NOPTA is responsible for the day-to-day administration of all petroleum and greenhouse gas titles in Commonwealth waters in Australia and is the first point of contact for matters relating to offshore titles administration. NOPTA operates on a full cost recovery basis, funded by the petroleum industry.
NOPTA's key functions in Commonwealth waters are to:
The Joint Authorities are the decision-maker for the granting of the petroleum titles that underpin petroleum exploration and development—exploration permits, retention leases and production licenses. NOPTA provides advice and recommendations in relation to these decisions. All communications to or from the Joint Authority occurs through NOPTA.
NOPTA has the authority to grant short term titles (petroleum access authority and petroleum special prospecting authority) and approves certain commercial arrangements known as transfers and dealings.
NOPTA utilises its technical and administrative experience to contribute to the development of guidance and legislation through the Offshore Resources Branch (ORB). ORB is a branch of the Department who provides the Australian Government with high-quality petroleum related policy advice.
The states and the Northern Territory (NT) maintain a titles administrator role in their respective state/NT waters.
NOPTA's offices are located in Perth and Melbourne.
The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is Australia's independent expert regulator for health and safety, environmental management, structural and well integrity for offshore petroleum facilities and activities in Commonwealth waters. NOPSEMA is a statutory authority established under the OPGGS Act.
While the granting of a title provides a company with rights to undertake petroleum activities in the title area, approval to begin an offshore petroleum activity is only granted after NOPSEMA has conducted a thorough and rigorous technical assessment of the relevant risk management plans and has determined the plans meet all the requirements of the law. Risk management plans may include a safety case, well operations management plan, offshore project proposal and environment plan.
For further information on NOPSEMA see www.nopsema.gov.au.