National Energy Board strengthens relationships with Mexican energy regulators

Photo: Signing ceremony for Declaration of Cooperation between
the NEB and Mexico’s Energy Safety and Environmental Protection Agency (ASEA)
on the margins of OECD meeting in Paris, April 2017

Agreements advance collaborative work on safety culture and management systems in oil and gas



The National Energy Board recently entered into agreements to deepen the relationship with Mexico’s Energy Safety and Environmental Protection Agency (ASEA) and Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), according to an NEB press release.

The NEB is “looking to international peers so they can learn about their regulatory approaches, facilitate information and knowledge sharing, and – most importantly – improve regulatory performance in Canada,” according to the release.

The NEB is also exploring collaborative opportunities with our American counterparts through the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council, an initiative led on the Canadian side by the Treasury Board.

The NEB currently engages with regulatory counterparts through well-established forums, such as the International Regulators’ Forum, the Arctic Council, and the Arctic Offshore Regulators’ Forum.

The NEB has also begun to work with other international organizations, including: the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), both of whom are global leaders in their areas.

“These engagements, which align with and support our core responsibilities, allow the NEB to learn from others’ experiences, to share its expertise, and to explore opportunities to collaborate on common challenges,” according to the press release.

According to the NEB, the agreements will help advance regulatory excellence and the pursuit of collaborative work on safety culture and management systems, in the oil and gas sector, which is very innovative.

More changes are likely coming to the NEB in the near future. The Expert Panel commissioned to provide recommendations to “modernize” released its report last month.

The report examined issues beyond environmental assessment, including the NEB’s structure, role and mandate, with a particular focus on growing the participation of the public and Indigenous peoples in regulatory reviews.

The Justin Trudeau Liberal promised during the 2015 election it would update the regulator after years of complaints from First Nations and eco-activists that the NEB was biased toward the energy industry.

Industry complained that reviews on projects took too long and were costly with no guarantee of approval. For instance, Enbridge spent approximately $300 million on the Northern Gateway process that spanned more than 10 years.

The NEB recently announced there would be a maximum 3-year timeline on projects from here on out, more indigenous involvement, and a series of other changes, including moving the NEB board of directors from Calgary to Ottawa.

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