Canadian Agency Calls for Bids on Shallow, Deep Water Licenses

The Canada - Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) has issued Call for Bids NS08-1. The Call consists of two industry nominated parcels, one in shallow water and one in deeper water. Bids must be received by Thursday, October 30, 2008, 4:00pm Atlantic Time.

The public is invited to submit written comments to the Board on the lands included in this Call for Bids. Written submissions must be received by Thursday October 16, 2008, 4:00pm Atlantic Time. Such submissions will be considered by the Board before an Exploration License is issued.
About the Parcels
Parcel 1
  • Parcel 1 is in the Sable Subbasin where 23 discoveries have been made. Water depths range from 50-400 m.
  • The parcel is surrounded by a producing gas field and two significant gas discoveries. It is 6 km from the Sable Offshore Energy Project’s North Triumph production platform and pipeline.
  • The parcel presents a favourable setting for thick, good quality, gas bearing, Missisauga reservoir sands trapped within rollover anticlines.

Parcel 2

  • Parcel 2 is in the western region of the Scotian Basin, 275 km southwest of Sable Island in water depths from 150-2300 m.
  •  There is considerable hydrocarbon potential within the reef margin facies of the Jurassic Abenaki formation - directly analogous to the Deep Panuke gas discovery with 659 billion cubic feet (mean) of recoverable gas.
  •  Potential exists for lower Tertiary turbidite fan complexes, such as those interpreted on Exploration Licence 2407 directly adjacent to the parcel.

The successful bidder(s) will be awarded an Exploration Licence (EL) subject to federal and provincial Ministerial approval. The ELs will include updated terms and conditions, for example:
  • A lower minimum work expenditure bid, reduced from $1,000,000 to $500,000.
  • By posting $50,000 upfront, work deposits can be submitted after three years, rather than in the first year.
  • A 150% credit on allowable expenditures approved in the first three years.
  • Deep water parcels allotted an extra year in Period 1 to account for the challenges of exploring in deeper waters.
 Should the successful bidder later seek a Significant Discovery Licence (SDL) for the lands, the SDL will be subject to refundable escalating rentals.

Successful bidders will be required to perform a project specific environmental assessment before activity can begin. The parcels are within areas previously assessed from an environmental perspective, including the Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP) Environmental Impact Statement (1996), BEPCo. Canada's Comprehensive Study Report (2005) and the Deep Panuke Offshore Gas Development Project Comprehensive Study Report (2007).

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