Petroleum Title Dealings — Supplementary Instruments

All fact sheets should be read in conjunction with the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (the Act), associated regulations, relevant guidelines and policies (available on NOPTA’s website).

The Offshore Petroleum Guideline: Transfers and Dealings Related to Petroleum Titles (the Guideline) provides an overview of the requirements and processes involved with an application for approval and registration of a dealing.

This fact sheet provides guidance on completing supplementary instruments.

Supplementary instruments

The Act provides that an application for approval of a dealing may be accompanied by a supplementary instrument (s 489(2)).

Where the Titles Administrator (TA) approves a dealing, and a supplementary instrument has been provided, a copy of the supplementary instrument will be placed on the Titles Register and made available for public inspection in place of the full dealing (s 495(2)).

Purpose

A supplementary instrument is used where the original instrument evidencing the dealing contains information that the parties want kept confidential, such as commercially sensitive information.

Its purpose is to clearly describe the effect(s) of the dealing or transaction while preserving confidentiality.

As the supplementary instrument replaces the full dealing instrument on the Titles Register, it should enable a person inspecting the Titles Register to understand what the effect of the dealing is.

Integrity of the Titles Register

One of the TA’s legislative functions is to keep a register of offshore titles and petroleum special prospecting authorities (the Titles Register – s 469).

The Titles Register is a public record of matters relating to offshore petroleum titles, including commercial transactions such as dealings. It:

  • must be open for inspection by any person (s 515); and
  • is to be received in all courts and legal proceedings as prima facie evidence of all matters required or authorised to be entered in it (s 516).

The TA considers the integrity and accuracy of the Titles Register to be of significant importance.

Content

Information that must be included

Regulation 12.02(1) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011 (the Regulations) sets out the information that must be included in a supplementary instrument.

In summary, this includes:

  • a description of the dealing and its date of execution;
  • details of the petroleum title to which the dealing relates;
  • the name and business address of the parties to the dealing;
  • details of the effect(s) of the dealing upon registration;
  • details of the parties’ interests in the title before and after approval and registration of the dealing; and
  • details of any related dealings (regulation 12.02(2) defines a ‘related dealing’).

Level of detail

A supplementary instrument should contain, in plain English, as much information as possible about the legal effect(s) of the dealing.

Where the TA is not satisfied that sufficient detail has been provided the applicant may be requested to amend the supplementary instrument.

To assist applicants, a sample supplementary instrument, with guidance notes on addressing the required details (as prescribed by the Regulations), is appended to the PDF version of the fact sheet linked below.

More information

If you have any questions regarding petroleum title dealing supplementary instruments, please contact titles@nopta.gov.au.

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.

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