Before carrying out any work or activity respecting petroleum operations in the Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area, an Operator must obtain both an Operating Licence and an Authorization as specified by sections 137 and 138 of the Atlantic Accord Act. Various approvals are also required for certain activities and matters; these are described under Approvals. A centralized regulatory coordination function has been established within the C-NLOPB to ensure a consistent and timely review of applications for authorizations and approvals. Any questions related to the authorization or approval process may be directed to:
Policy and Regulatory Coordination Division
Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
Fifth Floor, TD Place
140 Water Street
St. John’s, NL A1C 6H6
Tel: (709) 778-1429
The processing of any application for authorization or approval is subject to the Board’s Cost Recovery Policy. An invoice will be sent to the Operator for this fee upon receipt of the application, except where the cost recovery fees are invoiced on a project-by-project basis. Information concerning the current cost recovery fees can be provided upon request to email@example.com.
Approvals may involve the approval of certain documents, plans or other matters as specified by the legislation or regulations, or the approval of specific activities conducted under an authorization. Approvals include:
The well approval templates provided below prescribe the form of an application to the C-NLOPB. As these templates are subject to revision from time to time, an Operator making an application to the Board should download the template directly from the Boards website.
An Approval to Drill a Well (ADW) or an Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (ACW) is required for well operations involving drilling a well or that involves re-entering a well following completion of the scope of activities covered by the ADW, respectively. A wellsite seabed survey must be completed prior to the issuance of the ADW. Information regarding the process for obtaining approval of wellsite surveys is provided under the Geophysical Program Authorization (GPA).
Pursuant to the petroleum drilling and production regulations the Board has authority to grant a well approval if the operator demonstrates that the drilling of that well will be conducted safely; without waste and without pollution, in compliance with those regulations. These goal-oriented regulations require that the Operations department ensure:
The responsibilities of the Well Operations include:
The ADW covers operations on the well up to, and including, the termination of the well, which itself could include suspension, abandonment or completion. If the well is to be tested, Approval of a Formation Flow Test Program is required. Any operation following the termination of a well is covered by an Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (ACW).
In the case of a new Operator or a new project, particularly for an exploration well, early consultation with C-NLOPB staff is encouraged in the areas of well design, data acquisition and environmental protection to ensure that the Operator’s approach to these matters is consistent with regulatory requirements and expectations. In such cases, it is recommended that consultations occur six months or more prior to the submission of the ADW. These consultations may be arranged by contacting the C-NLOPB.
The ADW Template prescribes the form of the application to the C-NLOPB for an ADW.
The ADW process is complete when the ADW is issued to the Operator.
The ADW form prescribes the generic format of the ADW issued by the C-NLOPB. This may vary somewhat in that the conditions to be placed on the ADW may vary from well to well.
In the event that it becomes necessary to deviate from the well data acquisition program described in and approved as part of the ADW, the Operator should submit an Operational Waiver/Deviation from an Approved Well Data Acquisition Program form for the approval of the Chief Conservation Officer.
The ACW is required for any operation that involves re-entering a well following completion of the scope of activities covered by the ADW. An ACW is not required if the planned operation is covered by the Operations Authorization (OA) or is exempted pursuant to sub-section 10(2) of the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations.
The specific well operations that do or do not require an ACW are described in the Board’s Drilling and Production guidelines. Operators should consult the Board on a case-by-case basis if uncertainty exists as to whether or not an ACW is required.
The ACW Template prescribes the form of the application to the
C-NLOPB for Approval for a Well Operation.
The ACW process is complete when the ACW is issued to the Operator.
The ACW form prescribes the generic format of the ACW issued by the C-NLOPB. This may vary somewhat in that the conditions to be placed on the ACW may vary from well to well.
A Notification to Abandon/Suspend or a Notification to Complete is required to be provided to the C-NLOPB no later than five working days prior to suspending, abandoning or completing any well. Prior to submitting a notification, the Operator must ensure that the logs referred in the notification are submitted to the C-NLOPB.
A Well Termination Record is required to be provided to the C-NLOPB within 30 days of completing the well termination operations.
Approval of a Formation Flow Testing Program is required in accordance with section 52 of the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations.
The Operator’s proposed well testing program should be submitted to the C-NLOPB for approval. The program should comply with the relevant provisions of the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations. Particular scrutiny will need to be paid to safety and environmental protection matters. Operators should also refer to the Resource Management section for information respecting the data acquisition and reporting requirements pertaining to formation flow testing programs.