NOPSEMA Asks BP for New Environmental Plan for Great Australian Bight

Australia's National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) announced Monday that it has provided BP an opportunity to modify and resubmit their environment plan for exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight, off the coast of South Australia. If BP accepts this opportunity, the modified plan is expected to be resubmitted by July 15, at which time NOPSEMA will recommence the assessment.

An opportunity to modify and resubmit is a normal part of NOPSEMA's environment plan assessment process. In fact, NOPSEMA is required by law to provide a titleholder (the company proposing the activity) a reasonable opportunity to modify and resubmit their plan if it doesn't meet the regulatory requirements for acceptance. NOPSEMA will typically provide 2 opportunities to modify and resubmit, but is not restricted to providing only 2 opportunities.

If a titleholder has been given a reasonable opportunity to modify their plan and NOPSEMA determines that it still doesn't meet the regulatory requirements for acceptance then NOPSEMA will refuse to accept the plan. Since NOPSEMA was established on Jan. 1, 2012, 4 percent of all environment plans submitted for assessment have been refused.

NOPSEMA has updated the status of the assessment on the Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program submission page. Stakeholders are encouraged to subscribe to the page to receive email alerts of any changes.

For more information about the environment plan assessment process see NOPSEMA’s Assessment process and FAQ pages at nopsema.gov.au.

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