Offshore Activity

Activity Authorizations

No activities related to the exploration for, development of or transportation of petroleum can be conducted without a specific authorization issued by the Board. An Operator must make application to the Board for such authorization on one of the following forms:



Prior to issuing any such authorizations, the Board requires that the following be submitted in a satisfactory form:

  • Description of the proposed activities, along with prescribed technical details;
  • Execution plan and schedule;
  • Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Plan;
  • Development Plan (for development related activities);
  • Safety Plan;
  • Environmental Assessment;
  • Environmental Protection Plan;
  • Emergency Response/Contingency Plans;
  • Spill Response Plan;
  • Financial Security;
  • Summary of Proposed Operations;
  • Certificate of Fitness (if applicable), and
  • Declaration of Operator. 

Available guidance and filling requirements can be found under Publications

The Board must be satisfied with the information provided before it will issue a work or activity authorization.

A certificate of fitness is required for certain equipment and installations, including drilling, production, diving, and accommodation installations. A certificate of fitness is issued by a Certifying Authority (CA) that has met the criteria established by regulation and is named in the Nova Scotia Offshore Certificate of Fitness Regulations. These CAs are required to review the design, construction, installation and operating manuals for the installation and certify to the Board that the installation is fit for its intended purpose, that it is in compliance with the regulations and that it can be operated safely without polluting the environment. The Board cannot issue an authorization unless there is a certificate in place for the installation.

A Declaration of Operator is required for all activities. This declaration is signed by a senior officer of the operator and states that this person has undertaken, or caused to be undertaken, sufficient work to satisfy the officer that the equipment is fit for purpose, and the personnel are properly trained so that the activity can be undertaken safely.