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Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia
Table of Contents
  • Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Source and Description:

    NEB – Canada's Energy Future 2018

    This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Nova Scotia from 2007 to 2017. Over this period, crude oil production has decreased from 11.0 Mb/d to 2.0 Mb/d. Natural gas production has deceased over this period from around 397 MMcf/d to around 124 MMcf/d.

  • Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2017)

    Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2017)

    Source and Description:

    Statistics Canada (Tables 25-10-0020-01 and 25-10-0019-01), NEB Estimates

    This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Nova Scotia. A total of 10.1 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2017.

  • Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Source and Description:

    NEB, Natural Resources Canada

    This map shows electricity generation facilities in Nova Scotia. Facilities are shown by capacity and by primary fuel source.

    PDF version [673 KB]

  • Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:


    This map shows all rail lines in Nova Scotia and crude oil infrastructure in Atlantic Canada.

    PDF version [454 KB]

  • Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:


    This map shows all major natural gas pipelines, offshore natural gas platforms, and the Canaport LNG terminal in the Maritimes.

    PDF version [352 KB]

  • Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2016)

    Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2016)

    Source and Description:

    NEB – Canada's Energy Future 2018

    This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Nova Scotia by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 164 PJ in 2016. The largest sector was transportation at 44% of total demand, followed by residential (at 24%), industrial (at 19%), and lastly, commercial (at 13%).

  • Figure 7: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2016)

    Figure 7: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2016)

    Source and Description:

    NEB – Canada's Energy Future 2018

    This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Nova Scotia in 2016. Refined petroleum products accounted for 99 PJ (60%) of demand, followed by electricity at 37 PJ (23%), natural gas at 15 PJ (9%), biofuels at 13 PJ (8%), and other at 0 PJ.

    Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.

  • Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector

    Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector

    Source and Description:

    Environment and Climate Change Canada – National Inventory Report

    This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Nova Scotia by sector every five years from 1990 to 2016 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have decreased in Nova Scotia from 19.6 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 15.6 MT of CO2e in 2016.

Energy Production

Crude Oil

  • In 2017, Nova Scotia produced 1.9 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d) of condensate, a very light crude oil, at the Point Tupper Fractionator Plant (Figure 1). Nova Scotia accounts for less than 0.1% of total Canadian crude oil production.
  • Two exploratory wells were drilled by Shell in offshore Nova Scotia between October 2015 and January 2017. Both wells were unsuccessful and abandoned.
  • BP Canada’s Scotian Basin Exploration Project commenced exploration drilling in April 2018. The project is located approximately 330 kilometers off the southeast coast of Nova Scotia.

Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)

  • Nova Scotia does not have any refineries. Imperial Oil’s Dartmouth refinery closed in 2013. The facility now operates as an oil products terminal.
  • The NuStar terminal in Point Tupper is one of the largest RPP storage and blending facilities in Atlantic Canada. This terminal serves markets in Atlantic Canada and the United States (U.S.) East Coast.

Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)

  • In 2017, natural gas production in Nova Scotia averaged 124 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) (Figure 1). This represented just under 1% of total Canadian natural gas production in 2017.
  • Natural gas in Nova Scotia is produced offshore at ExxonMobil’s Sable Island Offshore Energy Project (Sable Island) and was previously produced at Encana’s Deep Panuke project.
  • Sable Island was commissioned in 1999 and its production has since been declining. In late 2017, ExxonMobil, the project operator, commenced the plugging and abandonment of Sable Island’s production wells. Preparatory activities to decommission and remove the projects offshore platforms has commenced.
  • Deep Panuke was commissioned in 2013 but in 2018, the operator Encana applied to the NEB to abandon the Deep Panuke pipeline and associated onshore facilities. Encana has permanently ceased production from Deep Panuke on 7 May 2018.
  • Nova Scotia’s offshore production is regulated by the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board.
  • Since 2012, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing has been in place in Nova Scotia.
  • In 2017, Nova Scotia’s production of NGLs was 3.6 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d), or less than 1% of total Canadian NGL production. All NGLs are produced from Sable Island gas processed at the Goldboro Gas Plant. NGLs from Goldboro are then shipped by pipeline to the Point Tupper plant for fractionation into propane, butane and condensate.
  • The abandonment and reclamation of Sable Island’s producing wells also includes the abandonment of NEB regulated facilities, including the Goldboro Gas Plant and the gathering pipeline running from one of the offshore platforms to Goldboro. The provincially regulated Point Tupper Plant will also be abandoned.

Electricity and Renewables

  • In 2017, Nova Scotia generated 10.1 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity (Figure 2), which is approximately 2% of total Canadian generation. Nova Scotia has a generating capacity of 2 973 megawatts (MW).
  • Nova Scotia’s primary source of electricity generation is coal, but it also produces electricity from oil, natural gas, hydro, wind, and biomass (Figure 3). The share of generation from renewable sources has grown from 16% in 2005 to 24% in 2016.
  • The Annapolis Tidal station is currently the only tidal power generating station in North America. Built in 1984, it has 20 MW of generating capacity. Installations are also planned by Minas Energy (4 MW), Black Rock Tidal Power (5 MW), DP Energy (4.5 MW) and Atlantis Operations Canada (4.5 MW).
  • Nova Scotia Power, a subsidiary of Emera, generates the majority of Nova Scotia’s electricity, and is also responsible for its distribution. The majority of wind and biomass facilities are owned by independent power producers.

Energy Transportation and Trade

Crude Oil and Liquids

  • There are no crude oil pipelines or crude-by-rail facilities in Nova Scotia.
  • Condensate produced at Point Tupper is a by-product of natural gas production at the Sable Offshore Energy Project.

Natural Gas

  • Nova Scotia’s offshore natural gas production is transported on the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NP), which extends through Nova Scotia to the border near St. Stephen, New Brunswick where gas is exported to serve the Northeast U.S. market (Figure 4).
  • M&NP also imports gas from the U.S. Northeast during times of peak demand. Although historically exports have exceeded imports, this changed in recent years because of declining supply.
  • Nova Scotia Power provides over 95% of the province’s generation, transmission, and distribution, and serves over 500 000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Nova Scotia Power is regulated by the Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Board (NSUARB).

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • Export authorizations for three large-scale LNG import and export projects have received provincial and NEB approval in Nova Scotia: Bear Head LNG Corp., A C LNG, and Pieridae Energy Ltd. In 2018, Pieridae and Bear Head continued to move forward in the provincial permitting process.
  • To date, none of these projects have started construction. All of these LNG export facilities would be regulated by the NSUARB. 


  • Nova Scotia received approximately 0.5 TW.h of electricity from New Brunswick in 2017. In 2017, Nova Scotia’s net imports accounted for 5% of total consumption.
  • Nova Scotia has roughly 32 000 kilometers of transmission and distribution lines. In addition, the Maritime Link Project was placed in service in January 2018 and now connects Nova Scotia’s electrical grid with the Muskrat Falls hydro facility being constructed in Labrador. The Maritime Link will displace Nova Scotia’s thermal generation by allowing it to purchase Newfoundland and Labrador’s hydroelectricity.

Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Total Energy Consumption

  • End-use demand in Nova Scotia was 164 (PJ) in 2016. The largest sector for energy demand was transportation at 44% of total demand, followed by residential at 24%, industrial at 19%, and commercial at 13% (Figure 5). Nova Scotia’s total energy demand was the 9th largest in Canada, and the 13th largest on a per capita basis.
  • RPPs, including gasoline, diesel, and heating oil, were the largest fuel type consumed in Nova Scotia, accounting for 99 PJ, or 60%. Electricity and natural gas accounted for 37 PJ (23%) and 15 PJ (9%), respectively (Figure 6).

Refined Petroleum Products

  • Gasoline consumed in Nova Scotia is primarily imported from refineries in the U.S. East Coast and Europe. About a third of Nova Scotia’s gasoline is produced in New Brunswick.
  • Total 2017 demand for RPPs in Nova Scotia was estimated at 48 Mb/d, or 3% of total Canadian RPP demand. Of Nova Scotia’s total demand, an estimated 25 Mb/d was for motor gasoline and an estimated 12 Mb/d was for diesel.
  • Nova Scotia’s per capita RPP consumption in 2017 was 2 946 litres (27.5 barrels), or 2% above the national average of 2 886 litres per capita. 
  • RPP prices in Nova Scotia have been regulated by NSUARB since 2009. Previously, RPP prices were set by the Minister of Service Nova Scotia. The Utility and Review Board sets wholesale prices, minimum and maximum retail mark-ups, and maximum retail prices, including for gasoline.

Natural Gas

  • In 2017, Nova Scotia consumed an average of 68 MMcf/d of natural gas, which represented less than 1% of total Canadian demand.
  • Nova Scotia’s largest consuming sector for natural gas was the industrial sector, which consumed 50 MMcf/d in 2017. The commercial and residential sectors consumed 18 MMcf/d and 1 MMcf/d, respectively.


  • In 2016, annual electricity consumption per capita in Nova Scotia was 11.1 megawatt hours (MW.h). Nova Scotia ranked 10th in Canada for per capita electricity consumption and consumed 26% less than the national average.
  • Nova Scotia’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2016 was residential at 4.3 TW.h. The commercial and industrial sectors consumed 3.2 TW.h and 2.7 TW.h, respectively. Nova Scotia’s electricity demand has declined 8% since 2005.
  • In 2016, Nova Scotia generated 2 274 gigawatt hours of electricity from renewable sources, or approximately 24% of total generation. As part of its Renewable Energy Standard, Nova Scotia seeks to increase this number to 40% by 2020.

GHG Emissions

  • Nova Scotia’s GHG emissions in 2016 were 16.5 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).Footnote 1 Nova Scotia’s emissions have declined 20% since 1990.
  • Nova Scotia emissions per capita are 16.5 tonnes CO2e – 15% below the Canadian average of 19.4 tonnes per capita.
  • The largest emitting sectors in Nova Scotia are electricity generation at 42% of emissions, transportation at 31%, and buildings (residential and commercial) at 13% (Figure 7).
  • Nova Scotia’s GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector in 2016 were 0.5 MT CO2e attributable to natural gas production and processing.
  • In 2016, Nova Scotia’s power sector emitted 6.6 MT CO2e emissions, which represents about 8.4% of Canadian emissions from power generation.

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