G20 Global Marine Environment Protection (GMEP) Initiative

On Sharing Best Practices to Protect the Marine Environment, to Prevent Accidents related to Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Development, as well as Marine Transportation, and to Deal with Their Consequences

Australia – Introduction

Australia is a large country rich in oil and gas resources with a history of strong investment in the oil, gas and energy industries.   Australia remains underexplored, with excellent potential for additional oil and gas resources and strong production and export growth potential.  Australia’s stable government offers a reliable business environment, with a long history as a steady and competitive player in the oil, gas and energy industries, supportive of corporate responsibility programs, environmental conservation and restoration projects and community development programs.

Australia has stringent environment and safety regulations for offshore petroleum activities which are regulated under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act).  Assessment of matters of National Environmental Significance in Commonwealth marine areas are regulated under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has regulatory responsibility for occupational health and safety, structural integrity of facilities, wells and well-related equipment, environmental management and day-to-day operations of offshore petroleum facilities in Commonwealth waters, and in coastal waters where state and Northern Territory powers have been conferred.  NOPSEMA is accountable to the Commonwealth Minister for Resources and Energy.  NOPSEMA has published guidelines for offshore operations, which are available on its website.

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