Geoscience Research Centre

The Board's Geoscience Research Centre (GRC) provides geological and geophysical information and services for the Nova Scotia offshore area. In addition to staff offices, the facility consists of three working areas: a data and core storage warehouse, public viewing rooms, and a micro-paleontology laboratory. Subsurface samples from 207 offshore petroleum exploration and development wells drilled by industry in the Nova Scotia offshore area are stored at the facility. The facility curates a current hard copy inventory and microfiche record of geological, well history and geophysical information. Examination space, data, and materials for study are made available to the public, with hours of operation weekdays from 8 AM to 4 PM.  Pursuant to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Cost Recovery Regulations, Cost Recovery fees may be charged.  For additional information on Cost Recovery, please click here.

Facility Facts  

Wells drilled in N.S. offshore area (to October 2010)


Spud date of oldest well (Sable Island C-67)

June 07, 1967

Drill core in storage

4,854 boxes

Meters of drill core in storage

6,356.68 m

Sidewall cores in storage

14,508 vials

Washed cuttings in storage (approximately)

166,182 vials

Unwashed cuttings in storage (approximately)

139,746 bags

Geochemistry samples in storage (approximately)

11,549 bags

Size of data and sample storage area

1,200 m2

Released geological & geophysical reports

over 432

The facilitys 1200 m2 data and core storage warehouse archives all geological and geophysical reports, well site survey reports and subsurface samples and makes the collection available for examination by academia, industry and government scientists.

The GRC warehouse contains geological samples in the form of washed cuttings, unwashed cuttings, sidewall core, conventional core, and well site samples. The washed cuttings are taken by the operator every 5m during drilling. Unwashed cuttings are taken every 5m as well. Unwashed cuttings and conventional core may be sampled by clients to aid in further understanding of our offshore geology. Also on site is a collection of micropaleontology and palynolgy slides which are available for examination. Recent fluid samples are archived and stored in a flammable goods freezer on the premises.

Each well is assigned a unique file reference number (known as a D number) and all related subsurface materials are identified by means of that number.

The facility's public examination area consists of four rooms, two having layout tables for studies of cores and samples, and the other two containing desks and microfiche viewing equipment. A binocular microscope and other sample examination aids are available to users upon request. Requests to sample materials in storage must be submitted in writing with an outline of the type of study to be conducted. If permission to sample is granted, the size of sample is determined with reference to the amount remaining and also the nature of the study. The amount of sampling and the degree of duplication of studies is strictly regulated. All unused sample must be returned to the facility and one copy of the results of the study are to be forwarded to the Board's office in Dartmouth.

The facility's laboratory is able to process samples from wells for extraction of micropaleontological material. Access to the laboratory is provided for users wishing to prepare their samples taken for palynology processing, vitrinite reflectance, petrology, etc. The laboratory also contains equipment for petrological determinations, which includes a rock saw to sample cores for thin sections.

Over 432 released geological and geophysical reports covering the Nova Scotia offshore area are currently available for inspection. There are approximately 207 well history reports currently available for viewing for the Nova Scotia offshore area. The completeness and quality of reports vary depending on operator and the program vintage.

The GRC also houses the Board's digital Data Management Centre.

For additional information, please contact:
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
Geoscience Research Centre
201 Brownlow Avenue, Suite 27
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
B3B 1W2
Phone: (902) 468-3994
Fax: (902) 468-4584