NOPSEMA updates offshore Australia inspections approach

Dec. 29, 2021
New approach targets balance between regular, more frequent inspection.

Offshore staff

PERTH, Australia – The Australian oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA has published its new inspection policy, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2022. The policy applies to offshore petroleum facilities and activities operating in Australia’s Commonwealth waters.

NOPSEMA decided to revise its approach to inspections based on recent developments such as the pandemic, the government’s de-regulation agenda, and its decision to decommission the FPSO Northern Endeavour serving the Laminaria/Corallina oilfields in the Timor Sea.

The new approach targets a balance between regular inspection of all facilities and activities, and ensuring resources are available to perform more frequent inspections of facilities and activities that pose a higher risk of non-compliance.

NOPSEMA’s new policy also details various risk factors that will drive more frequent inspections, such as the complexity of the activity and offshore asset’s current stage of life.

Duty holders will continue to be responsible for managing and reducing the well integrity and environmental management risks that they create. 

In some cases, they will also have to report to NOPSEMA details of any actions they have taken or plan to address any identified non-compliance. If investigation identifies a serious non-compliance, immediate threat, or significant risk, NOPSEMA will consider enforcement action