Vigilance needed to avoid repeating past mistakes

ON January 1, NOPSEMA became the national regulator for safety, well integrity and environmental management for offshore oil and gas operations in Commonwealth waters, and in coastal waters where state powers have been conferred. Following recommendations arising from the Final Government Response to the Report of the Montara Commission of Inquiry (2011) and the Productivity Commission Report (2009), Federal Resources and Energy minister Martin Ferguson endorsed the establishment of NOPSEMA as a single, unified national regulator to enforce compliance across the industry.
The responsibility to investigate and report on offshore environmental management practices and make recommendations had previously rested with the state and territory Designated Authorities; however, the passing of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011 transferred this duty to NOPSEMA at the start of the year. NOPSEMA chief executive Jane Cutler said that following several industry reviews, and local and international incidents including the Macondo explosion in the US, there was wide support for a coordinated approach to the regulation of the petroleum industry.
In particular, Ms Cutler said that the organisation’s expansion into the area of environmental management regulation had indicated the growing importance of environmental health and safety in the Australian industry. She said that it was the responsibility of facility operators to be vigilant in their commitment to the health and safety of people and the marine environment in a high-hazard industry. “Australians have high expectations that a viable and growing national offshore petroleum industry will also be a safe industry in every way,” Ms Cutler said.
“The serious consequences of inadequate risk management and a lack of contingency planning from industry have been demonstrated and unfortunately repeated in the past.”
“A strong and independent regulator is necessary to oversee operators’ compliance with the regulations to mitigate the risk of accidents and dangerous occurrences in Commonwealth waters,” Ms Cutler said.

One Response to Vigilance needed to avoid repeating past mistakes

  1. Carlene

    May 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

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