When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard

Tags: Pembina Institute, Backyard, landowners, government, Table of Contents, development, Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, oil and gas, Alberta Environment, Environmental Appeals Board, National Energy Board, Pipeline Abandonment, Alberta Energy, Surface Rights Board, oil and gas development, Mary Griffiths, government departments, David Dodge, Clean Air Strategic Alliance, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, Dave Mussell, Calgary Synergy Group, coalbed methane, Producers Association, Sundre Petroleum Operators Group, Responsible Energy Development, Environmental Protection, East Parkland Liaison Committee, Energy Resources Conservation Act, Mutual Aid Group, Reclamation, Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas, government bodies, environmental issues, Oilpatch, Energy and Utilities Board, Clean Air Strategic Alliance and Airshed Groups, Alberta Government, Alberta Human Resources, Prairie Acid Rain Coalition, Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen, Environmental Law Centre, Alberta Association of Surface Land Agents, Orphan Well Association, Alberta Land Surveyors' Association, Canadian Association, Canadian Centre for Energy Information, Alberta Native Plant Council, Alberta Environmental Network, Authors Mary Griffiths, Mary Griffiths Illustrations, Tom Marr-Laing, Peggy Holroyd, Alberta Research Council, Indus Community Petroleum Industry Association, Industry Land Owner Relations Committee, Wheatland Surface Rights Action Group, Southwest Alberta Sustainable Community Initiative, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, 13.2.4 Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors., 13.2.6 Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Freehold Owners Association, Alberta Surface Rights Federation, Strathcona Industrial Association, Pembina Agriculture Protection Association, Lakeland Industry Community Association, Environmental Services Association of Alberta, Patricia Area Landowners Association, Strathcona County Energy Exploration Committee, Pembina Area Natural Resources Advisory Committee
Content: When the
A Citizens' Guide 2nd Edition, Completely Revised
Oilpatch Comes
to Your Backyard
Mary Griffiths Chris Severson-Baker Tom Marr-Laing
When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard A Citizens' Guide 2nd Edition, Completely Revised Mary Griffiths Chris Severson-Baker · Tom Marr-Laing
About the Pembina Institute About the Pembina Institute The Pembina Institute is an independent non-profit research, education and advocacy organization. It promotes environmental, social and economic sustainability through the development of practical solutions for businesses, governments, individuals and communities. The Pembina Institute provides policy research leadership on climate change, energy policy, green economics, renewable energy, and environmental governance, as well as extensive formal and public education programs. More information about the Pembina Institute is available at http://www.pembina.org or by contacting: The Pembina Institute Box 7558 Drayton Valley, AB T7A 1S7 Phone: 780-542-6272 E-mail: [email protected] Additional copies of this guide may be purchased from the Pembina Institute. When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard: A Citizens' Guide 2nd Edition, Completely Revised 2nd Edition First printed: Nov. 2004 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Printed in Canada 1st Edition published as: When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard: A Citizens' Guide to Protecting Your Rights First Printed: Feb. 2001 Editor: Randee Holmes Design: Brad Cundiff/The Pembina Institute Layout & Production: David Dodge, Peggy Holroyd, Darryl Kaminski Cover Photography: Dave Mussell, David Dodge, Mary Griffiths Illustrations: Dave Mussell Photography: Dave Mussell, David Dodge, Mary Griffiths, Geoff Holroyd, Peggy Holroyd, Jennifer Sharman & Pembina files Printed on 50% recycled, 30% post consumer recycled stock ©2004 Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development ISBN # 0-921719-69-8 II The Pembina Institute · When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard
About the Authors About the Authors Mary Griffiths joined the Pembina Institute as an Environmental Policy Analyst in May 2000 to work with the Energy Watch program. She co-authored the book "When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard: A Citizens' Guide to Protecting Your Rights," published by the Pembina Institute in 2001. Mary is the lead author of "Oil and Troubled Waters: Reducing the Impact of the Oil and Gas Industry on Alberta's water resources" and "Unconventional Gas: The Environmental Challenges of Coalbed Methane Development in Alberta," both published in 2003. Mary works on air quality issues as a member of the board of directors of the West Central Airshed Society and with a sub-committee of the Clean Air Strategic Alliance. She has helped evaluate the environmental impact of energy projects, including oilsands developments and coal-fired power plants. Mary has long been an advocate for the protection of the environment and in 2002 she received a Canadian Environment Award in the Clean Air category. Mary holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Exeter, UK, where she also taught for four years. Tom Marr-Laing is Policy Director of the Pembina Institute. His degree in engineering, coupled with fourteen years of working at the Pembina Institute gives him a solid understanding of air quality management and other issues related to energy developments. During this time, Tom has helped lead the Pembina Institute's work in monitoring and advocating for practices and policies that reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional oil and gas, electricity, and oil sands development. He has extensive experience with multi-stakeholder processes, including the Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) of which he is a Vice-President, and various other bodies working on strategic energy/environment issues. Tom co-chaired the original CASA Solution Gas Flaring project team, which developed the regulatory framework that has facilitated a 70% reduction in solution gas flaring in Alberta. Tom was an active member of the CASA Electricity Project Team, which developed the comprehensive framework for air emissions management of the Alberta electric power sector recently adopted as policy by the provincial government. He has co-authored several reports and guides assessing environmental issues, pollution prevention opportunities, and regulatory issues associated with the oil and gas and electricity generation industries. His writings have focused on problem analysis as well as offering practical solutions for reducing the impacts of energy developments. Chris Severson-Baker is Director of the Pembina Institute's Energy Watch Program. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Science in 1996, joining the Pembina Institute that same year. He has worked to reduce the impacts of the oil and gas industry on the environment--providing recommendations to government on opportunities to strengthen environmental regulation, and encouraging industry to adopt better practices. Chris has represented the Pembina Institute on numerous provincial and federal multi-stakeholder committees focused on developing environmental management policy for the oil and gas sector. When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard · The Pembina Institute III
Acknowledgements Ackowledgements and Disclaimer Many people provided help with the new edition of this guide. In particular we appreciate those who read and clarified the revised text and offered encouragement. We would especially like to recognize and thank the following groups and individuals: Alberta Environment; Alberta human resources and Employment (Gerry Kress); Environmental Appeals Board (Denise Black); Farmers' Advocate Office (Sylvia Ainslie and Carolyn Makowecki); Surface Rights Board; and other government departments and offices. Various experts and landowners, including Darryl Carter, Mike Mueller and Bernie Schell, and representatives from many of the groups listed in CHAPTER 13. Mike Doyle and Doug Iverson, Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors (CAGC); Kathy Sloan, CAGC and Boyd PetroSearch; Alex Galanti, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers; Canadian Energy Pipeline Association; Pat Payne, Orphan Well Association. Staff from several companies, including ConocoPhillips (Pat DeFoe); Nexen; MGV Energy Inc.; Suncor Energy Inc. (Paul Ronellenfitch); Trident Exploration Corp. We are grateful to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB), Alberta Environment and the Clean Air Strategic Alliance for permission to reproduce the maps, and to the EUB for reviewing the draft document for accuracy with respect to those items within their jurisdiction. We also thank Environment Canada for assistance. We appreciate the efforts of all our colleagues at the Pembina Institute who provided help in so many different ways, including Bev Broks, Lori Chamberland, David Dodge, Ria Forster, Ellen Francis, Randee Holmes, Peggy Holroyd, Darryl Kaminski and Dave Mussell, and volunteers including Marian Doesburg, Keith Warren and Daryl Wilson. Finally, we would like to acknowledge all those who assisted with the production of the first edition of this guide. The contents of this guide are entirely the responsibility of the Pembina Institute and do not necessarily reflect the view or opinions of those acknowledged above. We deeply appreciate the financial help we receive from individuals and organizations that make our work possible. We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this guide at the time of writing. However, the authors advise that they cannot guarantee that the information provided is complete or accurate and that any person relying on this publication does so at their own risk. IV The Pembina Institute · When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard
Table of Contents When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard A Citizens' Guide Table of Contents About the Pembina Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . II About the Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . III Ackowledgements and Disclaimer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IV Introduction to the 2nd Edition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X 1. Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.1 Who is this book for? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2 How to find what you need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.3 Finding the right government board, agency or department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1.4 A few words on mineral rights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2. Exploration for Oil and Gas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 2.1 An overview of geophysical exploration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 2.1.1 Setbacks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2.1.2 Plugging of seismic holes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2.1.3 Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2.1.4 Questions to ask before granting right of entry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.1.5 Refusing permission for access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 2.2 Complaints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 2.3 Adjacent landowners and occupants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 3. Oil and Gas Wells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 3.1 How a company gets permission to develop oil and gas resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 3.1.1 Well spacing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 3.1.2 Disposal wells. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 3.2 Surveying. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 3.3 The land agent calls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 3.4 Site selection and setbacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 3.5 Environmental considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 3.5.1 Air emissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 3.5.2 Drilling wastes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 3.5.3 Water wells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 3.5.4 Water issues with coalbed methane wells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 3.5.5 Conservation and reclamation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 3.6 Questions to ask before signing a lease agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 3.7 Signing the lease agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 3.8 Sour oil and gas developments and emergency response plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 4. Pipelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 4.1 Pipelines regulated by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 4.1.1 Route selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 4.1.2 Setbacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 4.1.3 Environmental issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard · The Pembina Institute V
Table of Contents 4.1.4 Questions to ask before signing a pipeline right-of-way agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 4.1.5 Emergency response plans for pipelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 4.1.6 Rural gas distribution lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 4.2 Pipelines regulated by the National Energy Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 5. Batteries, Gas Compressors and Other Facilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 5.1 Batteries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 5.2 Compressor stations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 5.3 Gas processing plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 5.4 Alberta Environment's responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 5.5 Questions to ask regarding batteries, compressors and facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 6. Emergencies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 6.1 General emergency situations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 6.2 What to do in a sour gas emergency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 7. Potential Environmental Impacts During Oil and Gas Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 7.1 Oil and gas wells, pipelines and facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 7.2 Odour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 7.3 Flares and smoke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 7.4 Spills and soil and water contamination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 7.5 Water well or water quality concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 7.6 Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 7.7 Pipelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 7.8 Reclamation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 7.9 Animal Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 8. Well and Pipeline Abandonment and Reclamation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 8.1 Capping wells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 8.2 Reclamation of well sites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 8.2.1 The reclamation process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 8.2.2 Questions to ask regarding reclamation of wells and facilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 8.3 Reclamation of other sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 8.4 Pipeline Abandonment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 8.4.1 Questions to ask regarding pipeline reclamation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 8.5 Orphan wells and pipelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 9. Compensation and Surface Rights Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 9.1 Compensation for wells and facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 9.2 Compensation for pipelines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 9.3 The role of the Surface Rights Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 9.3.1 Right-of-entry orders when landowner and company cannot agree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 9.3.2 Right-of-entry orders when landowner and company agree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 9.3.3 Other board powers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 10. Negotiating with a Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 10.1 Direct negotiations with a company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 10.2 Appropriate dispute resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 10.2.1 Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 10.2.2 Environmental Appeals Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 10.2.3 National Energy Board (NEB) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 10.3 Public consultation, notification and involvement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 10.4 Forming a local landowners and concerned citizens group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 10.5 Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 10.5.1 The role of the media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 VI The Pembina Institute · When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard
Table of Contents 10.5.2 Issuing a media release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 10.5.3 Talking to the media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 10.6 An example of an effective negotiation process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 10.7 If all dispute resolution fails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 11. Public Hearing and Regulatory Board Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 11.1 Alberta Energy and Utilities Board hearings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 11.1.1 Who can request a hearing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 11.1.2 What to consider before requesting a hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 11.1.3 Objecting to a project and applying for a hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 11.1.4 Preliminary steps in the EUB hearing process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 11.1.5 The pre-hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 11.1.6 The hearing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 11.1.7 Evidence to submit at a hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 11.1.8 Funding and intervener costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 11.1.9 Appeals and legal challenges to unfavourable decisions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 11.1.10 Post-regulatory follow-up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 11.2 Surface Rights Board procedures and hearings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 11.2.1 Right-of-entry orders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 11.2.2 Types of hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 11.2.3 The compensation hearing process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 11.2.4 Cost of hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 11.2.5 Rehearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 11.2.6 Appeal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 11.3 Environmental Appeals Board procedures and hearings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 11.4 National Energy Board hearings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 12. The Roles of Government Boards and Departments and Contact Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 12.1 Alberta Energy and Utilities Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 12.1.1 What the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) does . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 12.1.2 Alberta Energy and Utilities Board offices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 12.1.3 Information published by the Aberta Energy and Utilities Board. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 12.2 Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and the Surface Rights Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 12.2.1 Alberta Sustainable Resource Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 12.2.2 Surface Rights Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 12.3 Alberta Environment and the Environmental Appeals Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 12.3.1 Alberta Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 12.3.2 Environmental Appeals Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 12.4 Farmers' Advocate Office and Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. . . . . . . . . 107 12.4.1 The Farmers' Advocate Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 12.4.2 Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 12.5 Alberta Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 12.6 Alberta Health and Wellness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 12.7 Alberta Human Resources and Employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 12.8 Freedom of Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 12.9 The Office of the Ombudsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 12.10 National Energy Board. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 12.11 Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 13. Contacts: Lawyers, Professional Bodies and Local Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 13.1 How to find a lawyer, expert witness or technical assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 13.1.1 Lawyers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard · The Pembina Institute VII
Table of Contents 13.1.2 Environmental Law Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 13.1.3 mediation and arbitration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 13.1.4 Technical Consultants and Laboratories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 13.1.5 Alberta Research Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 13.2 Professional organizations representing the energy sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 13.2.1 Alberta Association of Surface Land Agents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 13.2.2 Alberta Land Surveyors' Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 13.2.3 Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 13.2.4 Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 13.2.5 Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 13.2.6 Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 13.2.7 Canadian Centre for Energy Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 13.2.8 Canadian Energy Pipeline Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 13.2.9 Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 13.2.10 Environmental Services Association of Alberta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 13.2.11 Orphan Well Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 13.2.12 Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 13.2.13 Strathcona Industrial Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 13.3 Province-wide non-profit organizations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 13.3.1 Alberta Environmental Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 13.3.2 Alberta Native Plant Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 13.3.3 Alberta Surface Rights Federation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 13.3.4 Clean Air Strategic Alliance and Airshed Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 13.3.5 Freehold Owners Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 13.3.6 Industry Land Owner Relations Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 13.3.7 The Land Advocate Society of Western Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 13.3.8 Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 13.3.9 Prairie Acid Rain Coalition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 13.4 local community and synergy groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 13.4.1 Airdrie and Area Public and Petroleum Producers Awareness Alliance. . . . . . . . . . 122 13.4.2 Bert Riggall Foundation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 13.4.3 Butte Action Committee for the Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 13.4.4 City of Calgary Synergy Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 13.4.5 East Parkland Liaison Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 13.4.6 Edson creative solutions Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 13.4.7 Gregg Lake Cottage Owners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 13.4.8 Indus Community Petroleum Industry Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 13.4.9 Lakeland Industry Community Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 13.4.10 McLeod Valley Coalition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 13.4.11 Patricia Area Landowners Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 13.4.12 The Pekisko Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 13.4.13 Pembina Agriculture Protection Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 13.4.14 Pembina Area natural resources advisory committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 13.4.15 Residents for Responsible Energy Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 13.4.16 Rimbey Multi-Stakeholder Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 13.4.17 Saddle Hills Awareness Committee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 13.4.18 Strathcona County Energy Exploration Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 13.4.19 Southwest Alberta Sustainable Community Initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 13.4.20 Sunchild-O'Chiese Mutual Aid Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 VIII The Pembina Institute · When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard
13.4.21 Sundre Petroleum Operators Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 13.4.22 Vulcan County Multi-Stakeholder Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 13.4.23 West Central Stakeholders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 13.4.24 Wheatland Surface Rights Action Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Appendix A: Legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 A.1 Legislation relating to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 A.1.1 Alberta Energy and Utilities Board Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 A.1.2 Energy Resources Conservation Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 A.1.3 Oil and Gas Conservation Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 A.1.4 Oil Sands Conservation Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 A.1.5 Pipeline Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 A.2 Legislation relating to Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and the Surface Rights Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 A.2.1 Public Lands Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 A.2.2 Surface Rights Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 A.3 Legislation relating to Alberta Environment and the Environmental Appeals Board . . . . . . . . 131 A.3.1 Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 A.3.2 Water Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 A.4 Alberta Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 A.4.1 Mines and Minerals Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 A.5 Alberta Human Resources and Employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 A.5.1 Land Agents Licensing Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 A.6 National Energy Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 A.6.1 National Energy Board Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 Appendix B: Selected EUB Decisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Appendix C: Coalbed Methane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 C.1 Comparison of coalbed methane and natural gas wells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 C.2 General plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 C.3 The well site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 C.4 Dewatering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 C.5 Venting, flaring and compressors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 C.6 Pipelines and roads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 C.7 Other points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Appendix D: Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 List of Figures Figure 1 EUB Field Centre Locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Figure 2 Alberta Environment Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Figure 3 Airshed Zones in Alberta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Figure 4 Alberta Coal Zones with CBM Potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 List of Tables Table 1 Chronology of well site development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Table 2 Chronology of pipeline development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Table 3 Quick reference list for selected government bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Table 4 Setback requirements for wells and for pipelines and facilities with gas pipelines containing hydrogen sulphide (H2S) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Table 5 Examples of noise levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Table of Contents
When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard · The Pembina Institute IX
Introduction Introduction to the 2nd Edition
When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard is a guide designed to help landowners, those who rent land, and affected members of the public address the numerous issues that arise when oil and gas developments are proposed for private or public land. First released in 2001, the guide was heartily welcomed by many landowners. Some said that they would not have known where to start without this book. Those with years of experience also expressed their appreciation for our work, saying they had learned new information. These readers discovered what environmental issues they needed to consider before signing a surface lease or right-of-way agreement. They learned the roles of the various government bodies and where they could seek independent advice. Members of the public discovered what to do if they were affected by developments on adjacent property. Three years later, we still receive numerous requests for the guide. However, since its first release, much has changed in the management of oil and gas development. The Alberta Government has introduced new legislation, regulations, and procedures; the responsibilities of some departments have changed while others have been reorganized. Industry and government interest in coalbed methane, a new source of natural gas, has been steadily increasing. As it is an emerging industry in the province, landowners need to know how its development might affect them.
We are excited to now be releasing this completely revised and wholly updated second edition of When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard. This expanded version contains the latest information available. The format has been changed to make it easier to use, and more references and Web site links have been included to help readers obtain further information. Note to Readers We encourage all readers to review CHAPTER 1 in its entirety, as it provides important background information. Beyond that, we expect that most readers will not choose to read this book from cover to cover, but rather will reference those sections most relevant to them at a given time. To this end we provide several quick reference tables in CHAPTER 1 to make it easy to find the most important sections. We also draw attention to the Index at the end of the report and to the Glossary in APPENDIX D. There are frequent references in the text. Crossreferences to other sections of this document are in SMALL CAPITALS; references to other publications, legislation, and sections of legislation are in italics. References to online documents available through the Internet are underlined in the conventional manner.
X The Pembina Institute · When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard
1. Getting Started 1. Getting Started
Source: Pembina Institute
It pays to be informed, whether you own or rent land or you are a member of the public who may be affected by oil and gas development.
1.1 Who is this book for? This book is for landowners, those who rent land, and members of the public who may be affected by adjacent oil and gas activities. It outlines what to expect and ways to get involved in decision-making processes. It provides information on legally required minimum standards that apply to any company engaged in resource development activities. The guide also suggests ways you can encourage a company to adopt best practices to reduce possible impacts of energy development on air, land and water quality. This guide can help those unfamiliar with oil and gas development and regulations to quickly come to an understanding of how the system works and what their rights are. It provides accessible answers to these complex questions: · If a permit agent knocks at your door and says a company wants to conduct seismic exploration
on your land, how do you decide whether to grant permission? · If a land agent tells you a company plans to drill a well or put a pipeline on your land, what do you need to know before you start negotiations? How do you decide whether any special conditions are needed in a surface lease or right-of-entry agreement? · If there are plans to build a well or pipeline near your home, is the company obliged to tell you or consult with you? · If you have concerns about a proposed oil and gas project, how can you ensure your concerns are addressed before it proceeds? The guide serves as a helpful reference book for those working with oil and gas development companies and those in government. It provides an overview of all the information produced by the various government bodies. When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard · The Pembina Institute 1
1. Getting Started
This revised edition will also be useful to all those directly involved in the field, including permit agents, land agents, and drilling rig operators, as well as those involved in reclamation activities. Our hope it that, if all parties have access to a common body of information about citizens' rights in Alberta, the result will be easier resolution of landowners' issues with respect to oil and gas developments. 1.2 How to find what you need Easy reference tables at the front, a detailed index at the back, and overall organization of content are designed to help readers quickly find the information they need. As outlined in the TABLE OF CONTENTS, several Chapters deal with the issues that arise at the initial stage of resource development, from exploration for oil or gas to the location and construction of wells, pipelines and facilities. CHAPTERS 2, 3 and 4 each contain a series of questions that you may want to ask before signing a permit, lease or right-of-way agreement. CHAPTER 6 addresses emergencies, while CHAPTER 7 describes issues that may arise during operations and some potential impacts on land, air or water. CHAPTER 8 outlines the requirements for abandoning wells and reclaiming land. While CHAPTERS 2 to 8 primarily address the physical environment, later chapters provide information and advice on dealing with more Table 1 Well site development
administrative-type issues, including compensation for surface rights access and right-of-entry orders (CHAPTER 9). CHAPTER 10 discusses negotiations and dispute resolution, both for landowners and those living adjacent to developments. The public hearing process is outlined in CHAPTER 11. The final two chapters provide contact information: CHAPTER 12 for a range of government departments and boards, and CHAPTER 13 for lawyers, professional bodies and non-profit organizations. The four appendices contain a summary of government legislation, selected decisions by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB), a summary of potential issues relating to coalbed methane and a Glossary (APPENDIX D).1 Text boxes throughout the document highlight information of special importance or interest. Web links are given in the footnotes to some sources but not, for example, for all EUB publications or legislation. Web links for government departments are given in CHAPTER 12 and for legislation in APPENDIX A. The Pembina Institute series on Environment and Energy in the North, available at http://www. pembina.org, includes detailed descriptions of the processes involved in seismic exploration; exploration, production and drilling; well site operation; and, pipeline construction and operation. While the guides in this series were written specifically for the Yukon and Northwest Territories, much of the general information is relevant for Alberta (SECTION 13.3.8).
Activity Seismic survey Land survey Initiating negotiations Location negotiation Environmental considerations Surface lease negotiation Help with negotiations Compensation Right-of-entry orders If lease negotiations fail: right-of-entry process Emergency Response Plans Emergencies
Sections in book CHAPTER 2 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6, 3.7, 10.1 10.2 9.1, 9.3, 11.2.2, 11.2.3 9.3 11.2.1 3.8 CHAPTER 6
1 APPENDIX C on Coalbed Methane (CBM) provides a list of questions that landowners may wish to ask about CBM development. Some issues relating to CBM are mentioned in the text. For further information about CBM see Unconventional Gas: The Environmental Challenges of Coalbed Methane Development in Alberta, published by the Pembina Institute in 2003 (see SECTION 13.3.8).
2 The Pembina Institute · When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard
1. Getting Started
Operational problems Well abandonment and site reclamation Coalbed methane wells
CHAPTER 7 8.1, 8.2 3.5.1, 3.5.4, APPENDIX C
Table 2 Pipeline development Activity Route selection Setbacks Environmental considerations Right-of-way negotiations Help with negotiations Compensation Right-of-way agreement Right-of-entry orders If lease negotiations fail: right-of-entry process Emergency response plans Emergencies Operational problems Pipeline abandonment National Energy Board pipelines Gas distribution pipelines
Sections in book 4.1.1 4.1.2 4.1.3 10.1 10.2 9.2 4.1.4 9.3 11.2.1 4.1.5 CHAPTER 6 7.7 8.4 4.2 4.1.6
1.3 Finding the right government board, agency or department Several government departments and agencies are involved in the regulation of the oil and gas industry. The roles of these and other government bodies are described in CHAPTER 12. In Table 3 we provide a quick reference list, in alphabetical order, showing some of the government bodies you may want to contact and the most important phone numbers. The table indicates the section in CHAPTER 12 where each board, department, etc. is described, but they are referred to in many sections throughout the guide. CHAPTER 12 also gives information on several other government bodies. The Department of Energy is responsible for leases or licences for mineral rights (SECTION 12.5). Alberta Health and Wellness is involved in issues relating to health (SECTION 12.6). Other sections deal briefly with Freedom of Information, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
1.4 A few words on mineral rights Most Albertans do not own the minerals that lie under the surface of their land. The 1887 Dominion Lands Act stated that all minerals were to be reserved for the Crown, so when home-steaders came to the Prairies, they received title to the land surface only. The government has since created various pieces of legislation and regulations that attempt to balance the right of access to minerals with fair treatment for landowners, including an entry fee, compensation for land value, loss of use, adverse effects, and damages. This document focuses on the rights of landowners and others who lease or occupy the land but do not own the mineral rights. Those belonging to the minority who actually own the mineral rights on their land (as indicated on their legal mineral title) should read Leasing Mineral Rights2 before starting negotiations or entering into an agreement with any company seeking access to their mineral rights
2 Farmers' Advocate Office. 2001. Leasing Mineral Rights; http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex1124?opendocument When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard · The Pembina Institute 3
1. Getting Started
Table 3 Quick reference list for selected government bodies All Government of Alberta staff and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) can be reached toll-free from anywhere in the province by first dialing the Alberta Government RITE line at 310-0000, then entering the area code and number you wish to reach. The Government of Alberta publishes a telephone directory of staff and MLAs as well as department information; http://www.gov.ab.ca/directory.
Government body Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) EUB regional offices
Section 12.1 12.1
Alberta Environment
12.3.1
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
12.2.1
Farmers' Advocate
12.4.1
Geophysical Inspector National Energy Board
12.2.1 12.10
Registrar of Land 12.7 Agents
Surface Rights Board
12.2.2
Responsibilities
Contact Phone
Regulates oil and gas wells, provincial pipelines and facilities Facilitate negotiations and give information on the appropriate dispute resolution process and all other issues relating to oil and gas development, except compensation Handles conservation, reclamation, and contaminant remediation on private land as well as protection of air and water quality Addresses seismic exploration on public and private lands (see Geophysical Inspector, below), and remediation and reclamation on public lands Provides advice on lease agreements and negotiations, and offers water well restoration or replacement program Investigates damage resulting from seismic exploration Regulates interprovincial and international pipelines Handles questions about land agents (housed within Alberta Human Resources and Employment) Addresses compensation issues and right-of-entry orders
Head Office 403-297-8311
On call 24 hours Bonnyville Midnapore (Calgary area) Drayton Valley Grande Prairie Medicine Hat Red Deer St. Albert Wainwright
780-826-5352 403-297-8303 780-542-5182 780-538-5138 403-527-3385 403-340-5454 780-460-3800 780-842-7570
24-hour Emergency Hotline Reclamation Regional Offices Northern Region (Edmonton) Central Region (Red Deer) Southern Region (Calgary)
800-222-6514 780-427-2700 780-427-7617 403-340-7052 403-297-7880
Reclamation 780-422-3750 General Inquiries 780-427-4407
General Inquiries 780-427-2433
General Inquiries 780-427-3932
General Inquiries or 24-hour Interprovincial Pipeline Emergency (call collect)
800-899-1265 403-292-4800 819-997-7887
General Inquiries 780-415-4500
General Inquiries 780-427-2444
4 The Pembina Institute · When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard
1. Getting Started
(SECTION 12.4.1). They may also wish to contact the Freehold Owners Association (SECTION 13.3.5). Additionally, while the ownership issues are different, much of the general information in this book will still be relevant. Those who own or legally occupy land have specific rights, but anyone who may be affected by an oil or gas industry activity also has certain rights or opportunities for input (see, for example, SECTIONS 2.3, 3.3, 3.8 and 10.3­10.7). The EUB recognizes the legal rights of those who can demonstrate that they are directly and adversely affected by oil or gas development activity, while environmental and public health laws and the Criminal Code serve to protect the general public from negative impacts. While the EUB requirements for consultation and notification of Aboriginal and Mйtis people are similar to those described in this book for general landowners and occupants, and while the environmental information presented is relevant irrespective of land ownership, there is separate legislation that governs development of oil and gas on Aboriginal land. The Environmental Law Centre can provide advice with respect to this legislation (SECTION 13.1.2). An individual's rights vary according to the activity in question. For example, an individual's rights with respect to seismic lines or surveying are different from those that pertain to drilling an oil or gas well. In geophysical operations on private land the landowner or occupant can refuse entry,3 while in other cases they can negotiate but have no right to refuse entry. It is thus important to be aware of your rights for specific circumstances.
In this document we use the words "landowners" and "occupants" as specific terms, although for brevity we may only refer to landowners in the text. While all major terms are defined in the Glossary (APPENDIX D) it is helpful to clarify three of these here. A landowner is the person or persons, whose name(s) appears on the certificate of title to the land issued under the Land Titles Act.4 An occupant is the person, other than the owner, who has certain rights to the land. The occupant may also be referred to as the tenant. The occupant may be in actual possession of the land or be shown as a person who has an interest in the land (which may be noted by a caveat on a certificate of title under the Land Titles Act). In the case of government-owned land, such as a Crown grazing lease, the occupant is the person shown in the records to have an interest in the land. Sometimes the occupant on a Crown lease is also referred to as the lessee. Note that the definition of an occupant used in this book is more general than the definition used by the EUB. The EUB distinguishes between landowners, occupants, residents and Crown disposition holders.5 An operator is the person or company that has the right to conduct surveys or extract the oil, gas or other mineral.6 In this document we use the term company rather than operator. If you are researching a government act or regulation and are uncertain about to whom the legislation applies, refer to the definitions, which usually appear at the beginning of the document.
3 This does not apply to agricultural leases on Crown land. 4 All Alberta government acts and regulations are available on the government Web site at http://www.qp.gov.ab.ca/custom_page.cfm?page_id=41 For this reason we have not provided hyperlinks for legislation in the footnotes. Copies of government legislation can also be purchased from the Queen's Printer Bookstores: Edmonton Bookstore, Main Floor, Park Plaza, 10611 ­ 98th Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5K 2P7; phone: 780-427-4952, fax: 780-452-0668; Calgary Bookstore, 602, 620 ­ 7th Avenue SW, John J. Bowlen Building, Calgary, AB T2P 0Y8; phone: 403-297-6251, fax: 403-297-8450. Call toll-free by dialing 310-0000. 5 EUB. 2003. Guide 56: Energy Development Applications and Schedules. http://www.eub.gov.ab.ca/BBS/requirements/Guides/g56.htm 6 Surface Rights Act, section 1(h). When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard · The Pembina Institute 5
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