National Electronic Approvals Tracking System for offshore
petroleum now in operation
NEATS is expected to improve the timeliness,
accountability and transparency of offshore petroleum approval
The National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator
(NOPTA) launched the National Electronic Approvals
Tracking System (NEATS) on 7 May 2012. NEATS
is an electronic register providing public access to information
concerning offshore petroleum titles and applications.
NEATS provides a unified register of offshore petroleum titles
and applications. It replaces an assortment of registers previously
maintained by the respective State Departments (for example the
Petroleum and Geothermal Register maintained by the Department of
Mines and Petroleum WA1).
NEATS was developed as part of a broader reform process to
establish a single national regulator for offshore petroleum
activities in Commonwealth waters.
It is expected that the introduction of an electronic approvals
tracking system will improve the timeliness, accountability and
transparency of approval processes.
NEATS is being released in two stages.
The initial release comprises three main features:
a title register;
an approvals tracking mechanism; and
an interactive map.
Details of current petroleum titles are contained in the title
register. This includes details of exploration permits, retention
leases, production licenses, pipeline licenses, special prospecting
authorities and access authorities. NEATS enables users to find
title details such as location, size, current title holders, work
programs, blocks, locations, as well as registered title
instruments and agreements.
NEATS includes an approvals tracking screen which shows the
status and progress of all applications which require a decision of
the Joint Authority, including applications for the grant and
renewal of titles and variation, suspension and extension of title
The site also provides the ability to search for individual
applications and find further detail on the number of days an
application has spent at each stage of the assessment process.
The interactive map feature can be used to identify titles
geospatially and provides summary details of specific titles.
Further improvements to NEATS are currently in development. The
additional features that can be expected in the next release
an industry log-on with roles-based user management;
a company based task lists of work and applications in progress
and actions required;
online fee payment facilities;
application tracking in greater detail for applicants; and
a process for online lodgement of applications.
1 Note the Petroleum and Geothermal Register
(WA) continues to exist in respect of petroleum titles in onshore
and inland waters and also in respect of onshore petroleum
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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The article examines the regulation of the oil and gas industry and breaks down the regulatory process state by state.
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