Lands Management

We are responsible for issuing and managing offshore licences and other lands rights on behalf of both governments. Obtaining rights to the offshore lands is an essential first step in exploring the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area for oil and gas resources.

We can issue three types of licences: exploration, significant discovery and production through our fundamental decision process. This means our Board members may make the decision to issue licences, but we are required to notify the federal Minister of Natural Resources and the provincial Minister of Energy and Mines of our decision. The ministers have an opportunity to accept our fundamental decision, delay the decision, or jointly veto the decision. You can learn more about these licences on our Licensing section.

Once a licence is issued, our job is just beginning. The terms and conditions of a licence are based on legislative requirements and our established policies, and include items such as effective dates, area of the licence, work deposits, and requirements for reports and submission of geoscience data. We need to continually make sure that licence owners are in compliance with the terms and conditions of their licence, including meeting the required timeframe for reports and deposits, which we review.

For those that want to know more, we manage a public registry for our licences. Our public registry contains information such as who owns a licence, the licence location, and any relevant dates. It also includes information on licences that have been issued, surrendered, or transferred, and if the lands have any significant or commercial discoveries. We have a designated Registrar and Deputy Registrar, whose jobs are to review and register these documents. Information in our public registry is available to the public and can also be found using our interactive map under our Maps and Coordinates section.

Learn more about some of our key lands management processes.

Nominations can be submitted to make a Call for Bids in relation to particular parcels of Crown lands. Through our Call for Bids process, which seeks competitive bids, rights are awarded to successful bidders. Learn more here.

When an operator explores the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area, they’re in search of significant petroleum resources for the purpose of production. Discoveries are either declared as significant or commercial. Learn more here.

Learn more about existing and historical exploration, significant discovery and production licences in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area using our interactive map.

We issue licences that provide rights to explore, develop and produce oil and gas resources in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. Learn more here.