The Energy Resources Division provides policy documents and guidelines to assist companies in understanding processes and requirements to ensure compliance with the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000
In line with the regulatory philosophy of the Energy Resources Division and endeavours to work with licensees where possible to remain in the preventive sphere of the ERD compliance and enforcement pyramid, Energy Resources Division provides legislation and compliance related policy documents which clarify the Energy Resources Division’s approach in administering and enforcing the compliance aspects of the PGE Act, and further direction through the guidance documents on criteria used to assess compliance, ERD expectations of activities and the content of reports, or the manner and form required for licensee submissions to meet legislative requirements.
The adopted approach to compliance with the PGE Act is based on the concept that the responsibility for detecting and rectifying non-compliance lies with the licensee or individual. The policies and guidelines are provided in line with the preventive measure of educating and working collaboratively with licensees, industry and stakeholders to clarify and advise on regulatory requirements and expectations.
The area to which this Act applies covers all of onshore South Australia exclusive of Commonwealth lands. It extends south to the State territorial sea baseline and includes the waters of Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent.
Licensing and activity approvals under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 (PGE Act) and the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Regulations 2013 (regulations) consists of three stages, Licensing, Environmental assessment and approval of environmental objectives, and activity notification and approval.
There are differences between the processes for exploration, retention, production and associated activities; and the pipeline activities which include transmission pipeline projects.
The steps involved in these two categories of approvals processes are detailed in the following two flow-charts:
|Licensing and Approvals Process for Exploration, Retention and Production Activities in South Australia||Licensing and Approvals Process for Transmission Pipeline Projects Activities in South Australia|
|Download the Licensing and Approvals Process for Exploration, Retention and Production Activities Guideline (PDF 93KB)||Download the Licensing and Approvals Process for Transmission Pipelines Guidlines (PDF 254KB)|
In South Australia, any pipeline proponent proposing to construct and operate transmission pipelines and associated facilities is required to seek a Preliminary Survey License to conduct surveys to establish likely routes, and to perform initial geotechnical, ecological and heritage surveys to confirm the suitability of the pipeline alignment. The guidelines for pipeline licensing and approvals in South Australia (PDF 1.45MB) details the requirements associated with such activities.
In addition, the SEA Gas' brochure on how pipeline construction and operation might impact upon the landowner (PDF 1.93MB) details the potential impacts as a result of the construction and operation of the Naracoorte lateral pipeline. Whilst not developed by the Energy Resources Division (ERD), SEA Gas provided this booklet to landowners with the notice of entry as per Part 10 of the then Petroleum Act 2000. ERD suggests that licensees consider a similar approach for new pipeline projects.
The criteria for classifying the level of environmental impact of regulated activities (PDF 232KB) outlines the criteria and framework upon which the level of impact of a regulated activity will be assessed and subsequently classified. Guidelines for the application of these criteria are also included.
Activity notifications for all activities whether classified as requiring high or low level official surveillance, are required to include or be accompanied by information and material specific to the proposed activity pursuant to various sections of the PGE Act and associated regulations. ERD have provided guidance on the requirements for activity notifications in the activity application assessment checklist (DOC 165KB).
Regulation 19 requires an activity notification for high-level official surveillance activities to be provided to the Minister at least 35 days before the proposed commencement of regulated activities. One of the items of information that this notice must include, or be accompanied by, is detailed information on the licensee’s proposals in respect of the operator assessment factors.
The operator assessment factor reporting guidelines for high-level official surveillance activity notifications (PDF 1.9MB) provides guidance to licensees on how these requirements can be met and aids ERD in reviewing and validating the submitted report.
Section 74 of the PGE Act requires a licence to include mandatory conditions dividing the regulated activities to be carried out under the licences into those requiring high-level official surveillance or those requiring low-level official surveillance. The Minister may change the classification of activities if the licensee has satisfied the Minster that, in view of the licensee’s demonstrated competency to comply with the requirements of this Act, the activities should be classified as requiring low-level official surveillance. The operator assessment factors, detailed in regulation 16, are relevant to determining whether a licensee can be classified as a licensee who is carrying out activities requiring low-level official surveillance.
The guidelines on criteria used to classify level of licensee surveillance required (PDF 1.67MB) outlines the criteria that will be used to assess a licensee’s operator assessment factors for the purpose of section 74 and subregulation 17(1), as required by subregulation 17(2).
The process safety management framework for assessing compliance (PDF 1.43MB) outlines the philosophy adopted by ERD regarding its assessments of submissions made under relevant requirements of the PGE Act and regulations. In particular, regulations 16 (operator assessment factors), 30 (fitness-for-purpose assessments) and 32 (incident reports).
Section 86A of the PGE Act requires the licensees of a prescribed licence to carry out a fitness-for-purpose (FFP) assessment of their facilities within the area of that licence to assess the risks imposed by the facilities on public health and safety, the environment and the security of production or supply of natural gas (so far as this may be relevant). Section 86A(4) requires the licensee to prepare a report on the FFP assessment of facilities in a manner and form determined by the Minister. The fitness-for-purpose assessment reporting guidelines (PDF 262KB) outline the manner and form required, and provides guidance to licensees on how the requirements of the regulations can be met.
Petroleum and Geothermal Energy exploration and production activities are licensed and regulated in South Australia under the PGE Act and associated regulations. The Department for Energy and Mining, Energy Resources Division administers the PGE Act on the behalf of the Minister for Energy and Mining.
The incident reporting guidance note (PDF 3.5MB) provides information for PGE Act licensees and the community on the licensees’ legislative requirements for reporting incidents that occur in the course of carrying out regulated activities under the PGE Act.
The principles for engagement with communities and stakeholders (PDF 484KB) provides information for effective liaison between the resources sector, the community and stakeholders. It is intended as a guide for anyone associated with the exploration and development of mineral, coal, oil and gas resources. Genuine engagement with stakeholders is essential for promoting and achieving sustainable development.
The Aboriginal heritage guidelines for resource projects in South Australia (PDF 5.7MB) sets out the responsibilities required of mineral and energy resource companies operating in South Australia to protect Aboriginal heritage.
The field guide for environmental assessment of abandoned seismic lines in the Cooper Basin (PDF 2.1MB) sets out the goal attainment scaling (GAS) scoring criteria for seismic lines on abandonment.
The field guide for environmental assessment of abandoned well sites in the Cooper Basin (PDF 4.9MB) sets out the GAS scoring criteria for wellsites on abandonment.
The naming of wells must conform to conventions agreed by the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) and Geoscience Australia in 1996. The guideline for naming of wells under Regulation 25 details these conventions.
Under Regulation 26 of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Regulations 2013, well location surveys must be submitted to the Energy Resources Division. The guideline for well location survey under Regulation 26 includes information about accuracy requirements, who should perform the survey and what type of information needs to be submitted.
Well completion reports
Under Regulation 40 of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Regulations 2013, a well completion report must be submitted within six months after rig release.
Guideline for petroleum well completion reports
Guideline for geothermal well completion reports
Well evaluation programs
The guideline for well evaluation programs outlines the well logging and sample programs for infill and development wells, and for exploration wells.
When abandoning wells the Statement of Environmental Objectives (SEO) must be complied with. The Cooper Basin well abandonment SEO checker (XLS 141KB) provides a guide to compliance.
Under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 (the Act) licence holders are required to submit various data and reports to the Energy Resources Division (ERD). Guidelines are provided to ensure that data and reports comply with the requirements under the Act.
In addition to the guidelines provided here, liaison between company staff and ERD personnel is encouraged to facilitate effective and efficient information submission.
Geological and engineering data
The approved form of digital data submissions (PDF 66KB) provides the requirements for the submission of text-based reports of any kind (e.g. well completion reports, environmental impact reports). This guideline covers text, format, plans, figures, plates, images, file name conventions, photographs, tabular data, wireline logs (plot files and digital data) and daily drilling reports.
Regulation 37 of the Act requires the holder of a petroleum licence to submit to ERD geophysical data collected during exploration and development activities. This includes all field recordings and supporting documentation necessary to allow future explorers to reprocess the original data and all processed data, which should allow future explorers to reinterpret the original data.
Guidelines for submission of geophysical data (PDF 2.17MB) provides information on the preparation and submission of basic geophysical data appropriate to petroleum licences within South Australia.
In addition to the submission of geophysical data, licensees are required to submit a geophysical report. The submission of any geophysical data should coincide with the submission of the geophysical operations report which discusses the acquisition of the data.
Regulations 34, 35 and 36 of the Act requires that the following reports are submitted to the Minister:
- Geophysical progress reports;
- Geophysical operations reports; and
- Geophysical interpretation reports
Such reports must be submitted in both hardcopy and digital form.
Guidelines for the preparation and submission of geophysical reports (PDF 2.29MB) outlines what is expected to be included in a geophysical report in order to meet the requirements of the above mentioned regulations.
The company Annual Report template (DOC 138KB) has been provided by the Energy Resources Division to assist companies in the preparation of annual reports.
Two checklists are available for download providing a guide to preparing such reports. They are based on Regulation 33 of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000.
- Annual Report review checklist (DOC 153KB)
- Annual Report checklist - Pipeline Licences only (DOC 161KB)
Exploration companies in South Australia are required by law to provide representative samples of any core and/or cuttings taken during tenure.
The core and cuttings submission form (PDF 146KB) includes information on specifications for containers and labelling requirements, and must be forwarded to the Energy Resources Division when submitting samples.
All petroleum core and cuttings submission must adhere to the sampling restrictions guideline (PDF 150KB).
All open-file drillhole samples held by the Energy Resources Division Core Storage Facility are available for inspection on completion of the request to inspect drillhole samples (PDF 628KB) form.
Guidelines for calculation and payment of petroleum royalties on the sale of petroleum recovered onshore and offshore in South Australia.
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 and Geothermal Energy Act compliance (PDF 9.8MB) 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 Statements of Environmental Objectives.
The security lodgement policy outlines the amount of security lodgement required as a deposit against the potential failure to meet obligations arising under a licence.
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.
For more information, contact:
+61 8 8429 2559