NOPSEMA has requested further information from BP Developments Australia relating to their environment plan for drilling of the Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 exploration wells in the Great Australian Bight. The requested information is expected to be provided by 28 October 2016, at which time NOPSEMA will recommence the assessment. BP can request an extension of this timeframe if required.
A request for further information is a normal part of NOPSEMA’s environment plan assessment process. NOPSEMA may request further information from a titleholder (the company proposing the activity) on any matter in an environment plan to inform its assessment of whether the plan does or does not meet the criteria for acceptance under the Environment Regulations. Once NOPSEMA has received the requested information it will become a part of the environment plan.
If a titleholder is able to demonstrate through their environment plan that they meet the criteria for acceptance then NOPSEMA must accept the plan. However, following a reasonable opportunity to modify and resubmit their environment plan, if a titleholder is unable to meet the criteria for acceptance NOPSEMA must refuse to accept the plan.
The Environment Regulations allow NOPSEMA to take as much time as required to ensure a professional, thorough and rigorous assessment is conducted.
As the national regulator, NOPSEMA’s responsibilities extend beyond assessments to on-site monitoring of compliance through planned inspections with powers to take enforcement action where necessary. NOPSEMA’s planned inspections provide assurance that an offshore petroleum activity is being managed in accordance with the accepted permissioning documents, that all equipment remains fit for its function or use, and that robust systems are in place to continually identify and control risks.