What We Do


The Board is the independent joint agency of the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia responsible for the regulation of petroleum activities in the Nova Scotia Offshore Area. It was established in 1990 pursuant to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Accord Implementation Acts (Accord Acts).

The Board's responsibilities include:

  • health and safety of offshore workers,
  • protection of the environment,
  • management and conservation of offshore petroleum resources,
  • compliance with the provisions of the Accord Acts that deal with Canada-Nova Scotia employment, industrial benefits
  • issuance of licences for offshore exploration and development, and
  • resource evaluation, data collection, curation and distribution.

The Acts were passed as mirror legislation by the Parliament of Canada (1988) and the Legislature of Nova Scotia (1987). The Accord Acts implement the 1986 Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord.

The Board reports to the federal Minister of Natural Resources Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, and the provincial Minister of Energy in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board does not:

  • Regulate electricity, natural gas distribution, oil and gas prices, or Liquefied Natural Gas.
  • Set energy, economic development, climate change or environmental policy objectives. Those responsibilities reside with government.
  • Guarantee or set targets for the participation of the Nova Scotian or Canadian workforce in offshore projects.
  • Administer equalization, taxation or royalty regimes for offshore developments. Those responsibilities reside with government.