Current Geoscience Projects & Collaboration


CNSOPB geoscientists conduct ongoing research to improve the understanding of Nova Scotia's offshore geology, petroleum systems, and its resource endowment.

Board technical staff are actively developing a regional seismic, stratigraphic and structural framework for the entire Scotian Basin using 2D and 3D reflection seismic data-sets and well data. This new framework will improve the understanding of the margin’s tectonic evolution and the evolving paleogeography from the Middle Triassic to the Tertiary. As part of this, the Board is evaluating lesser known, poorly understood and little explored basins to determine their potential in light of new geological information and concepts available since they were first explored decades ago.

CNSOPB geoscience staff are also studying reservoir quality and distribution on both the Scotian Shelf and Slope. This new knowledge will help address several key questions about the hydrocarbon systems and resource potential of the various depocentres beneath the Scotian Shelf and Slope. A particular focus is placed on improving the understanding of deep water depositional systems where mobile salt has generated a complex array of structures and potential traps on the slope. A number of key questions will be considered:

  • When and where were submarine fans deposited and what are their characteristics?

  • How did slope morphology change through time and what was the impact on fan deposition?

  • Did sand trapping mechanisms exist on the slope and where?

  • What role did along-slope contour currents play in shaping the margin?

  • Do re-sedimented Cretaceous and Eocene chalks have reservoir potential like they do in the North Sea?

  • How have the Scotian Basin’s basement architecture and tectonic elements influenced deposition and petroleum systems?

  • What is the nature of synrift / pre-salt sedimentary basins, their distribution, and influence on petroleum systems?

While much of this research is conducted internally, Board staff actively collaborative with fellow geoscientists from external organizations and such as the Geological Survey of Canada, Nova Scotia Department of Energy, and Dalhousie and St. Mary’s universities:

  • Play Fairway Analysis (Nova Scotia – OETR Association)

Board technical staff participates as contributors and editors to refereed journals and publications, presentations at conferences, conference & workshop organization, etc. They are also active members and contributors a number of national and international scientific programs and initiatives, including:

  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists National & International Conferences

  • Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Conferences

  • Atlantic Geoscience Society

  • North Atlantic Petroleum Systems Assessment (NAPSA)


  • Central & North Atlantic Conjugate Margins Conferences

Addressing these and other questions will help identify potential plays, and improve the understanding of key risk elements for hydrocarbon exploration on the Scotian Basin. This work will be particularly useful for companies new to the Scotian Basin wishing to consider exploring deep-water acreage offshore Nova Scotia.


Call for Bids Forecast Areas (2017-2019)