Review of the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 1999
From April to July 2012 public feedback was sought on the discussion paper Review of the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 1999.
There were multiple drivers for the review of the Petroleum Exploration and Extraction regulations.
- Petroleum has become an increasingly significant export sector for New Zealand and has the potential to create additional skilled jobs, and earn substantial royalty and tax revenues.
- Government, through its Petroleum Action Plan, is now seeking to increase petroleum exploration and production investment in New Zealand.
- Globally, exploration and production companies are increasingly operating in deeper water and more complex environments.
- High-profile major accidents, such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico, have raised questions internationally about the adequacy of existing regulatory regimes.
- Society expects that petroleum exploration and extraction activities will be regulated by a robust regime in which operators maintain safety to minimise the risk of a major accident and the regulator provides assurance that this is being done.
- The 2010 Comparative Review of Health, Safety and Environmental Legislation for Offshore Petroleum Operations recommended strengthening New Zealand’s safety case regime.
The Ministry received 25 submissions on the discussion paper from individuals, exploration and production companies, industry associations, unions, third-party inspection bodies, regional councils, iwi authorities, an industry training organisation, an environmental interest group, and a Member of Parliament. A summary of the submissions is also available.
Most submitters supported the majority of the proposals, with comments largely directed at the details of the proposals.
New Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 2013
The Ministry is working to implement new Petroleum Exploration and Extraction regulations by June 2013.
The new regulations will seek to ensure that health and safety regulation of petroleum exploration and extraction activities in New Zealand — both onshore and offshore — is more consistent with international best practice and developments in light of recent, high-profile major accidents overseas. Specifically, the new regulations will be designed to:
- strengthen the management of hazards having the potential to cause a major accident;
- reduce the likelihood of an uncontrolled release of oil and gas (or blowout) occurring during well operations; and
- ensure the regulator has sufficient data to inform the targeting of regulatory interventions and the preparation of preventative guidance.
Key elements of the new Petroleum Exploration and Extraction regulations include:
- enhancing the existing safety case regime for offshore installations and extend it to onshore installations;
- introducing a major accident prevention policy requirement;
- making goal setting regulations to cover activities over the full life cycle of a well;
- introducing a well examination scheme requirement; and
- introducing notification and reporting of dangerous occurrences.
On Tuesday 27 November 2012, the Government announced the scope of the new regulations – Health and safety a priority in oil and gas production
The deadline for submissions on the public consultation on Review of the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 1999 closed on 27 July 2012.
The Department of Labour undertook a review of the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 1999.
The discussion document was released in April 2012 - Review of the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 1999 [pdf, 61 pages, 592KB]