Australia's Offshore Petroleum Act 2006 in effect

Australia's Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 will be replaced July 1 with the new Offshore Petroleum Act 2006 (OPA).

Jun 30th, 2008

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, June 30 -- The Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 (PSLA)—Australia's primary legislation for the administration of its offshore petroleum resources since the riches of Bass Strait were discovered and first produced in the 1960s—will be replaced July 1 with the new Offshore Petroleum Act 2006 (OPA).

Martin Ferguson, resources and energy minister, says the new act will make the legislation easier to understand and will reduce costs of compliance and administration for industry and government.

However, he said there are no changes to major policies or the current management regime.

The OPA received Royal Assent in March 2006 but could not be proclaimed until all states and territories had updated their offshore petroleum legislation. This was completed when Tasmania amended its legislation on June 16 of this year.

The main amendments address past drafting omissions as well as errors and anomalies that have been detected in rewriting the text of the old PSLA. There also are amendments designed to update wording to conform to current Australian government legislative drafting principles.

Development of the OPA involved extensive consultation with industry, and Ferguson believes the new act will ensure that Australia remains one an attractive place to search for and develop offshore petroleum resources.

More in Exploration & Development