Canada and Nova Scotia have opened close-competitive bidding for exploration licenses to six oil blocks off the province.
Three blocks, as gathered from OTC press briefing, will be in the shallow water close to existing production in the Sable subbasin of the Scotian Shelf, while the balance are on the Scotian Slope downdip from the Sable Delta.
The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, an independent joint agency of the federal and provincial governments, posted four of the blocks. The others were nominated by oil and gas companies.
The province is accepting bids through October. 27, 2016, and offers results of a geological and geophysical assessment as well as seismic and well data on a dedicated web site.
Exploration licenses which include the exclusive right to obtain a production license based on negotiated royalty have 9-year terms with exploration licenses based on work expenditure.
On the offer table was one of the shallow-water blocks – Parcel 1, encompassing a 1972 well that encountered 52 m of net gas pay in Late Cretaceous Wyandot chalk. There’s also Cretaceous Chebucto Canyon, which accommodates sediment transport to deepwater parcels with water depths in the block approach 400 m.
Circumspect Parcel 2 features thick Cretaceous and Jurassic sediments of the Sable Delta complex, heavily faulted as the delta prograded seaward and the Sable subbasin subsided.
And Parcel 3 lies south of a production license between discoveries designated Glenelg and Chebucto also with depths of less than 400 m.