Offshore petroleum licences

On 1 January 2012, the administration of petroleum titles and resource management for offshore Commonwealth waters under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGSA) was transferred to the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA).

At the same time, the administration of the environmental regulation in Commonwealth waters under the OPPGSA was transferred to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority (NOPSEMA); safety and well integrity regulation had been transferred previously.

The Joint Authority arrangement, comprising the Commonwealth and Victorian and ministers’ delegates, remains in place between the Commonwealth and Victoria for petroleum titles administered under the OPGGSA. NOPTA will provide administrative and technical advice to the JA on titles and resource management matters; this advice may be accepted or rejected, although in the case of disagreement, the Commonwealth minister’s view prevails.

Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) retains responsibility for titles administration, well integrity and environment within state waters (located within 3 nautical miles [5.56km] of the Victorian coast). These tenements are administered under the Victorian Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2010.

Safety is currently regulated in these tenements by NOPSEMA, via a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) arrangement between NOPSEMA and DJPR.

The administrative arrangements for onshore petroleum and geothermal tenements in Victoria have remained unchanged, with DJPR administering the Petroleum Act 1998, Greenhouse Gas Geological Sequestration Act 2008 and Geothermal Energy Resource Act 2005.

DJPR will continue to liaise with other relevant state and Commonwealth. departments to ensure best practice regulatory administration is maintained for earth resources sector in Victoria.

More information

For further information visit the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator.

Licence requirements

Environment plan

An environment plan is required for the construction and operation, including hydrotesting, of all pipelines conveying petroleum and gas in State and Commonwealth waters.

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has developed the guidance note for environment plan content requirements.

Pipeline management plan

A pipeline management plan is required for the construction and operation of all pipelines conveying petroleum and gas in State and Commonwealth waters. This is administered by the NOPSEMA for Commonwealth waters.

Submission requirements

The environment plan must be submitted as early as possible, and at least 120 days before commencement of activities, to allow sufficient time to obtain approval.

The document must be submitted via email to workplan.approvals@ecodev.vic.gov.au and in hard copy to:

Manager, Approvals
Earth Resources Regulation
Resources Division
Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
GPO Box 4509
Melbourne VIC 3001

Other statutory requirements

Consent to operate

Decisions on consent to operate are made by NOPSEMA. For information on the decision-making process, see the NOPSEMA website.

Environment plan summaries

After an environment plan has been accepted by the Minister, the operator must submit an environment plan summary for public disclosure within 10 days in accordance with Regulation 13E of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Regulations 2011.

Notification of incidents

All incidents must be notified to the department in accordance with the relevant regulations, on our dedicated incident mobile phone number: 0419 597 010.

Insurance

To facilitate consistency, standardising arrangements for the sector and to protect the state, Earth Resources Regulation has developed an insurance policy for the offshore sector under section 618 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2010 (OPGGSA). The insurance policy predominantly mirrors NOPSEMA’s insurance policy under the Commonwealth Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (Cth OPGGSA).

The guidance note below provides a mechanism for offshore authority holders to undertake rigorous financial planning up front, enabling a consistent and transparent approach to insurance determination. It also ensures that insurance requirements are aligned to the actual and likely costs of expenses, liabilities or specified things arising in connection with, or as a result of the work undertaken.

Current submissions

The status of environment plan submissions and decisions can be viewed on our website and on the NOPSEMA website.

Page last updated: 16 Aug 2022