For decades, the C-NLOPB has encouraged and actively engaged in efforts to promote successful communication and cooperation between the fishing and oil and gas sectors, recognizing both are economic cornerstones of Newfoundland and Labrador and the rest of Canada.
Since 2013, the C-NLOPB’s Scheduled Land Tenure process has provided predictability and transparency, featuring successively focused Calls for Nominations that are used to inform decisions regarding the identification of areas of interest, sectors and parcels, leading to eventual Calls for Bids and the issuance of exploration licences. The latter step is a Fundamental Decision that requires approvals by governments.
The current Calls for Nominations in the mature Jeanne d’Arc Region and high-activity Eastern Newfoundland Region were announced on August 29, 2019. The first represents the annual Call for Nominations (Parcels) in the Jeanne d’Arc Region and the second builds upon a previous Sector identification issued publicly by the C-NLOPB in July 2018. Subject to input received in the Calls for Nominations process, the next step is an anticipated Call for Bids on specific parcels (planned for Spring 2020).
Throughout the Scheduled Land Tenure process, C-NLOPB staff assess nominations and input received, as well as information available from the relevant Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The areas included in current Calls for Nominations were included in the Eastern Newfoundland SEA, which was developed by the C-NLOPB in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and government subject-matter experts. In its SEAs, as in project-specific environmental assessments and all related activities, C-NLOPB staff rely on expert advice from Fisheries and Oceans Canada with respect to sensitive areas and questions of interaction with marine species.
Further, a Regional Assessment of Offshore Exploratory Drilling East of Newfoundland and Labrador is now under development, focusing on the effects of existing and anticipated offshore oil and gas exploratory drilling in the area. That assessment, which again has a number of stakeholder engagement opportunities, will build upon the experience and knowledge gained in assessing previous projects, reduce duplication in processes and information, and result in more efficient reviews for exploration projects.
C-NLOPB Executive and senior staff meet regularly with the FFAW and other fishing industry representatives, and participate in One Ocean, the liaison organization established by and for the fishing and petroleum industries of Newfoundland and Labrador. Issues of common interest are discussed regularly with these parties, and C-NLOPB staff are open and forthcoming in providing information about land tenure initiatives and potential long-term plans.
Once a Call for Bids is announced and a successful bidder is awarded an exploration licence, assessments of regional and/or site-specific issues must be completed before any work can begin within the licence area. There are additional, ample opportunities throughout those environmental assessment processes for stakeholders to provide meaningful input.
The timing, spatial extent, and nature of proposed oil and gas activities, in addition to mitigations already prescribed by legislation, will determine the level of additional restriction or mitigation that may be required in the presence of sensitive areas or other environmental considerations. Any such measures would be determined during the project-specific environmental assessment and/or other regulatory approval processes.
Offshore safety and environmental protection are paramount in all Board decisions. The C-NLOPB will not approve any offshore petroleum-related activity until an operator demonstrates that it has met all legislative and regulatory requirements and has reduced risks to levels that are as low as reasonably practicable. C-NLOPB staff are working closely with government agencies in response to recent spills in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area, and the C-NLOPB is doing its part through regulatory oversight to improve the performance of the industry and hold operators to account for their obligations.
(709) 725-2900 (Cell)
|2019, Sep 5||C-NLOPB Response to FFAW Press Conference and News Release regarding Calls for Nominations in Eastern Newfoundland and Jeanne d’Arc Regions|
|2019, Aug 29||C-NLOPB Issues Calls for Nominations for Offshore Land Parcels|
|2019, Apr 3||C-NLOPB Announces 2019 Calls for Bids in the South Eastern Newfoundland and Jeanne d’Arc Regions|
|2019, Feb 5||C-NLOPB Announces Scheduled Land Tenure System Updates|