Christine Bonnell-Eisnor

Christine Bonnell-Eisnor Headshot

Acting CEO at the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB)

Responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the CNSOPB to ensure that the organization fulfills its regulatory mandate in a fair, efficient, legally compliant, transparent, and consistent manner.

“A bit more about me…”

Born in:  I was born and raised in Cape Breton. I grew up in Coxheath, Nova Scotia in Canada.

Training: Cape Breton University – Engineering Diploma; Technical University of Nova Scotia (Now Dalhousie University Faculty of Engineering) – Bachelor of Chemical Engineering; Saint Mary’s University – Master of Business Administration

“When I’m at work you’ll find me…”

I’m responsible for our organization’s decisions about the regulation of oil and gas exploration and development activities that take place in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. This includes understanding various types of technologies and data, environmental assessments, and using specialized geoscience software.

Early in my career at the CNSOPB, I worked as a reservoir engineer. In this role, I would review operators’ technical applications to ensure offshore oil and gas resources are developed, managed, measured, and produced using international best practices and make sure we were not wasting resources. Waste means that companies operating a production project must ensure they produce all economically recoverable oil and gas.

I worked with geoscience experts who understand the geology and oil and gas resources. In this role, I used specialized reservoir engineering software. I took technical training courses on how to use this software and to improve my knowledge on specific technical topics.

“How I affect people’s lives…”

At the CNSOPB, we regulate oil and gas exploration and development activities that take place in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. We make sure that operators take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers and the environment.

“Why I do what I do...”

I love the people I work with. They’re experts in their fields and dedicated to the CNSOPB meeting its mandate. Science and technology are always changing so it’s important to continue to learn and develop professional skills. CNSOPB has supported my personal goal to further develop my skills. I’m proud of the work CNSOPB does as a regulator to make sure that operators take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers and the environment. I’m also happy that I’m able to stay and work in Nova Scotia.

“The path that brought me here…”

When I went to university, I wanted to be a math teacher but there were not many teaching jobs so I enrolled in the engineering program as a back-up because I was good in math and sciences. I didn’t know any engineers but knew it involved a lot of math.

As an engineering student, I liked the program and continued with it. I took the co-op program as part of my degree to get work experience and had two great work terms with oil and gas companies – one in Calgary and one offshore Nova Scotia. These were great opportunities for me to learn and provided me with money to help pay for my tuition.

When I graduated, a position was advertised at the CNSOPB. There was a low in industry at the time so I was fortunate to get a job. I really liked the group I was working with and the opportunities that were provided to me. I worked hard and furthered my education. Getting my MBA was a great complement to my engineering degree as it rounded out my skills. My colleagues and our Board Members have been really supportive to me in my career, which I am thankful for.

“When I’m not working I…”

I love spending time with my family at my cottage, watching my children play sports, staying active, volunteering with organizations such as Engineers Nova Scotia, Brigadoon Village, my daughter’s soccer team, and my children’s schools. I get so much more out of volunteering than they get from me. It is a nice balance with work and a great opportunity to give back to the community and help others.

My advice to others…”

Keep learning, work hard, treat everyone with respect and stay organized. Try to have an open mind and look for the positive in change. The career you start with, will not be what you are doing later in life. Engineering gives you a great foundation with many options to build on. You can continue on a technical career path or continue on a management path. Continue to build your path and future but don’t forget to give back to your community where you can because engineers have special skills that can support these important non-profits.

I enjoyed:

  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Math, Health
  • Physical Education / Health
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Environment

I was someone who:

  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Liked helping people
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Played on a sports team
  • Was motivated by success
  • Liked being given specific instructions
  • Liked reading
  • Felt proud of my grades
  • Learned best by doing