Nova Scotia Offshore Area Petroleum Geophysical Operations Regulations

Link to law: https://www.novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/coprgeop.htm

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Nova Scotia Offshore Area Petroleum Geophysical Operations Regulations
made under subsection 146(1) of the
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources
Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act
S.N.S. 1987, c. 3
O.I.C. 95-962 (December 19, 1995), N.S. Reg. 191/95Table of Contents
Text of Regulations

Table of Contents

Citation
Interpretation

Part I - General

Geophysical operation authorization
Damage to property
Fire
Refuse

Part II - Geophysical Operations

Air gun system
Air gun testing
Gas exploders
Electrical seismic energy sources
Helicopter support

Part III - Occupational Safety and Health

Radio communication
Safe working practices
No smoking
Hours of work
Training of geophysical crew
Access to applicable occupational safety and health regulations

Part IV - Reporting Requirements

Status report
Final report
Retention of data

Part V - Accidents

Reports
Investigation

Citation
1 These regulations may be cited as the "Nova Scotia Offshore Area Petroleum Geophysical Operations Regulations".
Interpretation
2 In these regulations,
(a) "Act" means the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum ResourcesAccord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act;
(b) "complement", in respect of a vessel or platform from which ageophysical operation is conducted, means all persons on the vessel orplatform whose primary duties relate to the operation of the vessel orplatform;
(c) "explosive" has the same meaning as in Section 2 of the Explosives Act(Canada);
(d) "geophysical operation" means the measurement or investigation, byindirect methods, of the subsurface of the earth for the purpose of locatingpetroleum or of determining the nature of the seabed and subsurfaceconditions at a proposed drilling site or of a proposed pipeline route, andincludes a seismic survey, resistivity survey, gravimetric survey, magneticsurvey, electrical survey and geochemical survey and any work preparatoryto that measurement or investigation, such as field tests of energy sources,calibration of instruments and cable ballasting, but does not include avelocity survey or a vertical seismic survey that is not a walkaway verticalseismic survey;
(e) "geophysical operation authorization" means an authorization issued bythe Board pursuant to clause 135(1)(b) of the Act to conduct a geophysicaloperation;
(f) "geophysical crew" means all persons engaged in a geophysical operation,but does not include any member of the complement;
(g) "gravimetric survey" means a geophysical operation that measures theproperties of the earth's gravitational field;
(h) "interest" has the same meaning as in Section 54 of the Act;
(i) "magnetic survey" means a geophysical operation that measures theproperties of the earth's magnetic field;
(j) "non-exclusive survey" means a geophysical operation that is conductedto acquire data for the purpose of sale, in whole or in part, to the public;
(k) "operator" means a person who holds a geophysical operationauthorization;
(l) "participant" means a person who is a party to an agreement pursuant towhich a participation survey is conducted;
(m) "participation survey" means a geophysical operation that is conductedby an operator pursuant to an agreement between the operator and one ormore participants to acquire data that are to be shared among the participants;
(n) "seismic energy source" means an energy source that is used to generateacoustic waves in a seismic survey;
(o) "seismic survey" means a geophysical operation that uses a seismicenergy source to generate acoustic waves that propagate through the earth,are reflected from or refracted along subsurface layers of the earth, and aresubsequently recorded;
(p) "shotpoint" means the surface location of a seismic energy source.

Part I - General
Geophysical operation authorization
3 Any person may apply for a geophysical operation authorization by submitting to theChief Conservation Officer three copies of a completed application form.
4 Subject to Section 5, an application in respect of a geophysical operation shall besubmitted not less than
(a) 30 days before the planned commencement date of the operation, ifchemical explosives are not the proposed seismic energy source; and
(b) 90 days before the planned commencement date of the operation, ifchemical explosives are the proposed seismic energy source.
5 (1) An application to extend the duration for which a geophysical operation has beenauthorized shall be submitted at least 15 days before the end of the period being extendedor, where the commencement date is being modified, the planned new commencementdate.
(2) An application in respect of any modification of a geophysical operation thathas been authorized, other than a modification of its duration, shall be submittedat least 15 days before the commencement of the geophysical operation or, wherethe geophysical operation has commenced, the start of the geophysical operationas modified.
6 When a geophysical operation is commenced, terminated or cancelled by an operator,the operator shall forthwith notify the Chief Conservation Officer in writing of the dateof commencement, termination or cancellation.
7 Every operator shall post a copy of the geophysical operation authorization in aconspicuous location in the vessel, platform or aircraft from which the geophysicaloperation is conducted.
Damage to property
8 Every operator shall take all reasonable safeguards against damage to property as aresult of a geophysical operation.
Fire
9 Where a fire occurs as a result of a geophysical operation, the operator shall take allsafe and reasonable measures to control and extinguish the fire and to minimize anydanger to persons, property or the environment that results or may reasonably beexpected to result from the fire.
Refuse
10 Subject to any other applicable law, every operator shall ensure that all refuseproduced as a result of a geophysical operation is handled in the following manner:
(a) all fuel, oil, oily material or lubricants are collected in a closed systemthat is designed for that purpose;
(b) all oil or oily material that is not burned on a vessel or platform and allnon-combustible material is transported in a suitable container to, anddisposed of at, a suitable waste disposal facility on land; and
(c) where combustible material is burned on a vessel or platform, precautionsare taken to ensure that the fire does not endanger any person or the safety ofthe vessel or platform.

Part II - Geophysical Operations
Air gun system
11 Where an operator who is conducting a geophysical operation uses or intends to usean air gun as a seismic energy source, the operator shall ensure that
(a) all air gun components are maintained in good operating condition andare kept free from dirt, oil and excess grease;
(b) during the operation, the air vessels, air manifolds, air lines, electricallines and the compressor of the air gun system are regularly inspected forsigns of abrasion and wear, and that the compressor, where defective, andany defective air vessels are promptly repaired or replaced and any defectivemanifolds or lines are promptly replaced;
(c) all fittings, valves, hoses, electrical lines, pipes or other components usedfor an air gun comply with the manufacturer's specifications for that air gun;
(d) where there is air pressure in the air gun, the pressure is maintained aslow as is practicable but sufficiently high to ensure that the air gun remainsseated and that there is no danger of accidental firing;
(e) no maintenance of the air gun is carried out until
(i) the air pressure in the air gun and the air line connected to the air gunhas been completely bled off, and
(ii) the shuttle of the air gun can be moved freely by use of a woodensafety tool to confirm that the air gun has been completelydepressurized; and
(f) where more than one air gun is used as a seismic energy source, aprocedure is established and followed for the connection of each air gun toits air line and pressure control valve.
Air gun testing
12 (1) Where an air gun is test-fired on the deck of a vessel or platform during ageophysical operation, the operator shall ensure that the person who is responsible for theoperation and maintenance of the air gun is present during the test.
(2) Where a test referred to in subsection (1) is carried out, the responsible personreferred to in that subsection shall ensure that
(a) before the test-firing, a siren is sounded to alert all persons aboard thevessel or platform of an impending air gun test-firing operation, in time toallow evacuation of an area within an 8 m radius of the test-firing site;
(b) not more than one air gun is test-fired at one time;
(c) before the test-firing, an inspection is done to ensure that the area withinan 8 m radius of the test-firing site is clear of unauthorized persons;
(d) all pipes and hoses connected to the air gun that are subject to highpressure are secured or equipped with safety chains to prevent whipping ofthe pipes or hoses when air pressure is injected into them;
(e) the air pressure in the air gun is below 500 psi; and
(f) the person in charge of the vessel or platform is advised that the test isbeing carried out.
(3) During a geophysical operation, no air gun shall be test-fired while the air gunis in the water if there are divers within 1500 m of the air gun.
(4) During a geophysical operation, no air gun shall be test-fired on a vessel orplatform without the approval of the Chief Safety Officer.
Gas exploders
13 Where an operator who is conducting a geophysical operation uses or intends to use agas exploder as a seismic energy source, the operator shall ensure that
(a) no person smokes, welds or brazes in any area that is in close proximity toany gas cylinders or inflammable liquid tanks;
(b) gas storage areas are properly ventilated;
(c) all valves and fittings used on a gas cylinder are approved by themanufacturer of the cylinder for use on the cylinder;
(d) all equipment used for handling explosives is approved by themanufacturer of the equipment for the handling of explosives;
(e) every gas cylinder and inflammable liquid tank is stored in an area setaside for that purpose and signs warning of the hazard of explosion areposted in conspicuous locations in that area;
(f) every propane or butane cylinder is stored at the greatest possible distancefrom any oxygen cylinder or inflammable liquid tank; and
(g) every gas cylinder is protected from overheating.
Electrical seismic energy sources
14 Where an operator who is conducting a geophysical operation uses or intends to usean electrical seismic energy source, the operator shall ensure that
(a) the charging and discharging circuits of the electrical seismic energysource are equipped with circuit breakers;
(b) the electrical cables of the electrical seismic energy source are protectedfrom damage and are adequately insulated and grounded to prevent currentleakage and electrical shock; and
(c) the electrical seismic energy source, when tested, is fully immersed inwater.
Helicopter support
15 Where a helicopter is used in a geophysical operation, the operator shall ensure that
(a) the helicopter deck on the vessel or platform from which the operation isconducted is designed, constructed and operated in accordance with theGuidelines Respecting Helicopter Facilities on Ships, TP 4414, published inDecember 1986 by the Canadian Coast Guard, as amended from time totime; and
(b) an immersion suit that complies with the Canadian General StandardsBoard Standard CAN/CGSB-65.17-M88, Helicopter PassengerTransportation Suit System, published in January 1988, as amended fromtime to time, is worn by every member of the geophysical crew who is on aflight to or from the vessel or platform from which the operation isconducted.

Part III - Occupational Safety and Health
Radio communication
16 Every operator who is conducting a geophysical operation shall ensure that radiocommunication is maintained with all vessels and platforms in the vicinity of theoperation and with a shore-based station.
Safe working practices
17 Every operator shall ensure that all equipment and materials that are used during ageophysical operation are handled, operated and maintained in accordance with themanufacturers' specifications.
18 Every operator who is conducting a geophysical operation shall ensure that everymember of the geophysical crew
(a) wears a suitable personal flotation device at all times when the member isworking on deck;
(b) is equipped with a safety belt and a safety line whenever the member ispositioned or working near the cable reel or working on the back deck duringperiods when there is any possibility of the member falling or being thrownor swept overboard;
(c) does not work alone on the back deck; and
(d) wears high visibility clothing.
19 Every operator who is conducting a geophysical operation shall ensure that anevacuation route is set up from each work station and that the route is accessible to everymember of the geophysical crew who is working at that station.
No smoking
20 (1) No person shall smoke near a marine recording cable or in any area whereinflammable materials or explosives are being used or stored in the course of anygeophysical operation.
(2) Every operator shall post, near the cable and in each area referred to insubsection (1), a sign prohibiting smoking.
Hours of work
21 (1) Subject to subsection (2), every operator shall ensure that no member of thegeophysical crew is required to work
(a) a shift in excess of 12 consecutive hours; or
(b) two successive shifts the combined total of which exceeds 12 hoursunless that member has had at least 6 consecutive hours of rest between thoseshifts.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any member of the geophysical crew who isrequired to work in the case of an emergency.
Training of geophysical crew
22 (1) Every operator shall ensure that every member of the geophysical crew
(a) is familiar with the safety equipment that the member may use, and withthe safety procedures that the member may have to carry out during theoperation;
(b) undergoes the instruction, training and drills necessary to enable themember to cope with both normal operations and emergency situations;
(c) is familiar with the Safety Manual for Geophysical Field Operations, 6thedition, 1986, published by the International Association of GeophysicalContractors, as amended from time to time; and
(d) has successfully completed
(i) a survival course approved by the Chief Safety Officer, and
(ii) a helicopter underwater escape course approved by the Chief SafetyOfficer, where regular changes of geophysical crew by helicopter areplanned.
(2) The Chief Safety Officer shall approve
(a) a course referred to in subclause (1)(d)(i) if the Chief Safety Officer issatisfied that the course will provide an adequate level of knowledge of thehazards and emergencies that are likely to be encountered on a vessel orplatform that is engaged in a geophysical operation and of techniques forsurviving those hazards and emergencies; and
(b) a course referred to in subclause (1)(d)(ii) if the Chief Safety Officer issatisfied that the course will provide adequate training in the methods ofescaping from a helicopter that is underwater.
(3) Every operator shall ensure that only those members of the geophysical crewwho are trained in the operation and maintenance of the seismic energy source andthe components of seismic energy systems will be responsible for their handlingand maintenance.
Access to applicable occupational safety and health regulations
23 Every operator who is conducting a geophysical operation shall keep, in a place thatis accessible to the geophysical crew, a copy of all regulations in respect of occupationalsafety and health on a vessel or platform.

Part IV - Reporting Requirements
Status report
24 Every operator shall submit to the Chief Conservation Officer, at the commencementand termination of the geophysical operation and once a week during the operation, in amanner and form approved by the Chief Conservation Officer, a report on the progress ofthe operation that includes
(a) the number assigned to the operation that is the subject of the geophysicaloperation authorization;
(b) the identification of the lines on which the data are collected;
(c) the quantity of data collected per line;
(d) the location and status of any vessels and platforms from which theoperation is conducted; and
(e) any unusual weather conditions or other incidents that cause downtime.
Final report
25 (1) Subject to subsection (3), within 12 months after the date of termination of ageophysical operation, every operator shall submit to the Chief Conservation Officer areport that includes
(a) a title page that indicates the number that is assigned to the operation thatis the subject of the geophysical operation authorization, the report title, thetype of operation conducted, the location of the operation, the duration ofoperations at that location, the names of the contractors, the operator, theinterest owners, if any, as defined in Section 54 of the Act, and the author,and the date of the report;
(b) a table of contents;
(c) an introduction or abstract;
(d) location maps that show the boundaries of the area that is subject to eachinterest covered by the operation and the identification number of each suchinterest;
(e) a summary of significant dates, the number of members of thecomplement, the number of members of the geophysical crew, the type andnumber of each type of equipment used, the production data, the totaldistance surveyed, the downtime per day, and the number of kilometres ofdata recorded per day;
(f) a summary of weather, sea and ice conditions and their effect on theoperation;
(g) a general description of the operation including the instrument type, theaccuracy of the navigation, positioning and survey systems, the parametersfor the energy source and recording system and the configuration of theseismic energy source and deployed recording system;
(h) a detailed description of the geophysical data processing methodincluding the processing sequence and the processing parameters for seismic,magnetic, gravimetric and other geophysical surveys;
(i) shotpoint maps, track plots, flight lines with numbered fiducial points,gravity station maps and, for seabed surveys, location maps for core holes,grab samples and seabed photographs;
(j) a fully processed, migrated seismic section for each seismic line recordedand, in the case of a 3-D survey, each line generated from the 3-D data set;
(k) a high-resolution section for each line recorded in a well-site seabedsurvey or a pipeline route survey;
(l) a series of gravity and magnetic profiles across all gravimetric andmagnetic surveys for which interpretative maps have not been made;
(m) shotpoint location data;
(n) bathymetric maps that are compiled from the data collected;
(o) interpretative maps that are appropriate to the data collected including
(i) structure and isopach maps, time structure and time interval maps,velocity and residual velocity maps, and seismic amplitude andcharacter change maps,
(ii) final Bouguer gravity maps and any residual or other processedgravity maps, and
(iii) final total magnetic intensity contour maps and any residual,gradient or other processed magnetic maps;
(p) synthetic seismograms and seismic modelling studies that use syntheticseismograms, vertical seismic profiles at wells that were used in theinterpretation of the operation data, amplitude versus offset studies, andseismic inversion sections, if any; and
(q) the interpretation of maps and seismic sections including
(i) geological and geophysical correlations,
(ii) where applicable, correlations between gravity, magnetic andseismic data,
(iii) in the case of seabed surveys, the geophysical correlation ofshallow seismic data with data from cores and geotechnical boreholes,
(iv) details of corrections or adjustments that were applied to the dataduring processing or compilation, and
(v) the operator's velocity information that was used in a time-to-depthconversion.
(2) An operator shall incorporate in a map submitted pursuant to clause (1)(o) anyprevious data collected by the operator that are related to the area covered by themap and that are of a type similar to the data from which the map was produced.
(3) An operator who has conducted a non-exclusive survey need not, in the reportrequired by subsection (1), provide the information and materials described inclauses (1)(n) to (q) in respect of data that are available for purchase by the public.
(4) Where an operator who has conducted a non-exclusive survey ceases to makeavailable for purchase by the public any data from that survey that were soavailable, the operator shall, within 12 months after the date on which the operatorceased to make the data available, submit to the Chief Conservation Officer asupplementary report that contains the information and materials described inclause (1)(n) to (q) in respect of the data, unless the Chief Conservation Officerhas received a report pursuant to subsection (5) that includes such information andmaterials.
(5) Every purchaser of geophysical data that arise from a geophysical operation inan area that is subject to an interest, where the costs of the purchase of the data arecredited against deposit or rental requirements of the interest, and everyparticipant shall submit to the Chief Conservation Officer a report that contains allof the information and materials described in clauses (1)(n) to (q) that have beenprepared by or for that purchaser or participant.
(6) Where a purchaser of geophysical data that arise from a geophysical operationin an area that is subject to an interest has reprocessed the data and the costs of thereprocessing are credited against deposit or rental requirements of the interest, thepurchaser shall submit to the Chief Conservation Officer a report that contains theinformation and materials described in clauses (1)(a), (h), (j) to (l) and (o) to (q)that have been prepared in respect of the reprocessed data by or for the purchaser.
(7) The reports required by subsections (5) and (6) shall be submitted
(a) in the case of a participant, within 12 months after the date of terminationof the geophysical operation; and
(b) in the case of a purchaser, by the time the costs referred to in subsection(5) or (6) are credited.
(8) A person who has submitted a report referred to in this Section shall, inrespect of data that pertain to the location of shotpoints or stations, immediatelynotify the Chief Conservation Officer of any errors, omissions or correctionsidentified in or made to the data subsequent to the submission of the report.
(9) A report referred to in this Section shall be submitted in the form, manner andquantity approved by the Chief Conservation Officer.
Retention of data
26 (1) Every operator shall, after completion of a geophysical operation, retain inCanada the following information and materials:
(a) seismic field data in digital format and a description of the data format,together with all supporting information;
(b) fully processed, migrated seismic data in digital format;
(c) in the case of a magnetic survey, the final digital field data, field analogmonitors, diurnal charts, altitude profiles, and all other supportinginformation;
(d) in the case of a gravimetric survey, the location, elevation, final digitalfield data, and gravity profiles;
(e) in the case of seabed investigations at well-sites, all sidescan sonarrecords and mosaics, fathometer records, sub-bottom profile records, grabsamples, cores, and seabed photographs; and
(f) all other observations or readings that were obtained during the fieldoperation.
(2) No person shall destroy or discard any information or material referred to insubsection (1) after the period referred to in subsection (4) unless the person hasgiven the Chief Conservation Officer not less than 60 days' notice of that intentionand, if so requested within the notice period, has given the Chief ConservationOfficer the information or material or a copy thereof.
(3) The Chief Conservation Officer may require an operator to supply theinformation and materials referred to in subsection (1), in a form approved by theChief Conservation Officer.
(4) Subject to subsection (5), no person shall destroy, discard or remove fromCanada any of the information or material referred to in subsection (1) within 15years after the completion of the geophysical operation without the writtenapproval of the Chief Conservation Officer.
(5) Where fewer than 15 years have elapsed since the completion of thegeophysical operation, the Chief Conservation Officer shall approve thedestruction, discarding or removal from Canada of any of the information ormaterial referred to in subsection (1) if the Chief Conservation Officer is satisfiedthat the information or material is not of any significant use or value.
(6) Information or material referred to in subsection (1) may be removed fromCanada without the approval of the Chief Conservation Officer for the purpose ofbeing processed in a foreign country, provided that the information or material isreturned to Canada as soon as the processing is complete.
(7) Every operator shall retain in Canada on reproducible film the most recentfully processed, migrated seismic sections of the geophysical operation and shallnot destroy that film or remove it from Canada without the written approval of theChief Conservation Officer.
(8) The Chief Conservation Officer shall approve the destruction or removal fromCanada of the most recent fully processed migrated seismic sections onreproducible film if the Chief Conservation Officer is satisfied that a copy of thefilm has been retained in Canada or the film is not of any significant use or valuein Canada.

Part V - Accidents
Reports
27 Every operator shall inform the Chief Conservation Officer and the Chief SafetyOfficer immediately, by the most rapid and practical means, of any serious accident orincident that occurs during a geophysical operation and that causes injury to or loss oflife of any person, or damage to property, or that constitutes a threat to the environment.
Investigation
28 The Chief Conservation Officer and Chief Safety Officer may investigate anyaccident or incident that occurs during a geophysical operation and that
(a) involves the death of or injury to any person;
(b) causes significant damage to or failure of geophysical equipment; or
(c) results in pollution or other damage to the environment.