To ensure planning and management of increased levels of decommissioning activity, the Australian Government has made changes to the offshore oil and gas decommissioning framework.
These enhancements were made after extensive consultation with the public, industry and regulators. The first of a suite of measures will come into force on 2 March, 2022. The updated guidelines will assist the offshore oil and gas industry to understand and comply with the changes. The measures will strengthen and build on existing provisions in the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act) and regulations.
Policy, legislation and regulatory enhancements cover three themes – financial oversight, planning and management, accountability and trailing liability. Work is on to implement enhancements to the decommissioning framework over the coming years.
Changes to the legislation
The first stage of implementation included legislative amendments. The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Titles Administration and Other Measures) Act 2021 (Titles Administration Act) gives effect to key measures of the enhanced decommissioning framework. It also implements relevant recommendations from the independent Walker Review into the administration and liquidation of Northern Oil and Gas Australia.
The Titles Administration Act increases oversight of changes in titleholder control, expands existing trailing liability provisions, increases regulatory scrutiny of the suitability of companies operating, or looking to operate, within Australia’s offshore petroleum regulatory regime and expands information-gathering powers.
To give full effect to the changes in titleholder control and trailing liability measures, amendments were made to The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Act 2003 (Levies Act) and Regulations under the OPGGS Act and the Levies Act.
Under these amendments, a person who receives a remedial direction will need to comply with the same regulatory requirements as a titleholder. This includes environmental management and safety requirements. The amendments also include changes that enable the regulator and titles administrator to recover the costs associated with administering these measures. This means anyone receiving a remedial direction or applying for a change in titleholder control will need to pay associated levies and fees.
D&A Aus 2022
From 10-11 May, the first ever Decommissioning and Abandonment conference will be arriving in Perth, Australia to provide the offshore community with the best blueprint for the wave of decommissioning projects on the horizon. For more information, download the brochure here: https://offsnet.com/da-aus/conference-brochure
Global Accounts & Australasia Regional Manager
t: +64 289 900 118