Offshore Projects and Exploration in Nova Scotia

Current Projects

Two natural gas projects are located offshore Nova Scotia:

  • The Sable Offshore Energy Project, operated by ExxonMobil, began producing natural gas in 1999. The project is located on the Scotian Shelf, about 200 kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia.
  • Deep Panuke, operated by Encana Corporation, started producing and processing natural gas from the Deep Panuke field in 2013. The project is located about 250 kilometres southeast of Halifax on the Scotian Shelf.


Growth Potential and Exploration Activity

Nova Scotia’s resource potential is significant. Combined with proximity to market and existing infrastructure, this potential is attracting investment.

It is estimated that more than $2 billion will be spent on exploration in the Nova Scotia offshore in the next few years. Significant exploration programs are underway by Shell Canada and BP Canada offshore Nova Scotia.

In June of 2014, one year after Shell conducted the first 3D Wide Azimuth (WAZ) Seismic Survey in offshore Canada, the company announced that ConocoPhillips and Suncor Energy were joining them as Joint Venture partners on its Deepwater Shelburne Basin Venture Exploration Program. It includes six exploration licenses covering 19,845 km² about 300 kilometres offshore of Nova Scotia where the water ranges in depth from 500 to 3,500 metres. Having successfully completed the 3D WAZ seismic survey of 10,850 km² in 2013, the venture team conducted a seabed survey in 2014 to build on that data acquired from the 2013 survey to further assess potential drilling locations.  Shell has completed one well in the Shelburne Basin and the drilling of the second well is underway.

In 2014, BP completed a Tangier 3D Seismic Survey to evaluate the geology of the seabed in the four exploration licences 300 kilometres off the Nova Scotia coast, southeast of Halifax, in water ranging from 100 to 3,500 metres deep. Current activity is focused on drilling-program planning, including environmental assessment work and ongoing consultation with a range of stakeholders. Drilling is expected to begin in 2018.

Investing in the Community

Nova Scotia’s oil and natural gas industry is creating jobs; opportunities for local business; and investment in research and development, education, and training. Communities throughout the province benefit from the resource royalties and taxes paid to governments resulting from oil and natural gas activity.

Below are examples of community programs and projects supported by Nova Scotia’s offshore operators and explorers:

  • Encana and ExxonMobil are major supporters of Techsploration, a program dedicated to empowering young women to explore careers in science, trades and technology. Read more about the industry’s support for the Techsploration program.
  • Shell Canada recently announced $600,000 in funding for Dalhousie University to support hands-on learning. Read more about the Shell’s investment.