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Offshore/Onshore Operating Requirements

Offshore Petroleum Activities

The table below indicates the type of statutory documents required for different petroleum activities in Commonwealth and State waters. Refer to the text for further information.

Activity type
EP
RMP
Safety Case
WOMP
Surveys
y
n
n
n
Drilling
y
y
y
y
Production – platform
y
y
y
y
Production – non platform
y
y
y
y
Decommissioning
y
y
y
y

y= required, n= not required

Environment Plan (EP)

An EP is required for every petroleum activity, including geotechnical in Commonwealth and State waters. The following document "Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of an Environment Plan" provides guidance for companies on the EP regime and content.

Reservoir Management Plan (RMP)

A RMP is required for all well activities in Commonwealth and State waters. Contact departmental officers about the requirements of a RMP.

Safety Case

A Safety Case is required for all drilling and production activities. Occupational health and safety in Commonwealth and State waters for the petroleum industry is regulated by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority. Refer to their website www.nopsa.gov.au for further information.

Well Operations Management Plan (WOMP)

A WOMP is required for all activities associated with the drilling, completion, production and abandonment of wells in Commonwealth and State waters. Refer to the relevant regulations for guidance on the content of a WOMP.

Submission requirements

All statutory documents must be submitted as early as possible, but at least 30 days before commencement of activities, to allow sufficient time for regulators to assess and resubmission of inadequate documents. All documents must be submitted electronically and in hard copy to:

Aaron DeFina
General Manager, Technical Services
GPO Box 4440 Melbourne 3001
aaron.defina@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Other statutory requirements

Access Authority An access authority is required when exploration activities are conducted outside the permit area in limited areas in adjacent permits or vacant acreage. This typically applies to seismic activities.

Appointment of operator If the tenement holder is not the operator, the operator must be appointed in accordance with the relevant environment regulations.

Summary EP’s The operator must submit a summary EP for public disclosure within 10 days of acceptance of the EP in accordance with Regulation 11 of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Management of Environment) Regulations 1999.

List of the current summary Environment Plans.
Notification of incidents All incidents must be notified to the department in accordance with the relevant Regulations, on a dedicated incident mobile number 0419 597 010.

Useful websites

Australian Fisheries Management Authority for information about the management of Commonwealth fisheries
Australian Maritime Safety Authority for information about marine safety in Commonwealth water
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association for advice on management of offshore petroleum issues including their Code of Environmental Practice
Department of Climate Change for information about greenhouse gas emissions
Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts for information about the requirements of the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981
Geoscience Australia for further geoscientific information
Marine Safety Victoria for information about marine safety in State waters
National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority for information about occupational health and safety for the petroleum industry in Commonwealth and State waters
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism for further information on upstream petroleum in Commonwealth waters

Onshore Petroleum Activities

The table below indicates the type of statutory documents required for different onshore petroleum activities. Refer to the text for further information.

Activity type
DMP
Operation Plan
PDP
SDP
Surveys
y
y
n
n
Drilling
y
y
x
n
Production
y
y
y
y
Gathering lines
y
y
n
n
Decommissioning
y
y
y
n

y= required, n= not required

Operation Plan (OP)

An Operation Plan is required for all exploration and production activities. It is an all encompassing document which outlines environment, resource and safety management issues. Contact departmental officers about the requirements of a OP.

Production Development Plan (PDP)

A PDP is required for all production activities. The requirements of a PDP is outlined in the Petroleum Regulations 2000 and includes a reservoir management plan. Contact departmental officers for further information.

Storage Development Plan (SDP)

A SDP is required for the injection and storage of petroleum in a reservoir. The requirements of a SDP is outlined in the Petroleum Regulations 2000 and includes a reservoir management plan.Contact departmental officers for further information.

Submission requirements

All statutory documents must be submitted as early as possible, but at least 30 days before commencement of activities, to allow sufficient time for regulators to assess and resubmission of inadequate documents. All documents must be submitted electronically and in hard copy to:

Aaron DeFina
General Manager, Technical Services
GPO Box 4440 Melbourne 3001
aaron.defina@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Other statutory requirements

Planning permit exemption Section 118 of the Petroleum Act 1998 states the holder of an exploration permit does not need to obtain a planning permit under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
Consent to carry out operations The written consent of the Minister is required before commencement ofany petroleum operations on any land.
Land owners and occupiers consent Land owner and occupier consent or evidence of a compensation agreement is required on private land.

Rehabilitation bond A rehabilitation bond, in the form of a bank guarantee and in an amount determined by Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) is required.
Notification of incidents All incidents must be notified to DELWP in accordance with the relevant Regulations, on a dedicated incident mobile number 0419 597 010.

Useful websites

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association for advice on management of onshore petroleum issues including their Code of Environmental Practice
Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts for information about the requirements of the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981
Environment Protection Authority for information about the application of the Environment Protection Act 1970
Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning for information about biodiversity and conservation issues
Worksafe Victoria for information about occupational health and safety