Geoscience Research Centre

We are information curators and we preserve data for future generations. We collect, manage, and distribute geoscientific information generated from oil and gas activities in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area.

Our digital Data Management Centre offers public access to digital copies of our offshore petroleum data online free of charge. Our digital Data Management Centre was the first of its kind in North America and we want to share access to it with the public. Learn more about our Data Management Centre here.

Fun Facts


Some fossils found in our core date back 125 million years.


As of December 2019, 210 wells have been drilled in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area.


We have more than 166,000 vials of washed drill cuttings and 140,000 bags of unwashed drill cuttings in our warehouse.


The Geoscience Research Centre contains over six kilometres of core.

Interested in visiting our Geoscience Research Centre?

Our facility is open to the public, by appointment, Monday to Friday from 8:00 am. - 4:00 pm. For additional information, please contact 902-422-5588 or email

Storing and curating well data, geological and geophysical information from offshore activities is one of our legislative responsibilities. Operators authorized to conduct activities in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area must follow specific reporting requirements to provide us with information, such as geological and geophysical data, reports and samples. Information received as a result of these activities is stored at our Geoscience Research Center located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Storing this information is important. It helps us preserve information about the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area and assist the public, academia, industry, and other government departments and agencies to better understand our offshore geology and oil and gas resources.

Learn more about how we preserve our reports and samples, and how you can view this information below. 

Data and Core Storage Warehouse

We have available to the public over 530 geological and geophysical reports, and samples of the earth’s core, from 210 offshore oil and gas wells.

We house all geological and geophysical reports, well site survey reports and subsurface samples, including microfiche records of geological and well history information in our Geoscience Research Centre.

We store well site samples and geological samples in the form of washed cuttings, unwashed cuttings, sidewall core, and conventional core. We also have fluid samples that are stored in a flammable goods freezer so that they are properly preserved.

When reports and samples are submitted, they are classified and catalogued so that they are easily retrievable. 

Examination Space

Our Geoscience Research Centre has public viewing rooms and a laboratory that individuals can use to aid in their study and to process samples.

Public Viewing Rooms

We have four viewing rooms that are available for those who want to look at samples. These viewing rooms have layout tables for studying cores and samples, microfiche viewing equipment, and are equipped with computer workstations for online access. We also have a collection of micropaleontology and palynology slides which are available for examination.

A binocular microscope and other sample examination aids are available if requested.


Our laboratory can be used to prepare and study samples. We also have a rock saw that can be used to sample conventional core that was acquired during offshore drilling. Individuals who wish to use this space have access to onsite staff expertise and laboratory equipment.   

Sampling Materials

If you are interested in sampling our materials, we ask you to send us a request to outline why you wish to sample the material and the type of study you will be conducting. If we provide permission to sample the material, the size of the sample that can be provided will be determined based on the amount we have available and the nature of your study. All unused samples must be returned to us along with a copy of the results of your study. 


Did you know we also curate offshore geoscientific information from outside of our jurisdiction? We house information on the Hudson Bay, Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Prince Edward Island on behalf of the Canada Energy Regulator.   

Confidentiality Periods for Offshore DataView our confidentiality periods for offshore data we provide at our Geoscience Research Centre and online on our Data Management Centre.

Well Data

Exploratory Well - this data is confidential for two years after the well has been terminated.

Delineation Well -  this data is confidential for 90 days following the termination date of the delineation well or two years after the termination date of the exploratory well drilled on the same geological structure (field) exploratory, whichever is longer.

Development Well - this data is confidential for 60 days following the termination date of the development well or two years after the termination date of the exploratory well drilled on the same geological structure (field), whichever is longer.

For additional information on well data disclosure, refer to our Data Acquisition and Reporting Guidelines.

Geological & Geophysical Data

Non-exclusive Geological and Geophysical Data* - this data is confidential for 10 years following the completion date** of the activity. Non-exclusive geological and geophysical data is not accessible in digital format from our Data Management Center. This data is only made available in hardcopy format from our Geoscience Research Center.

Exclusive Geological and Geophysical Data - this data is confidential for five years following the completion date** of the activity.

For additional information on geological and geophysical data disclosure, refer to our Geophysical, Geological, Geotechnical and Environmental Program Guidelines.

*The Nova Scotia Offshore Area Petroleum Geophysical Operations Regulations developed by the governments define a non-exclusive survey as a geophysical operation that is conducted to acquire data for the purpose of sale, in whole or in part, to the public.

**The completion date is considered to occur six months after completion of the activity.

If you have questions about the disclosure of other types of data, please contact us at: