Nova Scotia

BP is conducting exploration drilling as part of the Scotian Basin Exploration Project

Learn more in the video on exploring offshore Nova Scotia

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Approximately 330 kilometres offshore Nova Scotia, BP completed drilling operations at the Aspy D-11 exploration well in 2018. BP holds a 50% interest in the ELs and is the operator of the exploration programme. Hess Canada holds a 50% interest in the ELs.

In 2019, as part of routine licence management activity, BP surrendered 50 percent of its large acreage.

Exploring offshore Nova Scotia aligns with BP’s significant experience in the exploration and production of oil and gas offshore. Exploration is a critical activity to enable continued oil and gas discoveries to maintain production to meet global demand.

Exploration involves both seismic acquisition and drilling wells. Seismic surveys assist in locating potential hydrocarbon resources. In 2014, BP conducted a safe and successful 3D seismic programme of the lease area. The data collected allows geologists to estimate where potential hydrocarbons may reside but only drilling a well will confirm their presence.

During exploration drilling, information and samples are collected about the rocks and fluids (water, gas and oil) encountered by the well in order to determine the presence, nature and quantities of the potential hydrocarbon resource.

For more information on exploration in Atlantic Canada’s offshore, please visit

Environmental assessment

As a key part of the environmental assessment process, BP submitted its environmental impact statement for an exploration drilling programme to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in late 2016. It describes the proposed activities and potential environmental and social impacts, and associated mitigations as part of those activities that will inform the conditions of how BP will operate.

All documents associated with this process are available on the CEAA website.

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-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) 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 has been developed for the Scotian Basin Exploration Project. These plans were submitted for review and have been accepted by the CNSOPB, which is responsible for oversight and approval of offshore projects in the province.

Community engagement

BP has been engaging with stakeholders and communities on the Scotian Basin Exploration Project since 2013. Listening and responding to concerns they may have about BP’s activities are an important part of obtaining and maintaining BP’s privilege to operate in Nova Scotia. BP will continue to provide information and opportunities for dialogue throughout the project planning phases.

Part of the environmental assessment process includes public participation opportunities throughout the process. Local and traditional knowledge about the Scotian Basin Exploration Project’s physical location aids in identifying and addressing potential environmental effects.

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