The Northern Oil and Gas Australia Pty Ltd (NOGA) group of companies entered into voluntary administration in September 2019. It was placed into liquidation in February 2020. One of the companies, Timor Sea Oil & Gas Australia Pty Ltd (TSOGA), held petroleum titles in the Timor Sea. TSOGA owned the Northern Endeavour floating production storage and offtake facility.
This is an unprecedented event in Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry. The government sought to understand how and why it arose to consider how best to minimise risks of a similar event occurring again.
The Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia appointed Mr Steve Walker to review the circumstances that led to administration. Mr Walker is a UK-based expert with extensive offshore regulation and industry experience.
examined the roles, responsibilities and behaviours of the key stakeholders:
NOGA group of companies
National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA)
National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) and Joint Authorities (JAs)
advised on potential reforms of the offshore oil and gas regulatory regime
Mr Walker found:
NOGA’s financing, experience and reliance on a single asset as its only income source, presented challenges
NOPSEMA took a strategic approach to managing environmental and safety concerns for the Northern Endeavour
NOPTA acted appropriately but considered that legislative limitations prevented it from acting on its concerns
The review made 9 recommendations to improve practices, policies and legislation.
The government remains committed to keeping the Northern Endeavour facility and the surrounding marine environment safe and secure until a longer term solution is found.