As a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and Macondo well blowout, the Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) identified the need to establish Special Oversight Measures for deepwater wells. The Special Oversight Measures were implemented in response to the heightened concerns regarding offshore drilling risks, and to have extra visibility of Operator efforts in applying the lessons learned from the incident to prevent similar occurrences in the C-NLOPB jurisdiction. The application of the C-NLOPB's Special Oversight Measures has since evolved to include higher risk drilling programs such as high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) wells, ultra-deepwater wells, and harsh environment drilling where there is increased potential for a well control incident to occur.
The C-NLOPB's Special Oversight Measures are an initiative that has significantly increased the rigour with which drilling in extreme offshore conditions is regulated in Eastern Canada. The Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) has also adopted these special measures to aid in their oversight of deepwater drilling programs. These initiatives have also been presented to North Sea regulatory working groups to communicate success and advancement in this area. There are a tremendous number of parallels between drilling in the harsh environment of offshore Newfoundland and Labrador and arctic regions worldwide. The C-NLOPB's Special Oversight Measures are being shared with the aim of collaboratively establishing a heightened regulatory expectation on the stringent application of best practices for high risk drilling campaigns in Canada and worldwide.