The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
(RET) is currently developing regulations and
guidelines to support the greenhouse gas (GHG)
part of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Storage Act
2009 (Act) which came into effect on 21
The regulations covering GHG titles and GHG operations will
comprise five different sets of regulations:
Petroleum-like (well operations, data and datum)
GHG Specific Regulations.
Fees Regulations and Environmental Regulations
These regulations will be incorporated in to the existing
petroleum regulations, making them dual purpose to cover both
petroleum and GHG operations.
RET has advised that they have already finalised the Fees
Regulations (which came into effect on 1 July 2009) by making minor
changes to the:
It is important to note that application fees for GHG assessment
permits (both work and cash bidding applications) and GHG search
authorities have been set at zero in the new Fees Regulations.
The intent here is to mirror relevant parts of the existing
Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Management of Safety on Offshore
Facilities) Regulations 1996 to cover GHG operations in the interim
(as the Act already provides for the National Offshore Petroleum
Safety Authority's (NOPSA) regulation of offshore GHG
operations). The final measure will be to merge the Safety
Regulations with the existing petroleum safety regulations,
following the petroleum regulation consolidation process (currently
being undertaken by the Offshore Petroleum Branch of the RET), to
cover safety matters relating to both petroleum and GHG
These regulations will mirror the:
Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Management of Well Operations)
As is the case with the Safety Regulations, the above proposal
is an interim measure pending the conclusion of the petroleum
regulation consolidation process.
The RET is also reviewing the existing Petroleum (Submerged
Lands) (Data Management) Regulations 2004 with a view to removing
the data management plan requirement of those regulations to reduce
regulatory hurdles for the industry.
GHG Specific Regulations
These regulations will be targeted to specific GHG operations
such as injection and storage. The major components of the GHG
Specific Regulations will be provisions relating to declarations,
site plans, significant impact tests and the reporting and
recording of incidents.
After ongoing discussions with stakeholders, RET has issued
drafting instructions to the Office of Legislative Drafting to
commence drafting of these regulations.
It is expected that all regulations in relation to GHG titles
and operations will be finalised towards the end of March 2010.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This legal update is an overview of existing eligible project activities and new project types proposed to be developed.
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