Drilling and abandonment requirements in overlapping areas

Additional drilling and abandonment requirements apply to wells, bores and voids drilled in an overlapping area from 27 September 2016. This is to help ensure safety and reduce the risk of coal being sterilised.

The requirements are detailed in ss. 53-56 of the Petroleum and Gas (Safety) Regulation 2018 and ss. 12BC-BE of the Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2017 and apply unless the parties negotiate alternative safety requirements.

The additional requirements apply whenever the overlapping area is subject to both:

  • an authority to prospect (granted at any time) or a petroleum lease (granted after 27 September 2016)


  • a mining lease granted, or an application for a mining lease made, after 27 September 2016.

The provisions include requirements for:

  • casings for wells and bores
  • removal of particular equipment from wells and bores
  • filling of wells, bores and voids.

If parties negotiate alternative arrangements, these must achieve a level of risk equal to or less than the level of risk that would be achieved by following the additional safety requirements and be included in the JIMP.