The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board Issues Call for Bids

News Release
For Immediate Release

July 24, 2017


(Halifax, Nova Scotia) The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) has issued its Call for Bids NS17-1 for Exploration Licences consisting of three parcels. Bids must be received by December 14, 2017 before 4:00 p.m. Atlantic Time. Any successful bidder(s) will be awarded Exploration Licences subject to federal and provincial Ministerial approval.

The parcels are located in water depths of 50 to 450 metres, east of Cape Breton Island in a geological region known as the Sydney Basin. Only two wells have previously been drilled in the offshore portion of the Sydney Basin, and both wells encountered gas in shallow sandstone formations. The CNSOPB has completed a geoscientific interpretation that indicates the parcels have potential for both oil and gas. Active oil seeps are present onshore Cape Breton, which provides further evidence of the region’s hydrocarbon potential. The primary target formations in the Sydney Basin are analogous to the producing zones in the Stoney Creek oil field and McCully gas field onshore New Brunswick. These target formations have not yet been penetrated by any of the wells drilled in the Sydney Basin. Detailed geoscience and regulatory information can be found on the CNSOPB Call for Bids website at

The CNSOPB has conducted a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the area encompassing the parcels included in the Call for Bids to identify potential environmental effects that may be associated with oil and gas activity. Should any Exploration Licences be awarded as a result of the Call for Bids, the findings in the SEA must be further considered in a project specific Environmental Assessment that would be required for any subsequently proposed offshore activity.

Safety and environmental protection are paramount in all CNSOPB decisions. Should any offshore activity ultimately be proposed on any Exploration Licences that may be awarded, the CNSOPB will not grant authorization to proceed with such work until the Operator has demonstrated that it has met, and will continue to meet, all legislative and regulatory requirements, and has reduced risks to as low as reasonably practicable.

The CNSOPB provides the opportunity for the public to submit written comments on the Call for Bids. Written submissions must be received by September 25, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. Atlantic Time. Such submissions will be posted on and will be considered by the CNSOPB before making decisions regarding the possible issuance of Exploration Licences. Please refer to for guidelines on how to submit written comments.

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board is the independent joint agency of the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia responsible for the regulation of petroleum activities and resources offshore Nova Scotia.


For further information, please contact:
Stacy O’Rourke
Director, Communications
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
Direct             (902) 410-6402
Reception      (902) 422-5588         

Full Background Information including mapped location of parcels can be found at