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Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board


Natural Resources


Section 10 of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Newfoundland and Labrador Act


Section 13 of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Newfoundland and Labrador Act.


The C-NLOPB was created in 1986 through the Atlantic Accord for the purposes of regulating the oil and gas industry offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. The Board operates at arms-length from governments and reports to both the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Natural Resources. The Board also has a reporting relationship to the provincial minister of Service NL with regard to offshore occupational health and safety matters. Decisions of the Board, referred to in legislation as ‘Fundamental Decisions’, are referred to government for approval or rejection. Other Board decisions and actions are final, unless otherwise provided for in the legislation.

Pursuant to the legislation, the C-NLOPB has four regulatory mandates: Safety, Environmental Protection, Resource Management and Industrial Benefits. The C-NLOPB’s mandate is limited to the offshore area by legislative restrictions.

The Board is comprised of seven persons; three appointed by the Federal Government, three appointed by the Provincial Government, and a Chair and CEO that is appointed jointly by the two governments.

The C-NLOPB had a budget of $17,670,000 for the fiscal year 2015-16. In approving a budget for submission to Governments, the Board provides for adequate financial resources and appropriate staff to carry out the C-NLOPB’s legislative mandate.

Under the Accord Acts, specific responsibilities of the C-NLOPB include:

  • Setting rules, procedures and processes for issuance and oversight of offshore interests and administration of petroleum rights (exploration licences, significant discovery licences, and production licenses)
  • approve all activities respecting the exploration, drilling, production, conservation, processing, or transportation of petroleum – with particular regard to safety and environment
  • approve development and benefits plans
  • curate technical samples & materials (geological, geophysical and other information generated from oil and gas activities in the offshore)

The C-NLOPB Board also:

  • Coordinates decisions on all fundamental matters defined in the legislation
  • Designates statute-required officers – Chief Safety Officer and Chief Conservation Officer
  • Approves a strategic plan and annual business plans
  • Establishes and monitors Board committees
  • Ensures compliance with joint directives
  • Provides strategic policy direction in key mandate areas, including:
    • Health and safety for offshore workers.
    • Protection of the environment during offshore petroleum activities,
    • Management and conservation of offshore petroleum resources,
    • Monitoring of employment and industrial benefits,
    • Issuance of licence for exploration and development, and
    • Resource evaluation, data collection, curation, and distribution.

(For additional on the role of the C-NLOPB, please visit http://www.cnlopb.ca/)


The board is established under provisions of the Act. Sections are as follows:

Jointly established board

9. (1) There is established, by the joint operation of this Act and the federal Act, a board, to be known as the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

(2)  The board shall be treated as having been established under a law of the province.

(3)  The board has the legal powers and capacities of a corporation incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act (Canada), including those set out in section 20 of the Interpretation Act.

(4)  The board may only be dissolved by the joint operation of an Act of the Parliament of Canada and an Act of the Legislature.

 Members of Board

10. (1) The board shall consist of seven members.

(2)  Three members of the board are to be appointed by the federal government, three by the provincial government and the chairperson of the board is to be appointed by both the federal government and the provincial government.

(3)  One or two members of the board may be designated to be vice-chairpersons of the board if they are so designated by both the federal government and the provincial government.

(4)  The designation of a vice-chairperson of the board under subsection (3) is effective after both governments have each made the designation.

(5)  Each government may appoint one alternate member to act as a member of the board in the absence of a member of the board appointed by that government.

(6)  Notwithstanding subsection (2) or (5), a member or alternate member of the board may be appointed by both the federal government and the provincial government.

 Consultation and appointment of chairperson

12. (1) Consultation between the two governments with respect to the selection of the chairperson of the board shall be considered to begin

             (a)  six months before the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent chairperson; or

             (b)  where applicable, on the date of receipt by the board of notice of the death, resignation or termination of appointment of the incumbent chairperson, whichever occurs earlier.

(2)  Where the two governments fail to agree on the appointment of the chairperson of the board within three months after the beginning of consultation between the governments, the chairperson shall be selected by a panel, consisting of three members and constituted in accordance with this section, unless, prior to the selection of the chairperson by the panel, the two governments agree on the appointment.

(3)  One member of the panel shall be appointed by each government within 30 days after the three months referred to in subsection (2).

(4)  The chairperson of the panel shall be appointed

             (a)  jointly by the two members of the panel appointed under subsection (3) within 30 days after the later of the two appointments made under that subsection; or

             (b)  where the two members of the panel fail to agree on the appointment of the chairperson of the panel within the 30 day period referred to in paragraph (a), by the Chief Justice of Newfoundland and Labrador within 30 days after the expiration of that period.

(5)  The chairperson of the board shall be selected by the panel within 60 days after the appointment of the chairperson of the panel.

(6)  The decision of the panel selecting a chairperson of the board is final and binding on both governments.

Competency Profile:

Those who make up the C-NLOPB Board should collectively possess the following core competencies: 

  • Up-to-date knowledge of the Canadian and international oil and gas development and regulatory environments
  • Experience with multiple perspectives on risk and risk management
  • Experience in managing an increasingly complex organization
  • Corporate Governance
  • Petroleum Engineering/Geoscience Expertise (incl. registration with PEGNL)
  • Resource evaluation and licensing
  • Financial Expertise
  • Legal Expertise
  • International Business
  • Public Policy
  • Local benefits (employment, contracting, research and development)
  • Human Resources and Labour Relations
  • Safety/Emergency Management
  • Environmental stewardship and protection


All individuals appointed to the board are expected to hold the following requisite competencies and experiences:

  •  High level of analytical capability;
  • Ability to communicate openly;
  • Strong values orientation;
  • High level of accountability - holding oneself responsible for actions and performance;
  • Evident commitment to safety and environmental protection;
  • Demonstrates honesty and trust;
  • Evident teamwork capabilities;
  • High ethical standards and integrity in professional dealings;
  • Accomplished senior business or professional leadership experience;
  • Experience in contributing effectively to strategy discussions and their implementation;
  • Expertise and familiarity with financial information, legislative and regulatory compliance, public accountability, performance metrics, and reporting;
  • Able to bring a diverse perspective to the board;
  • Sophistication and Sensitivity in dealing with Multi-Stakeholder Environments including provincial and federal governments and large global industry operators; and
  • Independence - no direct or indirect conflict of interest

Time Commitments:

Members of the C-NLOPB should be available to meet monthly. Any applicable committees of the C-NLOPB normally meet four times per year. Board members are also be expected to spend additional time to review materials and prepare for Board and Committee meetings. Many Board briefings include information containing industry jargon and complex technical information. Some travel to international oil and gas conferences may be expected.


The term of office is detailed in Section 15 of the Act.

Term of office

15. (1) The 1st chairperson of the board shall be appointed for a term of seven years.

(2)  The 1st three members of the board to be appointed by each government shall be appointed for terms of four, five and six years, respectively.

(3)  On the expiration of the initial terms of office referred to in subsections (1) and (2), the chairperson and members of the board shall be appointed for terms of six years.

(4)  A member of the board, including the chairperson, shall hold office during good behaviour, but may be removed for cause

             (a)  where that member is appointed by either government, by that government; or

             (b)  where that member is appointed by both governments, by both governments.

(5)  On the expiration of a term of office, the chairperson or a member of the board is eligible for reappointment.

Current Members:
NameTitleAppointment TypeAppointment Date (yyyy/mm/dd)Expiry Date (yyyy/mm/dd)
Foote, WesleyMemberLieutenant Governor in Council2018-10-022024-10-02
O'Keefe, Mr. TedMemberLieutenant Governor in Council2017-09-132023-09-12
Tessier, Mr. Scott Chairman and Chief Executive OfficerLieutenant Governor in Council2013-02-252019-02-24
Williams, Mr. Ed Vice-ChairLieutenant Governor in Council2013-02-252019-02-24

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