Just a few of the terms you may encounter within the industry:

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)

An industry association representing 150 companies that explore for, develop and produce more than 95 percent of Canada’s natural gas and crude oil.

Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB)

This offshore regulator manages the petroleum resources in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The board’s authority is derived from the legislation implementing the 1985 Atlantic Accord between the two governments.

Conventional crude oil or unrefined liquid petroleum

Oil ranging from yellow to black with a paraffin, asphalt or mixed base. These crude oils may be referred to as heavy or light according to API gravity, the lighter oils having higher gravities.

Discovery well

An exploratory well that encounters a previously untapped oil or gas deposit.

Development well

A well drilled in or adjacent to a proven part of a pool to optimize petroleum production.

Delineation well

A well drilled at a distance from a discovery well to determine physical extent, reserves and likely production rate of a new oil or gas field.


The process by which a hole is bored into the earth, usually to find and remove subsurface formation fluids such as oil & gas. 

Downstream sector

The oil and natural gas industry has two main components, the upstream producing sector and the downstream refining and marketing sector. The downstream refining and marketing sector consists of pipeline systems, refineries, gas distribution utilities, oil product wholesalers, service stations and petrochemical companies.

Established reserves

The portion of the discovered resource that is estimated to be recoverable using known technology under present and anticipated economic conditions. Includes “proved reserves” plus a portion of “probable reserves” (usually 50%).

Exploratory well

A well drilled into an area where petroleum has not been previously found or one targeted for formations above or below known reservoirs.


The surface area above one or more underground petroleum pools sharing the same or related infrastructure.


The controlled burning (flare) or release (vent) of natural gas that can’t be processed for sale or use because of technical or economic reasons. 

Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Vessel

A type of floating facility, often based on a converted oil tanker, designed to take all of the oil or gas produced by a nearby platform or rig, process and store it until the oil or gas can be offloaded onto waiting tankers, or transported through a pipeline.  Newfoundland and Labrador has two FPSOs operating offshore – Terra Nova and SeaRose.

Gravity Based Structure (GBS)

A kind of offshore petroleum production platform.  Newfoundland and Labrador has two GBS structures in operation in its offshore – Hibernia and Hebron.


The processing, storage and transportation sector of the petroleum industry. 

Natural gas

A naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon gases found in porous geological formations beneath the earth’s surface.

Natural gas liquids

Liquids obtained during natural gas production, including ethane, propane, butanes and condensate.

Newfoundland and Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association (Noia)

Canada’s largest offshore petroleum association, representing close to 600 supply & service companies active in eastern Canada.  Noia’s mandate is to promote development of east coast Canada’s hydrocarbon resources and facilitate its membership’s participation in oil & gas industries.


The oil company responsible for managing an oil & gas development or production operation.


A naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbons in gaseous, liquid or solid form.


The share of production or revenues retained by government or freehold mineral rights holders.

Seismic studies

Studies done to gather and record patterns of induced shock wave reflections from underground layers of rock which are used to create detailed models of the underlying geological structure.


Spills include the accidental release of crude oil, produced water or other hydrocarbon products from well sites, batteries or storage tanks. These spills can affect land, vegetation, water bodies and groundwater.


Industry activities often affect surrounding areas and populations. People with an interest in these activities are considered stakeholders. They may include nearby landowners, municipalities, Aboriginal communities, recreational land users, other industries, environmental groups, governments and regulators.

Ultimate potential

An estimate of recoverable reserves that will have been produced by the time all exploration and development activity is completed; includes production-to-date, remaining reserves, development of existing pools and new discoveries.

Undiscovered recoverable resources

Those resources estimated to be recoverable from accumulations believed to exist based on geological and geophysical evidence but not yet verified by drilling, testing or production.

Upstream sector

The oil and natural gas industry has two main components, the upstream producing sector and the downstream refining and marketing sector. The upstream sector includes exploration and production companies, as well as hundreds of associated businesses such as seismic and drilling contractors, service rig operators, engineering firms and various scientific, technical, service and supply companies.


The controlled burning (flare) or release (vent) of natural gas that can’t be processed for sale or use because of technical or economic reasons.


A well drilled in an area where no oil or gas production exists.