THE National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is to raise levies by 13% in accord with a review conducted in March this year.

The increase was approved by infrastructure minister Catherine King through NOPSEMA’s 2024-2026 Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS).

CEO Sue McCarrey said the increase assisted NOPSEMA’s ongoing capacity to have specialist staff supporting environment plan assessments focusing on First Nations consultation and cultural heritage. 

“These increases also address mandatory Australian Public Service wage increases to the Consumer Price Index,” she said. “A fee arrangement for a new regulatory provision, the Facility Design Notification Scheme, has also been introduced with the increases.” 

The Department of Industry Science and Resources is working toward a 1 July 2024 start-date, subject to further approvals and regulatory processes.  

The CRIS assesses the adequacy of NOPSEMA’s cost recovery arrangements to ensure it can continue to deliver regulatory activities effectively and in a timely manner.  It also reports financial and non-financial performance information and contains financial estimates for the budget and three forward years. 

Stakeholder consultation for the draft CRIS was open from 4 to 21 March 2024, and an online CRIS Stakeholder Briefing and Q&A was provided on Thursday, 14 March 2024.

The CRIS excludes NOPSEMA’s role as the Offshore Infrastructure Regulator (OIR), as its functions and cost recovery arrangements are subject to a separate CRIS.

Meanwhile, NPOSEMA has approved Woodside Energy’s environmental plan (EP) for the Julimar field, located 169km north-west of Dampier. Woodside proposes to proceed with the Julimar development project phase 3 (JDP3) wells and subsea infrastructure, which will connect to the existing Julimar Field Production System. This will involve the drilling of up to four wells in the Julimar field and one well in the Penfolds prospect.

The JDP3 production system will have a design life of 25 years and will produce hydrocarbons from the Julimar and Penfolds reservoirs via the existing Phase 1 and 2 infrastructure and the third-party operated Wheatstone Platform and onshore LNG plant.

Separately NOPSEMA has received an EP submission from Jadestone Energy, entailing a revision and update to allow the continuation of production at the Montara venture in the Timor Sea for a further five years. Montara features an FPSO, an unmanned wellhead platform, and subsea infrastructure.

The EP covers operation of the also provides for inspection, maintenance and repair of infrastructure, support services, and unplanned activities including oil spill response.

Production at the Montara field commenced in 2013 and the activity is expected be fully operational until approximately 2030. Crude oil is extracted from the Montara, Skua, Swift and Swallow fields and transported via flowline for processing at the well head platform and FPSO.