Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board memutuskan untuk menyerahkan hak eksplorasi kepada Shell Canada Ltd. untuk empat paket deepwater di offshore di barat daya Nova Scotia.

Shell has committed to spend $970 million exploring the properties in the next 6 years. Award of the blocks is expected in March 2012. No bids were received for four other parcels posted in the province’s 2011 call for bids. The next call for bids is to be posted in May 2012.

Nova Scotia Energy Minister Charlie Parker noted that the province had “invested in world-class research and committed to sharing our findings with oil and gas companies around the world. We’re seeing the results of that investment today”.

The province has invested $15 million of offshore revenues in an analysis to prepare a 350-page atlas of the offshore. The Offshore Energy Technology Association commissioned RPS Consulting and Beicip Franlab for the industry-standard analysis. Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s universities, Natural Resources Canada’s Geological Survey of Canada, the CNOPB, and Department of Energy also contributed.

The study calculated that the province could have potential reserves of 120 tcf of natural gas and 8 billion bbl of oil.