The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has issued a Call for Bids for Exploration Licences in the Eastern Newfoundland Region.
Interested parties will have until 12:00 p.m. NST on November 4, 2020 to submit sealed bids for the parcels offered in this Call for Bids. Notification of any changes to the Call for Bids will be posted on the C-NLOPB’s website.
The sole criterion for selecting a winning bid will be the total amount of money the bidder commits to spend on exploration of the parcel during Period I (the first period of a nine-year licence). The minimum bid for the parcels offered is $10,000,000 in work commitments.
Planning, monitoring and assessment of offshore petroleum activities will ensure they occur in an environmentally responsible way. Required regional and/or site-specific mitigation measures will be undertaken before any petroleum-related operations can begin within a licence area, as conditions of
C-NLOPB approvals and authorizations. The timing, spatial extent, and nature of proposed oil and gas activities, in addition to mitigations already prescribed by legislation or regulation, will determine the level of restriction or mitigation that may be required.
A Regional Assessment of Offshore Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling East of Newfoundland and Labrador was recently completed, which included extensive stakeholder engagements. Pursuant to the Regional Assessment, on June 4, 2020 the Government of Canada announced the coming into force of a Ministerial Regulation that improves the efficiency of the assessment process for oil and gas exploration drilling projects in the relevant part of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area, while at the same time protecting the environment.
Seismic programs to be undertaken on these parcels will also be subject to rigorous, science-based Accord Act Environmental Assessments undertaken in close consultation with government subject matter experts and others.
A number of the parcels in this 2020 Call for Bids overlap in part with areas of fish harvesting activity. The C-NLOPB fully appreciates the importance of both the fisheries and petroleum sectors and will continue to engage with fisheries stakeholders and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) throughout the land tenure process. Any companies acquiring Exploration Licences pursuant to this Call for Bids will be required to engage with fishing interests before any oil and gas activities are authorized. Some of the parcels in this 2020 Call for Bids also overlap the Northeast Newfoundland Slope Marine Refuge. The C-NLOPB is focused on the protection of environmentally significant and sensitive areas and will also continue to work closely with DFO and others in this regard.
For any lands entirely or partially beyond Canada’s 200 nautical mile zone, additional terms and conditions may be applied (e.g. through legislation, regulations, amendments to licences or otherwise) to any resulting licence from a Call for Bids in order to meet obligations arising pursuant to article 82 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Based on an assessment of nominations and land tenure considerations, the C-NLOPB has decided not to proceed with a Call for Bids in the Jeanne d’Arc Region in 2020. This is the only land tenure region designated as Mature and has had an annual Call for Bids since the C-NLOPB Land Tenure System was introduced in 2013. Decisions about future Call for Bids in the Jeanne d’Arc Region will be made on an annual basis, per the C-NLOPB’s Scheduled Land Tenure System.
The issuance of this Call for Bids has received C-NLOPB Board approval, along with ratification by the federal and Newfoundland and Labrador governments. Those steps will also be required in the awarding of any Exploration Licences.
Further detailed information about these Calls for Bids is available here.
Any parties interested in receiving email notifications on Scheduled Land Tenure related announcements can contact Shannon Bulger at email@example.com.
Stephanie Johnson, P.Geo
Acting Director of Exploration and Information Resources
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