Regulatory Framework

A robust regulatory framework is in place for effectively regulating the oil and gas industry in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. This framework consists of legislation enacted by governments, offshore licences and activity authorizations that we may issue containing terms and conditions and other regulatory instruments that we have generated to ensure that industry complies with established rules and requirements.

Our organization was established by the Government of Canada and Government of Nova Scotia to regulate oil and gas activities in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. We were established through the passing of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act, and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act, which we commonly refer to as the Accord Acts.

In fulfilling our regulatory mandate, we are responsible for implementing and enforcing legislation that consists of the Accord Acts along with the regulations that are made under them. Collectively, they establish the rules and requirements pertaining to the issuance and management of offshore licences and to any oil and gas activity that may take place within the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. This legislation is developed and put in place by the Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia.

Exploration, significant discovery and production licences that we may issue include terms and conditions that licence holders must comply with. Learn more about our Lands Management here.

No offshore oil and gas activity can take place in our offshore area without our authorization. Any such activity must be conducted in accordance with the rules and requirements set out in the legislation and in compliance with any terms and conditions that we may affix to any activity authorization that we may grant. Learn more about Activity Authorizations here.

We have developed a number of other regulatory instruments to assist in the effective implementation and enforcement of the legislative rules and requirements. These include Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements with other government departments and organizations, along with directives, guidelines and notices. Our Chief Safety Officer may also require employers to establish or adopt a code of practice with respect to occupational health and safety.

Learn more about our regulatory framework, including what’s required to work in the offshore and the responsibilities operators must undertake.

Legislation and supporting regulatory instruments include the rules and requirements that operators must follow. Learn more here.

Operators must apply for an authorization to work in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. Learn more here.

Regulations require operators to have specially designed systems, safeguards and procedures in place at all times. Learn more here.

We protect the health and safety of workers and the environment by ensuring that the operators adhere to laws and regulations. Learn more here.

It’s our job to make sure that an operator has the necessary proof of financial responsibility and resources. Learn more here.

We partner with other organizations to strengthen our regulatory framework. Learn more here.

Governments require us to recover costs associated with regulating on their behalf. Learn more here.

Good governance is important in decision-making and is needed to ensure a well-managed and responsible organization. Learn more here.