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Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations (SOR/2009-317)

Regulations are current to 2024-06-19 and last amended on 2009-12-31. Previous Versions

Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations



Registration 2009-11-26

Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations

P.C. 2009-1892 2009-11-26

Whereas, pursuant to subsection 154(1) of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation ActFootnote a, a copy of the proposed Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations, substantially in the annexed form, was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on April 18, 2009 and interested persons were given an opportunity to make representations to the Minister of Natural Resources with respect to the proposed Regulations;

And whereas, pursuant to section 6 of that Act, the Minister of Natural Resources has consulted the Provincial Minister with respect to the proposed Regulations and the latter has given his approval for the making of those Regulations;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Natural Resources, pursuant to subsection 153(1)Footnote b of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation ActFootnote a, hereby makes the annexed Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations.


  •  (1) The following definitions apply in these Regulations.


    abandoned, in relation to a well, means a well or part of a well that has been permanently plugged. (abandonné)


    Act means the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act. (Loi)

    artificial island

    artificial island means a humanly constructed island to provide a site for the exploration and drilling, or the production, storage, transportation, distribution, measurement, processing or handling, of petroleum. (île artificielle)


    authorization means an authorization issued by the Board under paragraph 142(1)(b) of the Act. (autorisation)


    barrier means any fluid, plug or seal that prevents petroleum or any other fluid from flowing unintentionally from a well or from a formation into another formation. (barrière)

    casing liner

    casing liner means a casing that is suspended from a string of casing previously installed in a well and does not extend to the wellhead. (tubage partiel)

    commingled production

    commingled production means production of petroleum from more than one pool or zone through a common well-bore or flow line without separate measurement of the production from each pool or zone. (production mélangée)


    completed, in relation to a well, means a well that is prepared for production or injection operations. (complété)

    completion interval

    completion interval means a section within a well that is prepared to permit the

    • (a) production of fluids from the well;

    • (b) observation of the performance of a reservoir; or

    • (c) injection of fluids into the well. (intervalle de complétion)

    conductor casing

    conductor casing means the casing that is installed in a well to facilitate drilling of the hole for the surface casing. (tubage initial)

    drilling program

    drilling program means the program for the drilling of one or more wells within a specified area and time using one or more drilling installations and includes any work or activity related to the program. (programme de forage)

    environmental protection plan

    environmental protection plan means the environmental protection plan submitted to the Board under section 6. (plan de protection de l’environnement)

    flow allocation procedure

    flow allocation procedure means the procedure to

    • (a) allocate total measured quantities of petroleum and water produced from or injected into a pool or zone back to individual wells in a pool or zone where individual well production or injection is not measured separately; and

    • (b) allocate production to fields that are using a common storage or processing facility. (méthode de répartition du débit)

    flow calculation procedure

    flow calculation procedure means the procedure to be used to convert raw meter output to a measured quantity of petroleum or water. (méthode de calcul du débit)

    flow system

    flow system means the flow meters, auxiliary equipment attached to the flow meters, fluid sampling devices, production test equipment, the master meter and meter prover used to measure and record the rate and volumes at which fluids are

    • (a) produced from or injected into a pool;

    • (b) used as a fuel;

    • (c) used for artificial lift; or

    • (d) flared or transferred from a production installation. (système d’écoulement)


    fluid means gas, liquid or a combination of the two. (fluide)

    formation flow test

    formation flow test means an operation

    • (a) to induce the flow of formation fluids to the surface of a well to procure reservoir fluid samples and determine reservoir flow characteristics; or

    • (b) to inject fluids into a formation to evaluate injectivity. (essai d’écoulement de formation)


    incident means

    • (a) any event that causes

      • (i) a lost or restricted workday injury,

      • (ii) death,

      • (iii) fire or explosion,

      • (iv) a loss of containment of any fluid from a well,

      • (v) an imminent threat to the safety of a person, installation or support craft, or

      • (vi) pollution;

    • (b) any event that results in a missing person; or

    • (c) any event that causes

      • (i) the impairment of any structure, facility, equipment or system critical to the safety of persons, an installation or support craft, or

      • (ii) the impairment of any structure, facility, equipment or system critical to environmental protection. (incident)

    lost or restricted workday injury

    lost or restricted workday injury means an injury that prevents an employee from reporting for work or from effectively performing all the duties connected with the employee’s regular work on any day subsequent to the day on which the injury occurred whether or not that subsequent day is a working day for that employee. (blessure entraînant une perte de temps de travail)

    minor injury

    minor injury means an employment injury for which medical treatment or first aid is provided and excludes a lost or restricted workday injury. (blessure sans gravité)

    multi-pool well

    multi-pool well means a well that is completed in more than one pool. (puits à gisements multiples)

    natural environment

    natural environment means the physical and biological environment. (milieu naturel)


    near-miss means an event that would likely cause an event set out in paragraph (a) of the definition of incident, but does not due to particular circumstances. (quasi-incident)


    operator means a person that holds an operating licence under paragraph 142(1)(a) of the Act and an authorization. (exploitant)

    physical environmental conditions

    physical environmental conditions means the meteorological, oceanographic and related physical conditions, including ice conditions, that might affect a work or activity that is subject to an authorization. (conditions environnementales)


    pollution means the introduction into the natural environment of any substance or form of energy outside the limits applicable to the activity that is subject to an authorization, including spills. (pollution)

    production control system

    production control system means the system provided to control the operation of, and monitor the status of, equipment for the production of petroleum, and includes the installation and workover control system. (système de contrôle de la production)

    production project

    production project means an undertaking for the purpose of developing a production site on, or producing petroleum from, a pool or field, and includes any work or activity related to the undertaking. (projet de production)

    proration test

    proration test means, in respect of a development well to which a development plan applies, a test conducted to measure the rates at which fluids are produced from the well for allocation purposes. (essai au prorata)


    recovery means the recovery of petroleum under reasonably foreseeable economic and operational conditions. (récupération)

    relief well

    relief well means a well drilled to assist in controlling a blow-out in an existing well. (puits de secours)

    rig release date

    rig release date means the date on which a rig last conducted well operations. (date de libération de l’appareil de forage)

    safety plan

    safety plan means the safety plan submitted to the Board under section 6. (plan de sécurité)


    seafloor means the surface of all that portion of land under the sea. (fond marin)

    slick line

    slick line means a single steel cable used to run tools in a well. (câble lisse)

    support craft

    support craft means a vessel, vehicle, aircraft, standby vessel or other craft used to provide transportation for or assistance to persons on the site where a work or activity is conducted. (véhicule de service)

    surface casing

    surface casing means the casing that is installed in a well to a sufficient depth, in a competent formation, to establish well control for the continuation of the drilling operations. (tubage de surface)


    suspended, in relation to a well or part of a well, means a well or part of a well in which drilling or production operations have temporarily ceased. (suspension de l’exploitation)


    termination means the abandonment, completion or suspension of a well’s operations. (cessation)

    waste material

    waste material means any garbage, refuse, sewage or waste well fluids or any other useless material that is generated during drilling, well or production operations, including used or surplus drilling fluid and drill cuttings and produced water. (déchets)

    well approval

    well approval means the approval granted by the Board under section 13. (approbation relative à un puits)


    well-bore means the hole drilled by a bit in order to make a well. (trou de sonde)

    well control

    well control means the control of the movement of fluids into or from a well. (contrôle d’un puits)

    well operation

    well operation means the operation of drilling, completion, recompletion, intervention, re-entry, workover, suspension or abandonment of a well. (travaux relatifs à un puits)

    wire line

    wire line means a line that contains a conductor wire and that is used to run survey instruments or other tools in a well. (câble)


    workover means an operation on a completed well that requires removal of the Christmas tree or the tubing. (reconditionnement)


    zone means any stratum or any sequence of strata and includes, for the purposes of the definition commingled production, section 7, subsection 61(2), sections 64 to 66 and 74, subsection 83(2) and section 86, a zone that has been designated as such by the Board under section 4. (couche)

  • (2) In these Regulations, delineation well, development well and exploratory well have the same meaning as in subsection 122(1) of the Act.

  • (3) In these Regulations, drilling installation, drilling rig, drilling unit, drill site, installation, production installation, production operation, production site and subsea production system have the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Installations Regulations.

  • (4) The following definitions apply for the purposes of paragraph 142(4)(c) of the Act:

    production facility

    production facility means equipment for the production of petroleum located at a production site, including separation, treating and processing facilities, equipment and facilities used in support of production operations, landing areas, heliports, storage areas or tanks and dependent personnel accommodations, but not including any associated platform, artificial island, subsea production system, drilling equipment or diving system. (matériel de production)

    production platform

    production platform means a production facility and any associated platform, artificial island, subsea production system, offshore loading system, drilling equipment, facilities related to marine activities and dependent diving system. (plate-forme de production)

  • (5) For the purpose of section 198.2 of the Act, any installation is prescribed as an installation.

PART 1Board’s Powers


 The Board is authorized to make orders respecting the allocation of areas, including the determination of the size of spacing units and the well production rates for the purpose of drilling for or producing petroleum and to exercise any powers and perform any duties that may be necessary for the management and control of petroleum production.

Names and Designations

 The Board may give a name, classification or status to any well and may change that name, classification or status.

 The Board may also

  • (a) designate a zone for the purposes of these Regulations;

  • (b) give a name to a pool or field; and

  • (c) define the boundaries of a pool, zone or field for the purpose of identifying it.

PART 2Management System, Application for Authorization and Well Approvals

Management System

  •  (1) The applicant for an authorization shall develop an effective management system that integrates operations and technical systems with the management of financial and human resources to ensure compliance with the Act and these Regulations.

  • (2) The management system shall include

    • (a) the policies on which the system is based;

    • (b) the processes for setting goals for the improvement of safety, environmental protection and waste prevention;

    • (c) the processes for identifying hazards and for evaluating and managing the associated risks;

    • (d) the processes for ensuring that personnel are trained and competent to perform their duties;

    • (e) the processes for ensuring and maintaining the integrity of all facilities, structures, installations, support craft and equipment necessary to ensure safety, environmental protection and waste prevention;

    • (f) the processes for the internal reporting and analysis of hazards, minor injuries, incidents and near-misses and for taking corrective actions to prevent their recurrence;

    • (g) the documents describing all management system processes and the processes for making personnel aware of their roles and responsibilities with respect to them;

    • (h) the processes for ensuring that all documents associated with the system are current, valid and have been approved by the appropriate level of authority;

    • (i) the processes for conducting periodic reviews or audits of the system and for taking corrective actions if reviews or audits identify areas of non-conformance with the system and opportunities for improvement;

    • (j) the arrangements for coordinating the management and operations of the proposed work or activity among the owner of the installation, the contractors, the operator and others, as applicable; and

    • (k) the name and position of the person accountable for the establishment and maintenance of the system and of the person responsible for implementing it.

  • (3) The management system documentation shall be controlled and set out in a logical and systematic fashion to allow for ease of understanding and efficient implementation.

  • (4) The management system shall correspond to the size, nature and complexity of the operations and activities, hazards and risks associated with the operations.


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