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Newfoundland and Labrador

In 2016, bp acquired exploration licences (ELs) in the Orphan Basin, offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. An initial well, Ephesus, was drilled in 2023 within EL 1168 in the West Orphan Basin. bp maintains exploration rights to the ELs in the West and East Orphan Basins. 

Exploring offshore Newfoundland and Labrador aligns with bp's significant experience in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas offshore.

Newfoundland base map

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Environmental assessment

In 2018, bp submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and EIS Summary document to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada for review by regulatory agencies, Indigenous peoples, and public stakeholders. These documents described the proposed drilling program activities and potential environmental and social impacts, as well as associated mitigation proposed to reduce or eliminate adverse impacts. On February 12, 2020 the Minister of Environment and Climate Change issued the Environmental Assessment Decision Statement indicating the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects and establishing a set of conditions to which the project must comply if it proceeds. All documents associated with the environmental assessment process are available on the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. bp will adhere to these conditions and work with the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board and other regulatory agencies to obtain approvals required as part of each drilling program.

A white lighthouse sits on the shoreline next to blue water

Planning and incident prevention

Safe operations are bp's priority. The company’s goals are clear: no accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment.


Throughout the lifecycle of projects and operations, bp aims to manage and mitigate environmental impacts. Offshore exploration activity requires operators to submit an environmental protection plan to the Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) that will support appropriate management of statutory requirements, as well as conditions and commitments from the environmental assessment.

A suite of robust and fully compliant incident response plans are developed for each exploration drilling program. 

Community engagement

bp recognizes the importance of early and ongoing Indigenous and stakeholder engagement that continues over the life of the project. In late 2017, we initiated discussions with Indigenous communities, fisheries stakeholders, and regulatory agencies to introduce our proposed exploration drilling program and to obtain early feedback on interests and concerns. bp will continue to engage with Indigenous communities and interested stakeholders during project planning and implementation.

Newfoundland & Labrador Orphan Basin Exploration Drilling Project - Associated Documents

bp Canada Energy Group ULC is conducting exploration drilling activities offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in 2023.  In accordance with Condition 2.9 – Information Submission and Publication from the Decision Statement, issued under Section 54 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, bp Canada is required to post specific reports and information on a public website. The reports provided are in compliance with this requirement. The report listing will be updated as new information becomes available. Additional Environment Assessment background, related information, regulations, statutes and guidelines are available on the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) websites.