On September 29, 2022, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) issued a Call for Bids NS22-1, which includes eight nominated parcels. Successful bidder(s) may be awarded Exploration Lies (ELs), subject to the federal and provincial Ministerial review and approval process set out in legislation.
The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board regulates oil and gas activities in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. This independent agency oversees all activities through the lifecycle of an offshore oil or gas project, from exploration through development and finally to abandonment – with safety and environmental protection being paramount.
Previously, the Sable Offshore Energy Project produced natural gas and condensate from five offshore fields located approximately 225 kilometres off the east coast of Nova Scotia. The Project began in 1999 and permanently closed operations in 2018, after producing 60 billion m3 of natural gas. The Deep Panuke Offshore Gas Development Project also produced natural gas from four wells in an offshore field located approximately 250 kilometres southeast of Halifax until closing in 2018.
The Call for Bids NS22-1 nominated parcels are located on the Scotian Shelf and Slope. Parcels 1 to 5 are located on the Scotian Slope in water depths ranging from approximately 100 to 4,300 m. Parcels 6 to 8 are located in the Sable Island area of the Scotian Shelf in water depths less than 200 m. No exploration activities can occur on or within 1.85 km of the Sable Island National Park Reserve.
A Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Middle and Eastern Scotian Slope and Sable Island Bank Areas was recently completed for the region that includes the Call for Bids NS22-1 parcels. However, if an Exploratory License is issued as a result of the Call for Bids NS22-1, a project-specific Environmental Assessment or Impact Assessment would be required ahead of the CNSOPB’s consideration.
The CNSOPB is inviting Indigenous communities and the public to provide written comments on Call for Bids NS22-1. The commenting period is open until November 28, 2022. These comments will be reviewed prior to considering the issuance of Exploration Licences.
Bids must be received by September 19, 2023, before 4:00PM AT.
For more information on the Call for Bids NS22-1, visit the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board’s website.