NOPSEMA: Three Major O&G Releases Off Australia Reported in 2011

Three major hydrocarbon and natural gas releases were reported occurring offshore Australia in 2011, according to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority's (NOPSEMA's) Offshore Health and Safety Performance Report released on Friday.

In the interests of sharing safety lessons for industry, the report documents 57 incidents investigated from July 2010 through December 2011, including accidents involving injuries to workers and dangerous occurrences that could have caused death or serious injury.

No fatalities were recorded during the July 2010 through December 2011 reporting period, and the rate of major injuries has been decreasing since 2008, NOPSEMA said in a statement.

In light of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and the PTT EP Montara blowout in the Timor Sea in 2009, NOPSEMA CEO Jane Cutler said that the oil and gas industry could not afford to be complacent at any stage of offshore petroleum exploration and production.

"Strong safety performance is fundamental to restoring confidence in an industry that has seen tragic consequences of inadequate risk prevention," Cutler said.

Established in January 2012, NOPSEMA is Australia's national independent regulator, overseeing offshore petroleum health and safety, well integrity and environmental management.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at


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