The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), has received a second environment plan submission from BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd (BP) proposing drilling of two exploration wells in the Great Australian Bight.

BP has advised NOPSEMA that the wells proposed in the second submission are two of the four wells that were originally proposed in the first Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program environment plan.

BP has notified NOPSEMA that they will remove these two wells from the scope of the first environment plan prior to resubmission of that plan. NOPSEMA has granted a request from BP for an extension to the timeframe for resubmission of the first environment plan to 31 December 2016.

The regulations administered by NOPSEMA allow a titleholder to take this approach to the submission of environment plans. Similar approaches have been taken by titleholders on occasions in the past.

The law requires all titleholders to thoroughly identify and evaluate the environmental impacts and risks that may arise from their activities and clearly demonstrate to NOPSEMA how those impacts and risks will be managed.

As with every assessment undertaken by NOPSEMA, the environment plan submission will be assessed by a dedicated environmental assessment team based on its technical and scientific merits.

An important part of NOPSEMA’s environmental assessment process is ensuring that titleholders have consulted appropriately and considered and addressed stakeholder concerns relevant to their activity.

Petroleum activities will not be permitted to proceed in the Great Australian Bight until such time as compliance with all requirements of Commonwealth environmental law has been demonstrated.