Skip to content

Offshore petroleum board extends BP’s exploration license

Offshore petroleum board extends BP’s exploration license

NS Offshore Alliance says government is letting corporations call the shots on climate action 

(Halifax/Kjipuktuk) — BP has been allowed to renew its offshore exploration licenses in Nova Scotia despite the need to rapidly ramp down fossil fuel production and use in favour of preserving a safe and stable climate. The Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) decided on Friday to approve the extension of BP’s license by one year, enabling the company to drill additional exploration wells on the Scotian Shelf.

“The offshore petroleum board is letting BP call the shots about our climate,” said Council of Canadians campaigner Robin Tress. “It’s clear that Nova Scotians want strong climate action and to build a resilient economy that can respond to the climate crisis, but the government continues to let corporations call the shots.”

“People in Nova Scotia are working hard to create a sustainable and equitable future for our communities in the face of the climate crisis, but it’s hard to imagine how we can succeed if the government is going to do the exact opposite of what scientists tell us is necessary to maintain a stable global climate1,” said Gretchen Fitzgerald, Sierra Club Canada Foundation national program director and co-chair of the Offshore Alliance2. Scientists have been saying for years that we must stop exploring for new fossil fuel reserves1, and rapidly decrease extraction3.

“It’s disappointing to see the government prioritize corporate profits for some of the world’s richest and most polluting companies over the real and pressing needs of our communities,” says Marion Moore of the Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia. “The CNSOPB continues to work in support of the fossil fuel industry and ignore the real risks that offshore drilling and exploration poses to Nova Scotia’s communities, economy and climate.”

“We have a multi-billion dollar fishing industry and a multi-million dollar tourism industry both of which require a clean, oil-free ocean.” Says John Davis, chair of the Clean Ocean Action Committee, a fishers’ organization representing more than 9000 vessel owners, captains, crew members and fish plant owners. “BP is not a good neighbor. They hold one of the worst spill records in the offshore oil industry. They simply should not be allowed on the Scotian Shelf.”

Along with almost 69,000 people across the country, the Council of Canadians and the Offshore Alliance3 is calling for a moratorium on offshore drilling and exploration, and an independent inquiry on the social, economic and environmental impacts of offshore drilling.


  1. http://priceofoil.org/2013/09/27/ipcc-says-must-stop-digging/
  1. The Offshore Alliance is a coalition of community groups, environmental organizations, and fisheries groups working towards a moratorium on offshore drilling and exploration in Nova Scotia, and a public inquiry on the social, economic, environmental, and climate impacts of offshore oil and gas.
  2. https://productiongap.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/PGR2020_ExecSum_web.pdf