Cabinet decisions and consultation process around new regime to increase insurance requirements for offshore oil & gas installations announced

Cabinet decisions to strengthen requirements for offshore oil and gas installations to hold increased levels of insurance have been announced by the Associate Minister for Transport, Hon Julie Anne Genter.

Access a copy of Hon Julie Anne Genter’s announcement here(external link).

Maritime Transport (Offshore Installations) Amendment Bill

As part of the proposed new regime, Minister Genter has introduced the Maritime Transport (Offshore Installations) Amendment Bill to provide certainty in relation to the liability of insurers (or, in the case of financial security, the persons providing the financial security) to the Crown, and to other third parties who are affected by the pollution.

The Bill also clarifies that marine protection rules may specify the types of liability that will need to be insured against, and may provide for the insurance or other financial security to cover the cost of well control measures and other costs of implementing marine oil spill contingency plans.

The Bill will be referred to the Transport and Infrastructure Committee following its first reading.

You can find a copy of the Bill and the Departmental Disclosure Statement here(external link).

Amendments to Marine Protection Rules

Changes to the regime will also be made through amendments to the relevant Marine Protection Rules (Marine Protection (Parts 102 and 131) Amendment Rules 2019), specifically: 

  • Working draft of Marine Protection Rule Part 102, which sets out the requirements operators must meet for the Director of Maritime New Zealand to issue a Certificate of Insurance; and
  • Working draft of Marine Protection Rule Part 131, which ensures operators have marine oil spill contingency plans (OSCP) that will support an efficient and effective response to an oil spill.

 Amongst other things, amendments to these Marine Protection Rules will provide for the implementation of a risk-based scaled framework for determining the level of insurance an offshore operator must hold. The amended rules will also set out the increased limits to the maximum amount of insurance or financial security that may be required to be held (i.e. the increased limits will not be provided for in the Bill).

Invitation to comment on Marine Protection Rules Part 102 and 131

The Ministry of Transport has commenced formal public consultation on proposed amendments to Marine Protection Rules Parts 102 and 131 (Part 102 and Part 131).

In June 2019, the Government agreed to strengthen requirements for offshore oil and gas installations to hold increased levels of insurance. Changes to the regime will be made in three ways:

  1. proposed amendments to the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (Act) via the Maritime Transport (Offshore Installations) Amendment Bill (Bill);
  2. proposed amendments to Marine Protection Rules (covered in this document); and
  3. industry guidance.

Invitation to comment

Submissions on the Bill have closed and you are now invited to comment on the proposed amendments to Marine Protection Rules Parts 102 and 131. Further information on these proposals is set out here [PDF, 545 KB].

The draft Rule amendments can be found above, you will also find documents from the previous 2017 consultation process.

Submissions closed at 5 pm on Friday, 4 October 2019

The current version of these rules are available here [PDF, 762 KB].

Maritime New Zealand guidance for industry

The regime will be further supported by industry guidance developed by Maritime New Zealand, which will be finalised once the Bill and the changes to the rules are completed. 

Copies of the guidance can be found here(external link).

Process for consideration of the Bill, Marine Protection Rules and Maritime New Zealand guidance

Consideration of the Bill (by Parliament) and consideration of the relevant rules (by the Minister) are distinct processes and need to be separated.

For this reason, formal consultation on Marine Protection Rules Part 102 and 131 will start after the deadline for submissions on the Bill has passed.

To support those wishing to make a submission on the Bill, however, working drafts of Marine Protection Rules Parts 102 and 131, as well as Maritime New Zealand’s draft industry guidance have been provided: 

  • Working draft of Marine Protection Rule Part 102
  • Working draft of Marine Protection Rule Part 131
  • Working draft of Maritime New Zealand’s industry guidance

If you have any questions about this process please email info@transport.govt.nz

 

We look forward to receiving your submission.

Previous amendment and consultation documents February 2017 - January 2018)

Previous consultation documents (December 2016 - February 2017)