Resource Conservation

Operators must develop, manage, measure and produce offshore petroleum resources responsibly. 

Experienced in Resource Conservation

Based on experience, the federal and provincial Ministers jointly designate selected Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board staff as Conservation Officers, focused on resource conservation (i.e. the prevention of waste of petroleum resources).

Offshore oil and gas resources must be developed, managed, measured and produced using good oil field practices, to ensure waste of the resource does not occur by maximizing economic hydrocarbon recovery from each producing oil and gas field. Good oil field practices are the processes and procedures followed by prudent and diligent operators.  

Operators must demonstrate to our geoscience and reservoir engineering team that they have a comprehensive understanding of the oil and gas resources proposed for development. In addition, they must describe how their production activities will prevent waste by maximizing economic recovery of the hydrocarbon resources.

During the lifecycle of an offshore production project, there are a significant number of activity authorizations that require the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board's approval. These activity authorizations include:

  • Operations authorizations for installation, production and removal
  • Well approvals for drilling new wells or sidetracking a well
  • Well approvals to workover existing wells
  • Well approvals for plugging and abandonment

Before the above activity authorizations can be granted approval, our team must review a number of resource management and conservation documents to ensure the operator’s resource conservation strategies comply with the regulatory requirements of the legislation and regulations.

Our Directory of Wells provides a chronological listing of all wells drilled in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. Visit our Directory of Wells here.


Enforcing Effective Resource ConservationWe make sure that operators meet their resource conservation commitments by holding them accountable to a number of resource management and conservation documents including but not limited to the following: Resource Management Plan, Commingled Production Plan, Flaring Plan, Flow System Application and Production Allocation Plan. During the lifecycle of an offshore project, our team conducts ongoing monitoring and compliance verification, which includes: daily surveillance of oil and gas development and production activities, detailed geoscience and reservoir engineering studies, and regular resource management and conservation audits. Learn more below.

Resource Management Plan

A Resource Management Plan must be submitted to our team and describes an operator’s approach and commitment to resource management and conservation. We must approve the Resource Management Plan before an operator can begin production. The Resource Management Plan demonstrates an operator has a comprehensive understanding of the resources planned for development, and ensures waste of the resource does not occur over the lifecycle of the project.

The Resource Management Plan includes, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • In-place and recoverable hydrocarbons
  • Geological and reservoir modelling
  • Description of the key geological and reservoir uncertainties and the plans to mitigate these uncertainties
  • Depletion plan
  • Oil and/or gas production forecasts
  • Well and field production plan
  • Well and field data acquisition plan
  • Well and field surveillance plan

An initial Resource Management Plan is required to be submitted and approved prior to the start of production. In addition, Resource Management Plan updates must be submitted annually and are reviewed to ensure regulatory compliance. The annual updates describe any changes made to the approved Resource Management Plan based on recent production and reservoir data. As part of our review, we conduct detailed independent geoscience and reservoir engineering studies. These studies allow our team to develop and maintain an independent understanding of the hydrocarbon resources being developed and to ensure waste does not occur. But that’s not the only thing our team does.

Prior to the start of production, and for the lifecycle of the project, our team also conducts resource management and conservation audits to ensure the Resource Management Plan is fully integrated into the operator’s management system.

Production Surveillance

During production, we perform daily production surveillance using advanced reservoir management software and techniques. We also conduct independent reservoir engineering studies to enhance our regulatory oversight. During our daily production surveillance, if any resource management or conservation concerns are noted, they are promptly communicated to the operator and followed up until they are resolved.

Measurement of Production

Our team ensures that all production is accurately measured using appropriately designed and verified measurement systems. We also ensure these systems are operated and maintained in order to achieve the designed measurement accuracy. 


For the lifecycle of each production project, our team will conduct regular audits (typically one to two times per year). These audits are designed to ensure that waste of the resource does not occur and to confirm that the operator’s resource management and conservation practices remain in compliance with regulatory requirements.

To learn more about our auditing process, visit our Monitoring and Compliance page.