Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has taken steps to ensure continued support as the country’s offshore energy regulator during the coronavirus outbreak.NOPSEMA said on Thursday that its actions were being guided by the needs of the offshore industry and advice from the government such as the Australian Department of Health, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Australian Public Service Commission.“NOPSEMA recognizes the threats presented by COVID-19 to the offshore industry, our staff, and the broader community. In recognition of these threats, NOPSEMA is transitioning our workforce to operate remotely in a manner that will ensure sustainable delivery of regulatory services in the short and longer terms,” the offshore regulator stated.According to NOPSEMA, all of its staff will be working remotely from March 23 until otherwise advised, following significant tests of its systems for large scale remote operations.“We are confident that we have the capacity to provide all required regulatory support and to continue our regulatory operations,” NOPSEMA added.Its staff and inspectors remain contactable and are engage with duty holders and other stakeholders through traditional means, together with teleconferencing and other tools in place of face-to-face meetings.NOPSEMA said that it was ensuring business continuity and appropriate regulatory oversight of the offshore industry.Before the Australian regulator announced its measures, both the Norwegian oil regulator and offshore safety authority, as well as the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) revealed their responses to the coronavirus outbreak.Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product, or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.
After what was a long, hype-filled summer following a Final Four run last season, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team is ready to kick off their 2014-15 campaign with two homes games this weekend against Northern Kentucky and Chattanooga.But before the Badgers can begin this season’s campaign, they must first take the time to reflect on last season’s.Friday night, about 20 minutes before the team takes the floor, there will be a special pregame ceremony to celebrate and pay tribute to last season’s run to the Final Four, which will include the unveiling of the commemorate 2014 Final Four banner.While it will bring back some good memories for the players, they feel it will also provide some closure and give them the opportunity to put the season behind them and move on.“It’s definitely going to be exciting,” redshirt senior guard Josh Gasser said. “We can finally move on after that run. This whole offseason it’s been people congratulating you, talking about the Final Four run and all of that. So, once this Friday hits, it’s going to be a great celebration, but then after that we can finally move on to a new season and hopefully do some really good things this year.”A big reason as to why the team is so ready to get on with this season is not only their own excitement, but also the excitement that surrounds them.Ever since their heartbreaking Final Four loss to Kentucky ended last season’s run, the hype surrounding this upcoming season has been impossible for these players to ignore. It’s been a long wait for these Badgers to get back out on the court, and Friday’s tip-off cannot come soon enough for them.“Especially this year, just the chatter, the noise from the outside definitely makes you feel like the season is coming sooner than it is,” Gasser said. “It’s been a long offseason, but it’s also been a really productive one, and I think we are ready to go.”Wisconsin’s first opponent, Northern Kentucky, finished in eighth place in the Atlantic Sun last year, posting a 5-13 conference record en route to finishing 9-21 overall. They went up against two ranked opponents last season in, at the time, No. 1 Kentucky and No. 19 North Carolina, losing both games by at least 15 points.The Badgers come into their matchup with Northern Kentucky with some great news regarding junior forward Sam Dekker.In late October, reports came from practice that Dekker had suffered a left ankle injury driving to the basket and had to be helped off the court. Dekker, who was held out of last week’s exhibition game against UW-Parkside, is now healthy and good to go for the Badgers’ season opener. This is a huge sigh of relief for Dekker, who suffered an injury on the same ankle in high school.“It’s feeling good now,” Dekker said. “It took a little longer than I thought it was going to, but [athletic trainer] Henry [Perez-Guerra] always does a great job of getting us prepared and getting us ready. I’m set to go for Friday, and nothing else really needs to be said about that.”Dekker averaged 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game for the Badgers last season. Reports came this summer that Dekker grew two inches and was among the most impressive to attend the Lebron James Skills Academy, so the expectations are only going to be higher for the junior.Among other Badgers showing great improvement from last season is sophomore forward Nigel Hayes. Hayes, an ESPN Top 100 recruit coming into his freshman season, was the sixth man for the Badgers last season, averaging 7.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game off the bench. He was named Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year after his impressive freshman season.Last year, you would not find Hayes taking a shot beyond 15 feet from the hoop. But now, with a refined three-point jump shot that he spent the offseason working on, Hayes has the ability to stretch the floor even more in head coach Bo Ryan’s swing offense.“In the swing offense, I felt I was still pretty effective last year without being able to shoot that three,” Hayes said. “But now, being able to shoot that three will help more so that guys will have to come out that extra four or five feet to guard me, which will give an extra four or five feet of space to whoever is driving to the rim.”Hayes said he had that shot back in high school, but now it was just a matter of undoing bad habits and adjusting to new ones on his way to a much-improved jump shot.Wisconsin will close out the weekend Sunday at noon against Tennessee-Chattanooga, a team that finished second in the Southern Conference last season, posting a record of 12-4 in conference and went 18-14 overall.With the weekend, the wheels will be in motion for a basketball season that is among the most hyped in Badger history, and one where success will be measured at the highest of standards.“It’s cool to have good expectations because we worked so hard to get to this point, and we feel like we have a team that can contend with the best of them,” Dekker said. “We have the pieces to do something, and now we just got to go do it.”The Badgers will officially start their campaign to return to the Final Four when they tip off at 8 p.m. Friday against Northern Kentucky.