(Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) – The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board’s (CNSOPB) Call for Bids NS22-1 resulted in one successful bid.
Two bids were submitted to the CNSOPB prior to the closing of the Call for Bids NS22-1 on September 19, 2023. One bid was received for Parcel #5 and one bid was received for Parcel #8. Inceptio Limited is the successful bidder for Parcel #8 with a $1,500,000 CAD Work Expenditure Bid.
The awarding of an exploration licence arising from any Call for Bids is a Fundamental Decision and is subject to further approvals by the federal and provincial governments. The CNSOPB has notified the Federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Provincial Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables of the successful bid and awaits the approval of the CNSOPB Board’s Fundamental Decisions to issue the exploration licence. If Ministerial approvals are granted, the CNSOPB will issue Exploration Licence 2437 for Parcel #8 on January 15, 2024.
Issuing an exploration licence to a company does not give it permission to conduct any work offshore. The CNSOPB’s paramount responsibility is to ensure that any offshore work is conducted in a manner that prioritizes the safety and well-being of personnel working offshore, protection of the environment, and co-existence with other ocean users and industries (e.g., fishing, shipping, etc.).
The holder of an exploration licence must apply to the CNSOPB for a work authorization to conduct any activity on the licence. A project-specific Environmental Assessment (EA) or Impact Assessment (IA) is required ahead of the CNSOPB’s consideration of any subsequent application by an operator to carry out exploration activity on the exploration licence. The project-specific EA or IA evaluates potential environmental effects specific to a proposed project and determine the precise mitigation measures that would be required, should the CNSOPB ultimately grant an authorization to an operator to proceed with any offshore activity. Other requirements of an activity authorization application include, but not limited to; scope of work, a safety plan, environmental protection plan, emergency response plan, proof of financial requirements, and a Canada-Nova Scotia benefits plan. More information can be found here.
Work Expenditure Bids are the amount of money a bidder proposes to spend exploring the land parcels during the initial six-year period of a nine-year Exploration Licence. Successful bidders are required to post a deposit of 25 per cent of the amount of the bid within thirty (30) days of being notified that its bid was successful to demonstrate their commitment. The Work Expenditure Bid for Parcel #8 is $1,500,000 CAD.
For a bid to be considered for Parcels 1 to 5, the terms and conditions of Call for Bids NS22-1 required each bid to be accompanied by a confirmation of operating experience that satisfies the CNSOPB that the bidder, its parent company or an affiliated company has operated, or has been a joint operator, in the drilling of exploration wells in water depths greater than 800 metres in the past ten (10) years. Upon review of the information submitted by the bidder for Parcel #5, the CNSOPB’s Board determined that the bidder did not demonstrate that it satisfied this requirement and that the bid remained sealed and will be returned to the bidder. Parcel #5 will remain as Crown land. The identity of the unsuccessful bid remains confidential.
No bids were received for Parcels 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7; therefore, these Parcels are no longer up for bid and will also remain as Crown land.
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Middle and Eastern Scotian Slope and Sable Island Bank Areas was completed for the region that included the Call for Bids NS22-1 parcels. This SEA is available here.
Call for Bids NS22-1 was issued on September 29, 2022 for eight nominated parcels that are located on the Scotian Shelf and Slope. An opportunity to submit written comments specific to the areas included in Call for Bids NS22-1 was provided from September 29, 2022 to November 28, 2022. A summary of comments received can be found here.
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 in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area.
Full background information, including maps can be found at www.cnsopb.ns.ca or
Kris Kendell, P.Geo.
Acting Director, Resources and Rights
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
Main line: 902-422-5588