The adopted approach to compliance with the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 is based on the concept that the responsibility for detecting and rectifying non-compliance lies with the licensee or individual. These policies are provided in line with the preventative measure of educating and working collaboratively with licensees, industry and stakeholders to clarify and advise on regulatory requirements and expectations.
The Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act Compliance Policy will be pursued to ensure compliance with various key requirements of:
- the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000;
- the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Regulations 2013;
- licence conditions; and
- Statement of Environmental Objectives (SEOs)
The Department for Energy and Mining has revised its policy for managing the environmental liabilities from petroleum and geothermal activities to be more holistic, risk and evidenced based.
Licensees are now required to account for the status of all regulated activities and plan to how to manage environmental liabilities in annual reports or if there is material change in ownership.
The Environmental Liability Management Policy consists of four elements:
- Financial Security
Consistent with sections 66(2) and 76 of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 (the Act), the Minister may require a licensee to give security, of a kind and amount acceptable to the Minister, for the satisfaction of obligations arising under the Act.
- Well Activity Status
Each licensee is required to prepare an activity status report detailing all regulated activities and declaring the status of wells as active, inactive or expired. The activity status of a well as at 31 December of the preceding year will be based on monthly production reports.
- Inactive Well Management
Licensees will need to demonstrate a bona fide future use of a well that has not been in production for over 24 months, as at 31 December of the reporting year, by satisfactorily proving a future use in applying for it to be declared 'inactive'. An Annual inactive well fee will apply based on the age of the well.
- Expired Well Management
Licensees are required to prepare an expired well rehabilitation plan and to decommission a minimum proportion of expired wells each year to progressively reduce the number of expired wells that have no bona fide future use.
If a licensee has a concern or complaint about an environmental liability management policy decision, a complaint may be made in accordance with the Department's complaint and feedback policy.
If a licensee is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, licensees may elect to exercise their legal right for review in accordance with sections 124 and 125 of the Act.
As of 30 March 2018, a 10-year moratorium on fracture stimulation (also known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking) for the production of gas has been introduced in the Limestone Coast region of South East South Australia.
The Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) bid assessment policy outlines the methodology to be used for bid assessments and work program valuations.
PEL licence renewal will be considered a right earned by licensees who fulfil the initial five year work program. The Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) renewals policy outlines requirements that need to be met for licence renewal.
PELs may be suspended with the agreement of the licensee and the Department for Energy and Mining. The Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) suspensions document outlines the circumstances under which suspensions may be agreed.
The Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) variations policy outlines the circumstances under which variations to work programs might be agreed by the Department for Energy and Mining.
The Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) Energy Resources Division (ERD) in administration of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 (PGE Act) is guided by the principles of certainty, openness, transparency, flexibility, practicality and efficiency. In keeping with these principles, ERD makes information available relating to its activities, and the performance of licensees undertaking regulated activities under the PGE Act. There are also legislative requirements under the PGE Act for certain information to be published on online registers.
The Information Release Policy outlines the information that is required to be made available, or may be made available with the approval of the Minister for Energy and Mining, under the PGE Act and Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Regulations 2013 (PGE Regulations). This information is either published on the Public Register (Licence Register), the Environmental Register or in another manner as required under the PGE Act and associated PGE Regulations.