Frontier and Offshore Regulatory Renewal Initiative

The objective of the Frontier and Offshore Regulatory Renewal Initiative (FORRI) is to modernize the regulatory framework governing oil and gas activities in Canada's frontier and offshore oil and gas areas. FORRI is a partnership of federal and provincial government departments and includes participation of the Boards responsible for the regulation of frontier and offshore oil and gas activities.

Modernizing the regulations governing frontier and offshore oil and gas activities contributes to Canada’s high standards for safety, environmental protection and resource management.

These regulations apply to companies and/or individuals that propose to, or have been authorized to, carry out activities related to the exploration and drilling for, and the production, conservation, processing and transportation of oil and gas in Canada’s frontier and offshore areas. Relevant activities include geophysical operations (such as seismic activities), exploration and development drilling, and the construction, certification, and operation of production facilities.

PROJECTS/INITIATIVES

Framework Regulations

The current focus under FORRI is to modernize and amalgamate the five existing regulations listed below into one single Framework Regulation.

FORRI is also the vehicle through which governments have previously developed new regulations applying to frontier and offshore petroleum activities.This includes the development of three new regulations that entered into force in 2016:

  • Cost Recovery Regulations (within joint management areas only)
  • Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations
  • Financial Requirements Regulations

Click here to see more information on these previously developed regulations.

Note: The governments of Canada (Natural Resources Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada), Nova Scotia (Labour and Advanced Education) and Newfoundland and Labrador (Service NL), together with the participation of the offshore boards (the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board), are also developing Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations for the joint management offshore areas. These regulations are being developed outside of the FORRI process to replace transitional OHS regulations that will expire in December 2019.  

BACKGROUND

FORRI is an intergovernmental partnership between Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources, and the Nova Scotia Department of Energy. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and the National Energy Board are also participants in this initiative.

Management of Canada’s Offshore Oil and Gas Industry

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act  (the Accord Acts) define joint management regime in place between the federal government and respective provincial governments. The FORRI partnership provides an opportunity for the federal and provincial governments to develop new regulations jointly since, under the Accord Acts, the Minister of Natural Resources must secure approval from his provincial counterpart prior to recommending regulations under those Acts to the Governor in Council.

Oil and gas activities in the frontier and in offshore areas outside of the joint management areas, are governed by the Canada Petroleum Resources Act (CPRA) and the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA).

  • In the north (Nunavut and Arctic Offshore areas), oil and gas activities are regulated by the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the National Energy Board.
  • In the south (the Pacific, James Bay, all of Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Ungava Bay and most of the Gulf of St. Lawrence), oil and gas activities are regulated by the Minister of Natural Resources and the National Energy Board.

Under these Acts, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs must jointly recommend regulations to the Governor in Council. The FORRI partnership ensures consistent advice is provided to both Ministers and a consistent oil and gas regime is maintained across Canada.

Offshore and Frontier Oil and Gas Jurisdictions in Canada

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CANADA'S OFFSHORE AND FRONTIER PETROLEUM ADMINISTRATIVE LAND AREAS

NRCan (CPRA) and NEB (COGOA) administrative area

AANDC (CPRA) and NEB (COGOA) administrative area

Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board administrative area

Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board administrative area

Prospective Canada-Quebec Joint Management Area

Saint Pierre et Miquelon (France)

NOTES

  1. For the purposes of this map, these administrative areas are shown to extend only to 200 nm (M). These administrative areas extend beyond 200 M to outer limits of the continental shelf that will be established by Canada in the future. Canada has filed a submission regarding the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the review of which is pending, and will file a submission regarding the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean in the future.
  2. Most Board decisions on calls for bids, licences and Development Plans are subject to ministerial ratification by the Minister of Natural Resources and his/her provincial counterpart.
  3. Subject to Parliamentary approval.
  4. Locations and representation of the jurisdiction areas are approximate.

STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION

The development of the policy intent for the Framework Regulations is underway and comprises the phases outlined below, with different topics addressed in each phase. All documentation and stakeholder feedback will be posted as the process unfolds.

Note: Some of the information below has been provided by external sources. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information supplied by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information. Content provided by external sources is not subject to official languages, privacy and accessibility requirements.

Following the first three phases of engagement on policy intent noted above, stakeholders will be given the chance to comment on a complete draft Framework Regulation. This fourth phase of engagement is expected in Spring 2018.

Formal consultation Framework Regulation is expected to be initiated in Fall 2018, when the draft regulation is published in the Canada Gazette Part 1.

CONTACT US

You can reach the FORRI partners for more information or to provide feedback:

  • By e-mail to: nrcan.forri-irrzpe.rncan@canada.ca
  • By fax to: 613-943-2274
  • By mail to:  Offshore Petroleum Management Division (OPMD), Natural Resources Canada
    580 Booth Street, 17th Floor, Room: A2-1 Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0E4