The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has commenced a review of the regulatory and legislative framework for decommissioning offshore petroleum infrastructure in Commonwealth waters and wants industry opinions on the how policy can be changed or streamlined.
A series of discussion forums in will be held in Perth and Melbourne throughout late October and early November to give stakeholders and industry an opportunity to provide input into what will become the overarching policy and law for decommissioning.
The department has also published a discussion paper that stakeholders are invited to give comment on; the paper will be the first step in the department's review of the decommissioning framework.
Stakeholders will be asked to identify issues associated with the current decommissioning framework with solution suggestions. The paper will also consider the financial impact of decommissioning approaches and look to overseas jurisdictions for recommendations.
One key question the department is seeking comment on is whether or not property removal obligations should be amended and how this should be monitored and regulated along with mandating decommissioning time frames.
A second public consultation follows a senate inquiry that recommended several changes to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act.
Industry bodies, workers and other stakeholders are also invited to provide feedback and provide input into the way operators and regulatory bodies are required to consult and ensure transparency on offshore facilities.
Key proposed changes include requiring the publication of full environmental plans on submission by the titleholder and on acceptance by NOPSEMA, and formalising a public comment period on environmental plans for exploration activities including seismic surveys.
The Department invites interested stakeholders to provide feedback on the draft regulations by no later than 16 November 2018.