The C-NLOPB was created in 1986 through the Atlantic Accord for the purposes of regulating the oil and gas industry offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. The Board operates at arms-length from governments and reports to both the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Natural Resources. Decisions of the Board, referred to in legislation as ‘Fundamental Decisions’, are referred to government for approval or rejection.

Pursuant to the legislation, the C-NLOPB has four regulatory mandates: Safety, Environmental Protection, Resource Management and Industrial Benefits. The Board regulates exploration licences, significant discovery licences, and production licenses covering an area of 7,365,000 hectares; that is an area of about two-thirds of the size of the island portion of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Board is comprised of seven persons; three appointed by the Federal Government, three appointed by the Provincial Government, and a Chair and CEO that is appointed jointly by the two governments. Board members are: Scott Tessier (Chair and CEO), Ed Williams (Vice-Chair), Lidija Cicnjak-Chubbs, Wes Foote, Roger Grimes, Cynthia Hickman and Ted O’Keefe.