Pipeline licences

Part 2.6 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (the Act) allows a person to apply for a pipeline licence.

The 'Grant of a pipeline licence & related matters guideline' (guideline) provides detailed information of the requirements and processes involved in obtaining a pipeline licence.

This fact sheet should be read in conjunction with the above legislation and the guideline.

When is a pipeline licence required?

A pipeline licence is required for pipes, or a system of pipes, that convey petroleum. A pipeline licence is not required for secondary lines.

What is a secondary line?

A secondary line is defined in the Act to be a pipe:

  • or system of pipes, that returns petroleum to a reservoir (eg re-injection lines)
  • that conveys petroleum for use in exploration operations
  • that conveys petroleum for use in recovery operations (eg fuel gas lines feeding platforms that use the fuel gas to run turbines)
  • that conveys petroleum that is to be flared or vented (eg pipes that feed a sub-sea vent)
  • that conveys petroleum from a well, wherever located, to a terminal station without passing through another terminal station.

A terminal station is one that is declared by NOPTA, which can be a specified pumping station, a specified tank station or a specified valve station. The decision to declare any of these to be a terminal station is on a case by case basis.

If a decision is made to declare a station as a terminal station, the pipe downstream of the terminal station will not be a secondary line. Consequently, the pipe downstream of the terminal station will require a pipeline licence.

Who can apply for a pipeline licence?

A person (individual or body corporate, or a group of any of these) may apply for a pipeline licence.

However, the legislative framework provides the titleholder of the production licence, from where the pipeline starts, a preferential right to be granted a pipeline licence. If the applicant for the pipeline licence is different to the collective titleholders of the production licence, the titleholders of the production licence have the right to submit their own application for a pipeline licence and request that the original pipeline licence application be rejected. Only after substantial consultation will the Joint Authority offer the pipeline licence to an applicant who is not the holder of the production licence.

How do I apply for a pipeline licence?

The application form for a pipeline licence can be found on the forms webpage and can be submitted electronically to titles@nopta.gov.au or in hard copy to NOPTA's Perth office.

Is there other information I should include?

The information required to accompany an application is significant. It is expected that information surrounding the steps taken to minimise the interference of the pipeline on other activities also be included.

A detailed summary of consultation with third parties should include the identities of third parties, dates when they were contacted, issues raised, completed and proposed resolutions as well as intentions for further consultation.

More information

If you have any specific questions regarding your report please contact titles@nopta.gov.au.

Please note: this fact sheet 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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