The province today, Dec. 22, issued a call for proposals from companies interested in exploring for oil and gas on three parcels of onshore land in northwestern Nova Scotia. A call for proposals is a preliminary step to identify industry interest to explore particular areas. The parcels of land are located in the Amherst, Pictou and Tatamagouche areas and were nominated by industry late last year. This is the ninth call for onshore Nova Scotia exploration proposals since 2003. “The way for us to find out more about our geology and economic potential is through exploration,” said Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks. “Continued exploration onshore and offshore in Nova Scotia brings investment to the province and is key in identifying possible commercial quantities of oil and gas and determining whether it can be safely extracted.” Oil and gas activity in Nova Scotia must meet environmental and operational standards. Once industry interest is established, the province oversees a detailed application process and evaluation of proposed activity. “By nominating these three parcels, industry has demonstrated its interest and confidence in the petroleum potential that exists here,” said Mr. Estabrooks. “That bodes well for future investment and economic activity.” This call for bids is for conventional oil and gas. The deadline for proposals is March 22. For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/energy/oil-gas/onshore/call-for-bids.asp . Crown land in Nova Scotia is open for economic development, including oil and gas activity, unless the area is designated a park, protected area or factors — including environmental issues — determine otherwise.