Hon Norman Moore BA DipEd JP MLC

Hon Norman Moore BA DipEd JP MLC

Former Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Fisheries; Electoral Affairs

    State tightens petroleum regulations

    29/08/2012 12:00 AM
     
    • Regulations give WA best level of chemical disclosure in Australia
    • Increased reporting requirements for petroleum sector
    • Response to independent review of WA’s petroleum regulatory framework
    The State Government will introduce new petroleum environment regulations which mandate public disclosure of any chemicals introduced into a well or formation.

    Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said the Petroleum Environment Regulations, gazetted yesterday, would be introduced under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967.

    “The regulations aim to ensure petroleum and geothermal operations are conducted in accordance with best industry practice and ecologically sustainable development,” Mr Moore said.

    “A key element of the regulations is to mandate public disclosure of any chemicals introduced into a well or formation, which will be made available on the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) website.

    “The public disclosure of this information means Western Australia has the greatest level of chemical disclosure of any jurisdiction in Australia.

    “The regulations also increase reporting requirements, with monthly reporting against performance objectives within Environment Plans which are a key approval document for the oil and gas industry.

    “In addition, Environment Plans are required to be revised by the operator every five years.”

    The changes are complementary to recommendations from a DMP-initiated independent review of WA’s regulatory framework for unconventional gas activities in WA, conducted in 2011 by petroleum law expert Dr Tina Hunter.

    The Hunter Review concluded that current regulatory processes were stringent but required further strengthening to improve legal enforceability.

    “Western Australia has no known potentially commercial coal seam gas resources, because of the State’s geology and character of its coals, however, public concerns raised in response to activities in Queensland prompted the Liberal-National Government to ensure WA’s regulatory framework became stringent enough to ensure community confidence,” the Minister said.

    “Potential commercial developments for tight and shale gas in WA are a number of years away which provides the State with an opportunity to better understand the resource and ensure we have robust, world best practice industry regulation in place.”
     
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