP must be made at least 90 days before the major change (Reg. 4.09).
A variation of a FDP follows the same process and timeframes as the acceptance of a FDP. Titleholders are encouraged to make use of the pFDP gap analysis feedback process offered by NOPTA.
1 - A major change under Reg. 4.01 includes, but is not limited to, the following proposed actions by a titleholder:
Under section s166 of the Act the Joint Authority has a discretionary power to terminate life-of-field production licence if no petroleum recovery operations have been carried on at any time during a continuous period of at least five years (noting this excludes any period where operations were not carried on because of circumstances beyond the licensee’s control). This power is applied on a case by case basis.
Generally, petroleum recovery operations are considered to be all actions required to recover petroleum. This includes action preparatory to undertaking petroleum recovery operations, for example significant investment in capital, drilling wells for the purpose of production and the construction of production platforms and facilities.
If you have any questions about this factsheet, please contact NOPTA via email@example.com.
Please note: this document is intended as a guide only and should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for legal advice in individual cases.