About the Petroleum Division

Petroleum, greenhouse gas and geothermal regulatory services

Nodding donkeys at sunset on Barrow Island (courtesy Chevron Australia)
Beam pump at the Sundown oilfield, Canning Basin (courtesy of Buru Energy Ltd)

Petroleum Division regulates petroleum, greenhouse gas and geothermal activities in Western Australia (WA) including title management, exploration, production operations and decommissioning onshore in State waters.

The Petroleum Division’s responsibilities are to:

  • Regulate to ensure the responsible exploration, development and production of the State’s petroleum, greenhouse gas and geothermal energy resources
  • Administer and control petroleum, greenhouse gas and geothermal energy exploration and production in accordance with the relevant Acts including the regulations, schedules and directions relating to those Acts
  • Administer and negotiate future act, Native Title Act 1993 (Commonwealth), requirements for petroleum, greenhouse gas and geothermal energy title applications under State and Commonwealth legislation
  • Engage with the petroleum, greenhouse gas and geothermal energy industries to resolve issues relating to timelines of Aboriginal cultural heritage surveys and reserved lands activities associated with exploration and production operations
  • Make available areas for exploration and make recommendations on the grant, renewal or cancellation of titles
  • Evaluate all technical matters relating to drilling, formation evaluation, resource management and production in accordance with industry best practice
  • Advise on exploration evaluation and assess all permit and work applications for suitability and compliance
  • Record and register all documents dealing with permits, titles, applications and general procedural matters
  • Maintain title registers including spatial data
  • Establish if other land tenures and interests may be impacted by petroleum, greenhouse gas or geothermal activities
  • Audit and inspect operations for well integrity and resource management regulation compliance
  • Coordinate with other Commonwealth and State Departments and Agencies

The WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum is the State member of the Joint Authority (JA) for petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters adjacent to WA under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. The Petroleum Division Executive Director, as the Minister’s delegate, provides State opinions to the Commonwealth’s National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in Canberra.

As the WA delegate, the Executive Director Petroleum Division:

  • Receives information and advice from NOPTA
  • Provides fully informed advice on Commonwealth title approvals to the State Minister
  • Ensures that the State Minister is kept informed on matters relating to Commonwealth offshore activities
  • Ensures that Commonwealth offshore activities do not adversely impact on activities in State areas

The ‘Operating Protocols for Offshore Petroleum Joint Authorities and supporting institutions’ (Joint Authority Protocol) provides a high level framework and clarifies the roles and functions of the Joint Authority.

The timeframes contained in the Joint Authority Protocol are intended to provide guidance to applicants and titleholders to assist with planning.

To find out more about the division visit the Petroleum section of the website.

For information on the Divisions/Branch Quality Assurance.

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