Fact Sheet: Energy Safety and Security Act

On 26 February 2016, the Energy Safety and Security Act (ESSA or Act) came into force. The Act strengthens the ability of the National Energy Board (NEB or Board) to regulate activities in the North and Canadian Arctic so that Canadians will have a regulatory framework that is responsive, transparent, and works to prevent incidents.

Among other things, ESSA amends the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA) and provides the Board with new tools for regulating Northern oil and gas activities within its jurisdiction. Key components include:

  • $1 billion absolute liability limit in the offshore and new obligations related to “financial responsibility” (i.e. readily accessible funds) and “financial resources” (i.e. overall financial capacity); operators continue to have unlimited liability when they are at fault or negligent.
  • Improved transparency through new Board authority to hold public hearings, make some information public, and provide participant funding in relation to certain projects under COGOA
  • Once the NEB determines an application for a COGOA Authorization is complete, the NEB has 18-months to complete its review.
  • Providing the NEB with the authority to establish an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) regime under COGOA.

The following regulations and guidance must be considered by companies applying for authorizations under COGOA.

More information on ESSA can be found on the website of Natural Resources Canada:

For more information on NEB activities and responsibilities in the North, please visit the North/Offshore section of our website.

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