Frequently Asked Questions
The Commission’s Application Management System (AMS) is a permit application and information portal that provides a consistent application process for all oil and gas permits.
AMS has shifted the manual, paper based oil and gas permit application process into an online submission process. Historically, the Commission received approximately 4,000 – 5,000 permit applications per year in either hardcopy or quasi-electronic format (via the KERMIT system). Through AMS, the application content is validated at the time of submission, ensuring application requirements are in the form and manner outlined within the Oil and Gas Activities Act. Through AMS, the number of errors therefore are reduced and a more streamlined process is created.
As communicated via Industry Bulletin, the AMS system was implemented on July 11, 2016.
The Commission’s KERMIT database still exists. Applications previously submitted via KERMIT will now be submitted via the AMS. Other KERMIT functionality will continue to exist, such as the management of operational pipeline and facility data, as well as compliance and enforcement activities.
The following activity types can be submitted through the AMS. More information on completing the application requirements associated with these is found on the Oil and Gas Activity Application Manual webpage.
- Oil and gas activities: applications for wells, pipelines, facilities, roads, and geophysical exploration
- Related activities: applications for authorizations through specified enactments under the Land Act and Water Sustainability Act
- Provincial NEB authorizations: applications for the Provincial authorizations associated with federal pipelines, through specified enactments under the Land Act and Water Sustainability Act
- Other submission types: Historical data submissions for pipelines and facilities can be submitted via the AMS, as well as ALR assessments on private land.
Applications made to the Commission via AMS can be either for a permit under the Oil and Gas Activities Act (OGAA) or for authorizations for National Energy Board (NEB) permits. Spatial packages must be prepared separately for these applications.
A construction corridor is an additional mapped area around the proposed activities providing the permit holder with the flexibility to adjust the footprint of permitted activities (with some limitations) after the permit is issued. Providing all activities stay within the construction corridor, applicants have the ability to move permitted related activities or the footprint of oil and gas activities, provided the activities themselves (pipe or road centerline, well surface location) have not been relocated, without having to submit an amendment; and record the actual impact and location on the post construction plan. The width of the construction corridor is left to the discretion of the applicant. More information can be found in the spatial submission standards manual on how to create construction corridors in the spatial data shapefile.
The Application Analysis Tool enables applicants to spatially plan their application using the publically available data that Commission staff use to make decisions. Applicants can upload spatial data and move around their activity to minimize conflicts and create a ‘to-do’ list for preparing the application. More information on the AAT is found in the Oil and Gas Activities Application Manual and on the AMS webpage.
Yes, applications can be drafted over time. However, an application is populated with the upload of a spatial data shapefile and those data fields that are not spatial derived require the user to data enter information. If different activities are added to the application while being drafted; new spatial data will be required to be uploaded and new activity identifiers will be given to each activity with each upload. Users must be aware that the upload of new spatial data will overwrite the previous drafted application.
No, the AMS includes spatially derived fields. Therefore, any place in the application where information requirements come from government systems (such as the forest district, land type, etc.), the system will automatically populate this information on behalf of the applicant.
No. An application submitted via AMS can be composed of a single activity or multiple activities. It is at the discretion of the applicant to determine how many activities they want to include in the application.
No. There are some optional data requirements included in AMS. These are labelled as optional. All other fields are mandatory
This situation can occur when the Commission makes changes to the system(s) as part of ongoing enhancements. Once an application is set to in-revision, it is treated as a new application when submitted. Any changes made to the system(s) may include new requirements for spatial data, mandatory information etc. which is compulsory to be provided. Enhancements made to the system(s) improve data accuracy and facilitate improved data management and are crucial for the Commission’s operations.
Yes. When you are in an application, there is a print option in the top left menu of the AMS.
Yes, however, an applicant has the option of revising their application in order to remove the activity or can request that the Commission proceed to a decision. The Commission may choose to permit some activity and refuse to permit some activity.
The Application Analysis tool will only show if an application has been submitted. A user can only see the status of an application if they have been granted the “Application” role by the applicant company. The status is then displayed on the dashboard or in the header of the navigation panel within the application.
An application goes into 'Timed Out' status when it has not been worked on for a period of three months. At any point, proponents can change the status from 'Timed Out' back to 'In Progress (Draft)' by going into the application and SAVING it. Once the application is saved, the application status automatically changes back to 'In Progress (Draft)' and is again available for edits and updates.
NOTE: Applications that have been in 'Timed Out' status for a period of four months will be removed from the system.
Yes, but the entire application will be put to an ‘In Revision’ status. The applicant can choose to revise portions of, or the entire application.
After receiving a request for revision, staff can change the status of an application to “In Revision” to allow the applicant to make the necessary changes. Additional information on the revision process can be found in the Oil and Gas Activity Application Manual webpage.
Both the process of putting an application on pending and the application withdrawal process are managed internally. An applicant cannot make these changes through the AMS. Applicants can contact an authorizations manager to make these status changes. Once these status changes are made, they will be shown on the applicants dashboard in AMS.
Yes. To support the transition to the multi-activity application approach, a change to the numbering system was made. No longer will OGC numbers or KERMIT SRA numbers be the main identifier associated with an application. All applications submitted in the AMS will be assigned an application number. This application number will be abbreviated as the AA# and will be sequentially assigned from AA# 100,100,000.
Upon decision, all activities permissioned will be referenced under an Application Determination Number (AD#). For an application including new activities submitted via AMS, the AD# will be the same as the AA#.
More information on the numbering system can be found within the Business Identifiers QRG.
All activities that have previously been permitted by the Commission will be assigned an AD#. These numbers have been sequentially assigned from AD# 100,000,000.
Yes. There are activity identifiers created for the related activities within the scope of the AMS, including Short Term Water Use (STWU#), Changes In and About a Stream (CIAS#), Associated Oil and Gas Activities (AOGA#) and NEB Ancillary Activities (ANC#).
These activity identifiers still exist in AMS. Applicants will be provided with their activity identifier(s) once they begin an application.
Please note: Activity identifiers may change if new spatial is uploaded while the application is in progress or during a revision and do not become "permanent" until an application receives a positive decision.
You can perform a search within the KERMIT database by activity identifier to determine what a specific AD# is.
Securities for applications in AMS work the same way as they did in KERMIT. It is important that the Company Administrator ensures the proper securities are maintained. Currently, as soon as a Company Administrator grants a person Application security, access is granted to view (and edit prior to submission) all applications immediately. If you do not know who your Company Administrator is, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and request the contact details. For more information on company administration, please refer to the Permit Operations and Administration Manual or the External KERMIT Company Admin How To Document.
Securities for applications will work the same as they currently do in Kermit. Once granted the ‘applications’ security role for a company, a user can see all applications started by the company.
Survey companies will need to get access to the Application Analysis role from the applicant company. Once access is gained, users will be able to use the Application Analysis tool without constraints. The Application Analysis role and the Application Analysis tool however, do not allow the user authority to view or edit applications for the applicant company unless the applicant has granted them the Application security role.
The Commission has not made any changes to the way application security roles work with the implementation of AMS. Applicants who give application security roles to consultants and/or representatives are responsible for managing the security of their applications. Representatives will have access to all applications for a specific company once granted application security role.
An amendment is initiated by using the corresponding AD#, activity identifier, or legacy OGC file number and selecting from the associated permitted activities that are listed based on the inputted value. The user can then indicate if the selected activities require land, technical or land, and technical amendment. AMS pulls in all the known permitted data into the application to be amended as needed.
No. An amendment will overwrite current data, which is why applicants cannot apply for more than one amendment at a time. Rules are set up in the system to prevent multiple amendments from being submitted.
Applicants can choose to amend a single activity within a multi-activity application or select the entire permit (approved application).
A permit holder can add Associated Oil and Gas Activities and/or Water Act authorizations to an existing OGAA permit. A permit holder cannot add additional OGAA activities to an existing permit.
Well authorization numbers are assigned in the order in which the features are created in the shapefile. This order, indicated by the FID, can appear to be random when a shapefile is converted from a different format. To ensure these activity identifiers are assigned in the preferred order, we recommend generating the features in ArcGIS when possible.
The Data Source attributes are being used to infer accuracy and will replace the previously more detailed capture method requirements of ePass.
Applicants have the option to change/update some spatially derived workflows in AMS. The user will be required to provide rationale explaining why changes have been made to the spatial data and the updated fields will be denoted in a way that alerts the client and reviewer that a change was made.
There are two ways to correct this:
1. Go to the validate page and validate the application. After validation is complete, you will be see a “Process” button at the bottom of the validation page. Press the button and all the spatially derived values that are showing red exclamation marks will be re-populated.
2. Click validate on the activity page and then click the process button in front of the UTM coordinates.
The submission of an MOTI polygon in AMS is mandatory when an applicant requires new cut within the MOTI right-of-way. If the application does not require new cut within an MOTI rights-of-way in the application, it is not mandatory to include the MOTI polygon.
In a new application you can upload new shapefiles under the "Spatial Data" tab using the same steps when starting an application. The history of shapefiles uploaded in an application will show on the "Spatial Data" screen under "Spatial Submission Upload History". There is no need to "remove" existing spatial data.
*PLEASE NOTE: Uploading a new spatial data package will overwrite all existing spatial and non-spatial data previously entered into the application.
In situations where the applicant is submitting spatial data to reference a previously permissioned polygon in a new application or replacing a previously permissioned polygon in an amendment, and there is no existing spatial data in Commission databases, the land identifier (LAND_ID) attribute must me left empty; this will be the case for all land authorizations approved by the Commission prior to ePass. In this situation Commission staff will review to ensure that the polygon is representative of previously authorized land for the applicant.
For more information please see the AMS Spatial Data Submission Standards.
Each polygon representing a land area, when authorized by the Commission, will be assigned a unique Land Identifier (LAND_ID). This number will be referenced throughout the lifecycle of the authorized land polygon. Applicants must reference the land identifier in the submission of spatial data via AMS when referencing a previously permissioned area in a new application or replacing a previously permissioned area during an amendment application.
Applicants can find their unique land identifiers for all currently authorized polygons via data published on the Commissions Geospatial Services page, the AMS Map Viewer OGC Permit Data and/or via the eSubmission portal if the user has been granted permission to access permit information on behalf of an operator. The following features contain land identifiers unique to each polygon:
- Well and/or Facility Sites AMS
- Pipeline Rights-of-Ways
- Road Rights-of-Ways
- Associated Oil and Gas Activities and Ancillary Activities
Currently the validation for new applications for installations requires them to be submitted within a pipeline rights of way polygon and within 10m of the associated segment. We are working on updates to the AMS system to submit installations outside of these validation rules, however, in the meantime we ask that clients submit their installation locations in the pipeline rights of way polygon in order to have the system validate installations for new applications.
Please ensure you add *.bcogc.ca to your pop-up blocker exceptions in your web browser settings to enable use of the map. You may need to contact your IT department for assistance with this browser configuration issue.
There have been changes to the spatial data requirements. A new Spatial Data Submission Standards Manual has been developed and more information on spatial requirements is found on the AMS Spatial webpage.
The ePASS system retired as of July 11, 2016. Spatial data now comes in via AMS or via eSubmission.
Spatial data now forms part of the application process and no longer needs to be submitted separately through ePASS. Once you begin your application and select the oil and gas activity types that are included in the application, the system will prompt you to upload the appropriate spatial data.
Within the application, ‘contractors’ are a list of the ‘experts’ that were used to supply information for the application as well as enable ‘a notice of use of professional designation’. This notice is simply an e-mail to the contractors advising them that their professional designation has been used on an application submitted to the Commission; as well as providing notice of the change in a status of the application. Contractors can include Land Agents, Engineers and Archaeologists. Contractor information within an application assists staff during reviews by providing correct contact information.
Providing contractor information within an application has no effect on who can access the application, nor does it have any bearing on who can work on a permitted activity in the field.
Based upon the location of the activities included in the application, the applicant must follow the Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMP’s) as per the Environmental Protection and Management Guideline, specifically the special management zones. Since some LRMP’s do not define “special”, the Commission has included all RMZ’s. The applicant will be required to review the applicable LRMP to determine if further rationale is required, including Mitigation Plans, where applicable.
There can be various validation errors with the line list:
The header of both line lists provide instruction on the formatting. Applicants CANNOT MANIPULATE the line lists to change the formatting - this will give an error. In both the Rights Holder Engagement and the Consultation and Notification line lists, any values that can be selected from a drop down list SHOULD be selected from that list. If there is any difference between the typed value and that provided in the drop down list, the system will generate an error. Selecting values only from the drop down list will avoid this issue.
Applicants will also get errors if they:
- Cut and paste content from one document to the line lists. This will overwrite the formulas within the spreadsheet and give errors.
- Clear the data and formulas in the list. If the formulas are removed it will give an error.
- Enter incorrect formatted values. The system identifies where to separate these values via punctuation, etc, and if there is extra punctuation, there will be an error.
- Try and upload a Rights Holder Engagement line list instead of a Consultation and Notification line list, or vice-versa.
The linelist are uploaded in to the AMS application and thereby, a printable format is available.
Applicants can select ‘yes’ to the exemption and must upload the approved exemption.
As with current processes, the Commission does not accept a verbal non-objection. If a documented non-objection cannot be obtained, the applicant cannot apply prior to the specified timeline. The line list would require ‘yes’ to be selected under ‘non-objection letter’ for all listed landowners and a non-objection letter must be submitted with the application for each landowner.
No. All the C&N requirements are built into the AMS.
The form is mandatory for those applications that fall within the OGC Operational Zones: North or Central. Please ensure the form is completed and included as a miscellaneous attachment with your application.
The Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment Interim Measures Agreement (Agreement), outlined in Industry Bulletin 2018-15, supports government’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative by creating a new way of collaboration between the Province and Blueberry River First Nations (BRFN) regarding resource development. Under the Agreement, certain areas within BRFN’s territory will be managed differently to address concerns with respect to activities associated with oil and gas development. The Agreement is expected to be in place until final recommendations are made under the Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment process.
The Interim Measures arose out of the Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment (RSEA) which is being done collaboratively with Blueberry River First Nations (BRFN) and other Treaty 8 Nations. The Interim Measures provide some additional protections to a small subset of BRFN territory of critical community interest. The Interim Measures allow BRFN to contribute effectively at the RSEA table by addressing these interests specifically.
As part of this agreement with the Blueberry River First Nations, there are pre-determined areas where existing surface disturbances will be limited (referred to as ‘Area 2’ in the bulletin) or new surface disturbances will require offsets (Areas 1 and 3). Tenure requests and oil and gas activity applications within these pre-determined areas will be reviewed by members of the Agreement, to ensure oil and gas development occurs in a sustainable and collaborative manner. This Agreement should lead to better collaboration between government, First Nations and industry and is expected to improve relationships and create greater certainty for industry investments over the longer-term.
No, the form is not required for applications that are not within the North or Central Zones.
First Nation consultation packages do not need to be submitted. The AMS generates the First Nation consultation package for Commission staff to distribute to communities in electronic format.
Yes, the preference would be to include all activities on one construction plan.
Yes, there is still the requirement to upload specific maps and plans. Applicants will be prompted to upload the required PDFs within AMS. Please see the Oil and Gas Activity Application Manual for more information.
The well classification will default to ‘Developmental’ and the applicant can change it, if necessary.
The oil and gas field name is pulled spatially and may not populate because the well point is located outside of a field or located where two fields overlap. Wells must be named based on the well naming convention.
PNG title numbers are entered for the wellpad. If the application involves multiple wells on the same pad with different PNG title numbers; the applicant can submit all applicable PNG title numbers for the entire wellpad.
The user selects the ‘+’ button to add the additional PNG title numbers.
Yes, exemption requests are specific to each particular well.
If the application has not yet been submitted, yes, the applicant can add additional activities, including subsequent wells to their application. Revised spatial data would be required to show this additional activity.
Once the application has been approved, the applicant will be required to submit the subsequent well as a separate new application.
The same process exists as it does now. The applicant will be required to submit an amendment to change the classification.
No, this requirement has always been in place. Previously it was submitted as part of the well name in the form of ‘et al’. In AMS, the well name is constructed by the system therefore, whether or not a working interest partner is involved is required.
If the proponent wishes to submit either an ‘et al’ along with names working interest partners, or only add a ‘et al’ with no named working interests, they should simple select the “More Than One WIP” checkbox.
Once they save the well overview page, they will see the ‘et al’ shown in the well name on the Well Details
Associated Oil and Gas Activities are related to OGAA activities and are required to support and carry out the OGAA activity. Ancillary Activities are related to NEB activities and are required to support and carryout the NEB activity.
Yes, but some terminology has been clarified. Activities previously referred to as stand-alone Crown land applications or ancillaries will now be referred to as the following:
- For OGAA related applications: ancillaries will now be referred to as an “Associated Oil and Gas Activity” and can be applied for as a single activity application or as part of a multi-activity application.
- For NEB related applications: ancillaries will continue to be referred to as “Ancillaries” and can be applied for as a single activity application or as part of a multi-activity.
If 'Riparian Class' is any one of 'S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, or S6', then the system displays Bank Full Stream Width and Stream Gradient
If 'Riparian Class' is any of the 'S1, S2, S3, S4' than Fisheries Habitat Assessment is MANDATORY.
You can apply for these activities together in the AMS. Make sure to select both ‘road’ (or pipeline) and ‘changes in and about a stream’ when you select the activities for the application.
Yes. Pipeline segments are part of the spatial data that is uploaded into the application.
Pipeline installations are mandatory only if present on the pipeline.
Applicants can upload additional pipeline installations at any point during the application preparation within AMS as long as the spatial for the correct corresponding segment IDs has been submitted. Users may wish to become familiar with the spatial submission standards outlined in the Spatial Data Submission Stanards manual.
If you are adding both new segments to your project and new installations to those new segments, you must ensure that you have submitted the spatial for the new segments before you try to add the associated pipeline installations to them. All installation points must correspond to the correct (and available) Segment IDs for the amendment or uploading pipeline installations will not work.
To help with future system integration projects and to be consistent with other regulators terminology. This also helps distinguish between pipeline equipment and facility equipment.
Yes. It is at the discretion of the applicant.
No, the past requirement of only five segments per pipeline application has been removed. AMS supports any number of pipeline segments.
A segment is defined as a section of pipeline within the pipeline system. A pipeline system is made up of one or more segments of pipeline or a group of pipelines; including gathering lines.
Spatially, we have separated the surface pipeline rights-of-way from the pipeline centerline requirements. Pipeline rights-of-way will be a polygon shape file; while the pipeline centerline is a line. Pipeline centerlines will be shown from tie-in point to tie-in point and must be located within the surface rights-of-way or a wellsite/facility polygon. The surface right-of-way is required to determine impact to the land and is required on both private land Crown land. Construction plans should show the right-of-way segmented to match engineering segments for ease of future amendments or transfers.
They need to be all in the same zip file. They may be different shapefiles, but they are submitted together. The shape file for the pipeline right of way will be submitted as a polygon and represents the surface right-of-way for the pipeline. The shape file for the pipeline centerline will be submitted as a centerline and represents the engineering specifications.
Road Width: Is the running surface area of the road.
Maximum Right of Way Width: Is the width of the entire right-of-way that includes the running surface area of the road and area needed to support the construction and maintenance of the road.
The “Add Segment” button on the Road Overview tab has been removed as a result of spatial validation changes which went live on Dec 8th, 2017. The “Add Segment” button allowed Road segment spatial to be uploaded without an associated land polygon as part of a technical amendment. This allowed incomplete application submissions into the AMS system, necessitating the removal of this option.
In order to add segments to new and existing Roads, spatial packages for Land/Land-and-Technical amendment or New Road Applications can be uploaded:
- Through the Application Analysis tool.
- Under the Spatial tab when creating the application/amendment.
- Under the Spatial tab while the application is in progress or in revision.
Roads can be submitted as part of a multi-activity application or as a single activity application, but they do not have to be applied for specifically with the well or the pipeline. Roads will get a unique activity identifier and are not tied directly to the well or pipeline.
Applicants wishing to submit a (new) non-status road (or transition road) application are required to submit a New Road Application. Within the application the user can then select the road application type as either:
- New Road
- Transfer of Jurisdiction
- Non-Status to Road Permit
- Non-Status to Road Permit with modifications.
For those existing roads (where the Commission has issued a road number); applicants are required to submit an Amendment Application. When the user enters the existing road number (activity identifier); the AMS Application system does a validation behind the scenes and checks to see if a Road Permit has been issued.
Once the system validation has occurred, one of two things will happen:
- If a road permit has been issued, the application will continue as if it is a normal amendment. The user will not see any additional questions and these amendments will follow the normal amendment process.
- If a road permit has not been issued, the user will see the following question:
AMS Payment is part of the new Application Management System and is the Commission's secure online portal for application payments. All application payments are now made via AMS Payment using Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). AMS Payment can be accessed here in the Online Services section of the website.
Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) is an electronic transfer of money from one bank account to another. It should be noted that although the Commission uses a Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) agreement. Each payment is initiated by the applicant's ePay Payer security role before payment is made.
You can only pay by cheque while transitioning to EFT. However you are still responsible for monitoring invoices in AMS Payment and submitting your cheques for each invoice.
While setting up your PAD agreement, companies can submit the letter of authorization enabling your ePay Financial Admin. This will allow the ePay Financial Admin to grant the ePay Payer role to other users. This also allows your ePay Financial Admin and ePay Payers to monitor the system and print or download invoices and send payment via cheque for those invoices. Those invoices will then be marked as paid by the Commission when your cheque is received. The Commission will no longer mail invoices to companies. The Commission will only follow up with companies if payment is not received within 30 days.
No. AMS Payment does not accept payment by credit card.
In order to setup an AMS Payment account the Commission requires the following documents to be completed:
- A letter, on company letterhead, sighed by a company executive (for example a CEO, CFO, or VP) authorizing a person to be designated as the ePay Financial Admin for the purpose of managing the AMS Payment account. The ePay Financial Admin role has overall control of the payment account for the company and can assign ePay payers to the account. An example letter of authorization is on the AMS Payment page on our website. This letter can be sent ahead of your PAD agreement form, enabling you to setup access to the Payment module.
- A Pre-authorized Debt (PAD) agreement form which can also be downloaded from our website
- A void cheque or letter from the bank matching the account information on the PAD agreement form
A signed letter from the company’s banking institution confirming the validity of the banking account information is acceptable.
No. Payments are user-initiated like any other online payment. Staff that are assigned the ePay Payer role must select an invoice and go through the payment process before the transaction is submitted to the bank and money is debited from the company’s account. The Commission cannot authorize funds to be removed from a company's account.
No, the Commission does not sign indemnity agreements.
This documentation can be emailed to the Commissions finance department at email@example.com however please note that email is not considered a secure form of sending information. To ensure your privacy and security please mail or courier the information to the following:
Attention Finance Department
PO Box 9331
Stn Prov Govt, B.C.
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9N3
You can also courier this information to us at:
Attention Finance Department
300, 398 Harbour Road,
Victoria, B.C. V9A 0B7
Users can be assigned one, or more, of three different roles associated with AMS Payment. The roles are:
- ePay Financial Admin: This role is the administrator for the company EFT account. Users assigned this role are able to manage and update the EFT account and assign up to three payment level authorizations to users with the ePay Payer role.
- ePay Payer: This role is assigned to users who are able to review invoices and make payments. Users with this role must be provided an Authorization Code by the ePay Financial Admin that enables them to make a payment up to a maximum amount.
- Applications: This is an existing role in KERMIT that carried over to AMS system when it launched. Company Administrators will continue to assign this role to users who will prepare and submit applications. This role allows users to view invoices in AMS Payment but not to edit financial information or make a payment.
A summary of the roles are here:
No. Each account can only be assigned the ePay Financial Admin for one company. However, ePay Payers can be assigned to more than one company.
Yes, a company can assign two ePay Financial Admin users as joint users.
Anyone that is assigned an ePay Payer role can pay an invoice on behalf of the company. This role is assigned by the ePay Financial Admin.
The ePay Financial Admin role can set up to three authorization codes each with a maximum payment limit for payments to be submitted to the Commission by the ePay Payer role. To do this, the ePay Financial Admin role must log onto AMS Payment, click "Edit EFT Bank Information” in the far left navigation panel. The resulting screens will enable the ePay Financial Admin to set three maximum payment amounts and Authorization Codes.
The person in your company who is assigned the ePay Financial Admin role can assign ePay Payer roles in KERMIT. The ePay Payer roles are assigned a maximum amount they are allowed to pay. If you cannot submit a payment, please check with your ePay Financial Admin on whether your maximum amount needs to be adjusted.
The Authorization Code is assigned by the ePay Financial Admin role. If you do not have an Authorization Code, check with your ePay Financial Admin. The ePay Financial Admin role is able to create three Authorization Codes in the EFT Account details screen in AMS Payment.
If you have saved your login credentials on our online system please contact your IT department for assistance in clearing this information.
There is a log out button at the top right of AMS Payment. Always use the log out button to ensure your session is properly closed.
AMS Payment keeps track of periods of inactivity. If you are inactive on the site for 15 minutes your session will expire and you will be required to log in again. This is a security feature to ensure your identity and information is protected.
As a security measure it is recommended that you clear your browser cache ensuring that your information remains private.
Yes. When an online payment is submitted, the invoice for the payment will automatically change to a receipt for your records.
This largely depends on the bank and can take a few days. The Commission processes EFT payments once a day.
Yes. Previous invoices are listed in the dashboard of AMS Payment.
No. Companies have 30 days to pay an application fee invoice.
Commission online systems use industry best practices to protect all information collected. Secure transfer protocols are used to encrypt data sent back and forth between system users and the Commission’s service. The EFT information is only viewable and editable to certain security roles assigned by the company.
However, as a user there are certain precautions to employ to keep your information private:
- Always keep your user name and password secret and never save them in your browser.
- Log out and close your browser after every session.
- Clear your internet browser cache after each session.
No, the Commission cannot debit bank accounts. Users with the ePay Payer role initiate the payment. The Commission then batches all initiated payments once a day and submits them to the bank for processing.
No, the account only needs sufficient funds to make a payment when your ePay Payer initiates the payment.
A: Invoices in Payment Pending status are unpaid invoices that have been generated in ePayment. These invoices require review before they can be paid. Invoices in Accepted status are invoices which an ePay Payer has reviewed and completed the Pay Now process. Payment is typically withdrawn from your account 2-5 business days after completing the Pay Now process and converting the invoices status from Payment Pending to Accepted.
There is no change to how the Commission processes amendment invoices. Currently, an amendment invoice will be generated from our Victoria office after the decision maker has made a determination on an amendment application. This will then appear as an invoice to be paid in AMS Payment.
There is no change to how the Commission processes amendment invoices at this time. Currently, an amendment invoice will be generated after a decision maker has made a determination on an amendment application. These invoices will appear in our AMS Payment dashboard. For more information on AMS Payment see the webpage here, or check out the FAQs below.
The changes to the Safety Standards Act introduced through Bill 13 were to clarify jurisdictional responsibilities in the areas of pressure piping and refrigeration systems. The changes are expected to result in more efficient oversight of oil and gas operations in B.C. and allow both the Commission and Technical Safety BC to focus their efforts in those areas of responsibility. For more information, please see Industry Bulletin 2016-34 Safety Standards Amendment Act Resulting Regulatory Authority and Process Changes.
No, the changes only affect facilities regulated under the Oil and Gas Activities Act. If the facility is NEB regulated, the BC Oil and Gas Commission has no regulatory involvement in the equipment, piping or components. For further information, please contact the NEB or Technical Safety BC directly.
Application design review is the first stage in our regulatory lifecycle approach to managing risks to public safety and the environment. The Commission reviews facility applications as an integrated system of singular components required to perform safely as a whole network. By focusing on where and how components interface within the system, the Commission can evaluate and assess the interaction of the elements with an eye for risk, reliability and safety.
The Commission utilizes a professional reliance model in some specific areas of its regulation of oil and gas activities. Engineering designs must be signed and sealed for use in B.C. by a member of Engineers & Geoscientists BC (formerly APEGBC). The requirements apply to the design, construction, operations/maintenance and decommissioning stages of projects. This professional reliance model is supplemented at the application stage by a design review process performed by Commission professional staff or third party subject matter experts. Additionally, targeted field inspections are undertaken during the construction, commissioning, operations, and decommissioning phases.
If an applicant intends to design all or a portion of a facility outside of B.C., they should refer to the Engineers & Geoscientists Quality Management Guidelines - Use of Seal, section 22.214.171.124. Appendix D of the LNG Facility Application and Operations Manual provides further guidance on how to meet professional reliance requirements to the Commission’s satisfaction and is consistent with the Engineering & Geoscientists Quality Management Guidelines.
Yes this is correct, the legislation refers directly to ASME B31.3 as an acceptable design code (not CSA B51), therefore design registration is not required for process pressure piping and fittings. In cases where CSA B51 is the design standard, design registration is required. A proponent may still choose to register for CRNs in any circumstance and can do this through Technical Safety BC.
There is no requirement to submit these packages to Technical Safety BC, except in instances where there is a design requirement to follow CSA B51. Proponents may still choose to register for Canadian Registration Numbers (CRN) for any reason and can do this through Technical Safety BC.
Prior to start-up following installation of the piping, the permit holder must have all this information available. The signed and sealed P&IDs must be submitted to the Commission following installation of the piping. The Commission may choose to audit the rest of the documentation.
If a design is currently registered, it is up to the permit holder whether to maintain the registration or cancel it. If they choose to keep it registered, design registrations for Commission-regulated elements will be reviewed and administered by Technical Safety BC. In these cases, compliance with the design registration requirements will fall to the Commission. This would be in addition to the Commission requirements.
The welder qualification shall be in accordance with the requirements in the code of construction (e.g. ASME B31.3, Section 328.2 and CSA Z662 Clause 7.8).
The Commission has no extra requirements for welders above what is required by the code of construction.
The Commission does not authorize test facilities.
Forms 1329 and 1330 were created by Technical Safety BC to satisfy the requirement to submit manufacturer’s data reports under CSA B51. The Commission would not require submission of these forms if design registration was pursued by a proponent. ASME B31.3 requires inspection by the owner’s inspector (or the inspector’s delegates) and therefore, if the Commission chooses to verify the satisfactory completion of the required examinations and testing, the Commission would request a copy of the inspector’s verification report indicating compliance to the code and the engineering design.
The Commission requires permit holders ensure all workers including inspectors and supervisors are competent (i.e. qualified, trained and experienced to perform the required duties). Note that for pressure piping designed to ASME B31.3, the standard includes minimum qualifications for inspectors.
Section 78(3) of the Drilling and Production Regulation states piping at facilities must be designed, constructed and operated in accordance with CSA Z662 or ASME B31.3. The only exception is for piping at gas processing plants and LNG facilities. All code breaks must be shown on the as-built drawings.
The Commission does not require completion and submission of this form in order to complete the upgrades. However, the required information listed in the form must be available and provided to the Commission if requested.
For fuel gas trains where the CSA B149.3 code is followed in the design of gas fired appliances (such as line heaters, tank heaters, glycol and amine reboilers, etc.), the as-built or record drawings for these facilities must clearly state they were designed and constructed in compliance with the requirements in CSA B149.3. It is a regulatory requirement that these drawings are stamped and signed by a professional engineer registered in B.C. The Commission does not require certification by a third party.
No, the Commission does not require permit renewal to operate pressure piping and refrigeration systems at a facility that was permitted under Oil and Gas Activities Act (OGAA).
EIMS development has been focused on selection of wildlife species with previous interactions with oil and gas activities and all WHA and UWR in northeast B.C.
The Area-based Analysis (ABA) approach has been developed by the BC Oil and Gas Commission (the Commission) as a framework for managing the impacts of oil and gas development. It is a different and more effective way of characterizing landscape of unconventional gas basins to inform decisions on oil and gas applications.
The Commission uses ABA to address the long-term effects of oil and gas activity in its decision making. Various decisions involving roads, water, seismic activity, well and facility locations, and pipeline corridors cause cumulative effects to both environmental and social values. Considering effects on only a project- or sector-specific basis can allow unintended impacts to accumulate over time.
In contrast, the Commission is addressing cumulative effects of oil and gas activity through the Areabased Analysis approach to permitting and authorizing. This approach allows the Commission to manage industry activity comprehensively to protect ecological, social and cultural heritage values. The actions that will be assessed are the combined footprint impact of industrial development on the selected values. For the Commission, that means that decisions about oil and gas activities will be made with all industrial development in mind.
Area-based Analysis considers all oil and gas activities and the surface and subsurface environmental impacts, both current and potential, at the full basin scale to achieve better environmental outcomes and more effective and efficient regulation. That means that broad impacts can be considered when looking at specific applications or activities, rather than just the localized effects of one permit. It evaluates the overall landscape – including features such as existingroads, wildlife management zones and other industrial users.
It’s an approach that manages environmental values based on direction set by government. ABA gives the Commission a better picture of the cumulative and larger impact of oil and gas activities for an entire region within the overall context of all activity. This information is used when the Commission makes decisions on applications.
Area-based Analysis follows the adaptive management process – the Commission will monitor to measure impacts, and adjust the overall framework as required.
|Values included||Target date|
|Hydro-riparian ecosystems, Old Forest||Fall 2014|
|High priority wildlife||2015|
First Nation cultural, heritage and traditional use
The ABA proof of concept was focused on landscape and ecological values within the Liard Unconventional Gas Basin. This ecological and landscape focus will be retained as ABA is deployed across the entire land base of northeast British Columbia (see Figure 2).
Compiling all known data and information into area-specific analyses gives industry, First Nations, government and other stakeholders the same information used by the Commission.
All documentation, data and analytical procedures used in ABA will be shared with all First Nations communities.
Area-based analysis integrates strategic direction from statutes, regulations and existing land-use plans with identified environmental and cultural values into a coherent and clarified framework.
This framework will:
- Provide a consistent rationale and process for identifying environmental and cultural values.
- Clarify objectives as set out in government policy and statutes.
- Provide an analysis of all existing development and the opportunity for future oil and gas activity.
- Provide a simplified and transparent framework to assess and manage oil and gas development impacts on identified values
The Area-Based Analysis (ABA) approach uses components of common cumulative effects assessment processes, but is geared to be operational. It will help inform decision makers about the impacts of oil and gas applications in the broader context of all development.
Area-Based Analysis is also used to evaluate trends in resource development and the effectiveness of policy regimes. Area-Based Analysis reports will be updated periodically to reflect new information, including updates to relevant government policy and legislation and new development activities.
The principle behind ABA is that as the impact to a value increases due to industrial build out by all activity, not just oil and gas, the management response escalates.
An assessment framework is developed for each value (see Figure 1) and the information generated during the assessment is provided to the Statutory Decision Maker for use in their decision.
The goal of the Area-based Analysis framework is to maintain conditions in the bottom bar where permitting is subject to routine reviews and operating procedures.
In the event the enhanced management trigger has been reached and the current condition of the value is determined to be in the middle (yellow) bar, the permitting process is subject to additional review and additional operating procedures will considered.
The objective is to return the conditions below the enhanced management trigger. FIGURE 1
In the event regulatory/policy trigger has been reached and the current condition of the value is determined to be in the top (orange) bar, the permitting process is subject to additional senior/regional staff review and additional operating procedures will considered.
The objective will be to restore conditions below the regulatory/policy trigger and ideally below the enhanced management trigger. This may include suspending permitting, confirming policy direction and implementing innovative approaches to mitigate the impact.
The framework is designed to be modular, and work is under way on five values:
- hydro-riparian ecosystems (riparian habitat, water quantity)
- old forest
- high-priority wildlife habitat
- resource features
- cultural heritage resources.
Three additional values are planned:
- ground water
- water quality
- air quality.
If additional values are identified through the First Nations engagement process, they will be considered for inclusion within the framework.
The measurement of disturbance will be assessed against triggers/thresholds that have been established by expert opinion. These thresholds will trigger actions that will reduce the impact of further development, by introducing avoidance and mitigation strategies.
The actions that will be assessed are the combined footprint impact of all industrial development on the selected values. This includes all surface land use disturbance associated with oil and gas activity, geophysical activity, cutblocks and non-oil activity (such as mining, recreation, hydro, wind power, transmission lines). For the Commission, that means that decisions about oil and gas activities will be made with all industrial development in mind.
Area-based Analysis has been expanded to cover the full extent of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in northeast British Columbia (NEBC). This includes the key development basins: The Horn River, the Cordova Embayment, the Montney and the Liard Basin.
The initial values being assessed focus on the biophysical components of the ecosystem. This includes 650,000 hectares of hydro-riparian reserves and 3.5 million hectares of Old Forest.
The ABA process monitors all industrial disturbance in a comprehensive incursion database.
Embodied in the existing environmental legislation and policy regime that governs resource management within British Columbia is the concept of “coarse-filter” and “fine-filter” management.
Coarse-filter management refers to the conservation of landscapes through networks of protected areas and management zones that allow natural processes to persist. Conserving the ecological communities of a given region through coarse filter management will also conserve those species that co-occur on the landscape, share common ecological processes and/or threats and are expected to behave similarly to development pressures and management actions.
Some species, ecosystems and features need to be conserved through individual, often localized efforts because they fall through the mesh of the coarse filter. This process is termed fine-filter management, and refers to conservation through localized protection measures such as individual species protection plans or protection of critical habitats or features (dens or rookeries) that are requisite for key life functions.
This framework was used to define the suite of starting values, as well as to help define the nesting of related values. The starting values are:
- hydro-riparian ecosystems (riparian habitat, water quantity)
- old forest
- high priority wildlife habitat
- resource features
- cultural heritage resources
ABA fits into the existing legal framework within which the BC Oil and Gas Commission operates. This legal framework is an environmental protection regime that is embodied in the collection of acts, regulations, standards, practice requirements and management plans that govern the mandate of the BC Oil and Gas Commission.
The legal framework was developed over many years. It is based on a wealth of information and knowledge about the activities on the ground and/or the environmental components. Overall the legal framework is intended to balance scientific knowledge with management risk, while protecting the environment and enabling development.
ABA gives the Commission greater certainty that decisions about oil and gas activity are made within the legal framework and that the effects of oil and gas activity can be managed and mitigated effectively and to lasting effect.
Some of the specific concerns ABA will help address include:
- Clarification of current legal/policy objectives in the Oil and Gas Activities Act (OGAA) and the Environmental Protection and Management Regulation (EPMR), which are both administered by the Commission.
- In conjunction with the cumulative effects program of the Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), the ABA will:
- Address the situation that multiple government agencies permit and authorize different industries and activities that impact the same values on the same land base
- develop common objectives and shared information to minimize or eliminate the accumulation of unintended impacts
- ensure the assessment(s) informs decision-making in a coordinated and consistent manner across the natural resource sector in order to reduce unintended impacts on values
- address the cumulative environmental effects of all natural resource activities and events on a select set of resource values (rather than just oil and gas, for instance).
- The ABA will assist in addressing concerns by
- identifying and making coordinated decisions about significant resource development in northeast British Columbia
- managing the impacts of development on key ecosystem attributes (habitat, water, air, species) to stay within acceptable levels
- managing the impacts of development on the resource values that support the practice of treaty rights.
Area-based Analysis (ABA) follows the outline identified in the 1999 document “Cumulative Effects Assessment Practitioners Guide” prepared for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
Scoping consists of five basic steps:
- identify the issues of concern
- select the appropriate values
- identify the spatial and temporal boundaries
- identify the actions that impact the values
- identify potential impacts from the actions and possible effects.
One of the best methods to reduce resource development and environmental/cultural conflict is to share the information available with all interested parties. Identifying the values important to each First Nation ensures that these values are recognized and considered early in the application process. Sensitive data and information can be protected, and transparent and regular reporting on the information important to First Nations can occur.
Area-based Analysis was introduced to First Nations in conjunction with FLNRO’s (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) presentation on cumulative effects during two workshops in January 2013 in Fort St John. First Nations unanimously requested, and the FLNRO and the Commission committed to working directly with each community to define specific interests and next steps.
Since then the FLNRO and the Commission have participated in further engagement with all First Nations in the northeast region by providing background materials, holding face-to-face meetings with interested First Nations within their communities and distributing both the draft assessment report completed for the South Peace area and the methods paper for the ABA approach.
Many First Nations have chosen to work directly with the FLNRO and the Commission specifically on incorporating First Nations values of interest, providing additional data and reviewing the preliminary assessment methods and results.
Most Consultation Process Agreements (CPA) are being re-negotiated and alternative approaches such as ABA being brought forward in discussion with application consultation processes.
Area-based Analysis (ABA) is intended to provide a structured assessment of values for consideration in decision making. ABA could include an assessment of those resource values that are important to or contribute to the practice of treaty rights. Preliminary discussions have commenced with some First Nations communities on how to develop a structured assessment of specific environmental, cultural and heritage values within ABA that are tied to the practice of treaty rights.
They are not exclusive but they do meet different needs on different scales.
The Environmental Assessment Office ensures proposed major projects meet provincial environmental, economic and social goals, and the interests and concerns of B.C.’s families, businesses, communities and First Nations are considered in each assessment. The Environmental Assessment Office evaluates proposed projects that are reviewable under the Environmental Assessment Act for potential adverse environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects and verifies and enforces compliance with the conditions of environmental assessment certificates. The projects subject to review are generally those with a higher potential for adverse environmental, economic, social, heritage or health effects.
The ABA framework was developed to be an ongoing component of permitting decisions within the Commission; it had to be implementable so that the concerns about cumulative effects could be more readily addressed. Adjustments in current permitting/authorization processes, additional data and new GIS (Geographic Information System) tools were required, and the stakeholder consultation critical to implementation success was needed.
ABA is designed to be adaptable so that when changes to legislation/policy are introduced, or existing values/objectives are modified, the Commission can easily introduce the changes to a system that is operating, and understood, accepted and supported by all involved. New additional environmental / cultural considerations can be added to the analysis when they are identified and provided sufficient spatial data exists and can be incorporated.
The Oil and Gas Commission’s Area-based Analysis (ABA) approach supports B.C.’s legal framework that manages values.
The Commission and the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) have been collaborating on the development of ABA and the Northeast Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management (CEAM) demonstration project.
Both are a values-based approach to assessing and managing the cumulative effects of activity. Both ABA and CEAM supplement a comprehensive suite of natural resource policy and legislative tools that are in place to address cumulative effects in B.C.
These policy and legislative tools in turn provide a legal framework to proactively and comprehensively manage the cumulative impacts of development by multiple resources within the same region.
This encompassing system, or legal framework, includes:
- Resource-focused legislation/policy providing both strategic and operational guidance for resource extraction, management and environmental protection.
- Specific legislation to assess the cumulative effects of proposed major projects that have potential impacts over and above the resource-focused legislation.
- A comprehensive land use and resource management planning system implemented over the majority of B.C.
- Province-wide stewardship staff focused on monitoring the condition of the environment.
- Formal engagement processes, formal consultation procedures and government-to-government agreements between First Nations Communities, the Government and the many ministries and agencies involved in the management of natural resources.
ABA and CEAM assist this system to achieve a more consistent and coordinated approach to cumulative effects assessment and management across the natural resource sector. They address the issue of multiple agencies permitting activities that impact the same values on the same land base.
The Commission and the FLNRO are developing one database to ensure consistency between both initiatives. ABA will be used as part of the Commission’s permitting and authorization process to assess the impact of proposed oil and gas activities considering the cumulative effects of all development activity.
In conjunction with FLNRO, key data input and assumptions will be validated through 2015 with a field assessment in the summer of 2015. Two specific areas that will be assessed include:
- The accuracy of predicting a field-based riparian class assessment from an air photo interpretation of riparian features.
- The reliability of the assumption that there has been no ecological succession, reclamation or reforestation on any disturbance, and that the impact that occurred with the initial disturbance has not changed, regardless of when it occurred.
- The first priority for these reviews is the Lower Pine River water management basin.
In addition, the OGC will:
- Continue to work with First Nations through community-focused engagement sessions to review ABA results and explore avenues for incorporating cultural heritage resources.
- Unveil a public web site with all relevant documentation and data: January 2015
- High priority wildlife value go live: 2015
- Cultural heritage resources values go live: 2015
- Other values (air quality, water quality, ground water): when ready
The principle behind ABA is that as the impact to a value increases due to industrial build out, management response escalates. The Commission has developed ABA-specific permit conditions to help address the incremental impacts of any activity. These conditions will be considered by Commission staff for all permits and authorizations for those values when the current condition is above Enhanced Management Trigger or above the Regulatory Policy Trigger. This will commence when ABA goes live.
As of January 2015, 27 of the 69 water management basins are above the Enhanced Management Trigger. All Natural Disturbance Units have sufficient Old Forest to meet the specified targets. These results are subject to change. Current ABA Status is available in the ABA shapefiles and Quarterly Reports.
Area-based Analysis (ABA) is a valuable tool for decision makers and resource managers to better manage the environment and minimize further impacts. ABA quickly draws attention to areas where significant cumulative effects exist and allows for a greater understanding of disturbance.
ABA will assess the combined footprint of all industrial development on the selected values. For the Commission, that means that decisions about oil and gas activities will be made with all industrial development in mind.
The best available information is used in ABA however because the data and the analytical techniques are necessarily simplifications of the real world, the technical information and analysis does not necessarily provide a complete picture of all aspects of the value, nor all answers or solutions.
Ongoing studies and monitoring will improve knowledge and increase certainty with time. All data have limitations, and usually require assumptions to use, which in turn creates strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered within a decision. Detailed documentation regarding input data, limitations, sourcing, and methodology is contained in the report “Project Analysis and Implementation: Area-based Analysis” available on the ABA web page, including the key assumptions for all input data.
The technical information and analysis does not provide the complete answer or solution to ABAfocused permitting or authorization decisions. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, in addition to the information describing data / analysis uncertainty, an assessment of other risks will be provided in conjunction with the ABA assessment.
A comprehensive section on ABA is on the Commission’s website. The Commission has endeavored to provide all the documentation required to incorporate ABA in applications. We expect that the materials on this website will answer any questions or concerns. If you are unable to find the answer in the material available:
- For comments/questions on the overall ABA program design and direction, next steps, permit conditions, planning considerations, and overall management please send an email to Sean.firstname.lastname@example.org
- For comments or questions about the data used, key assumptions, assessment methodology, discrepancies between the mapped data and field conditions, data errors, please send an email to email@example.com
To make the most effective applications and avoid delays or returns, Industry should include ABA as an integral part of planning an oil or gas activity. ABA is about planning oil and gas activities in a way that minimizes the footprint of activities, and reduces restoration / reclamation timeframes on environmental values.
- Review ABA Website
- Review the FAQs available on the ABA Website.
- Download the ABA Riparian Habitat dataset for use in development planning
- Download the ABA Old Forest dataset for use in development planning
- During the development planning process consider:
- What is the current condition and status of Riparian Habitat in the development area?
- What is the current condition and status of Old Forest in the development area?
- How can I plan the activity to avoid Old Forest & Riparian Habitat?
- What can I do to minimize disturbance?
- Use existing disturbance, unless doing so would result in a greater disturbance, greater safety risk, significant operational difficulty and/or negative environmental impacts
- Consider low impact seismic techniques such as wireless technology and meandering lines
- Use common access and shared corridors
- Consider using winter access in old forest and riparian reserve zones
- Leverage use of directional drilling and multiwell pads to minimize disturbance
- Place auxiliary disturbance outside sensitive areas
- Minimize new land disturbance
- Implement strategies that will expedite reclamation
- During the development planning process review existing disturbance on the landscape and use this where possible to minimize impact on the ABA values
Where ABA indicates that the condition of the riparian and old forest value do not exceed any triggers, existing regulatory requirements and associated guidance need be considered in relation to these values.
Where a trigger has been exceeded, the considerations identified above will be expected of industry as they prepare applications for submission, and additional permit and authorization conditions may be included to reduce the proposed impact.
As well, the Commission is actively:
- Reviewing key data and assumptions in conjunction with the Ministry of Forests and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), Specifically the two organizations are working together to:
- Determine, for each type of disturbance, the relevance and impact of ecological succession, re-vegetation, reclamation, restoration and forest management on the riparian and old forest values
- Establish a collaborative field program to understand the accuracy of the inventory and GIS-based assumptions relative to field conditions
- Reviewing the existing plans (LRMP’s & SRMP’s) for additional guidance supporting the refinement of triggers
- Reviewing the policy process that helped create the triggers
If the results are material, ABA will be re-run, if not the results will stand as-is.
- Planning and Operational Measures (POMs) clarifies the Commissions expectations, and allows for a consistent review process for all applicants, POMS also reduce the requirements for a mitigation strategies, except in areas of escalated environmental concern. The EPMG provides guidance on interpretation of the EPMR. With the implementation of POMs the Commission has gone one step further by clarifying planning and operational expectations for oil and gas activities in areas of environmental value.
- The POMs are provided to both applicants and Decision Makers. This provides for consistency in the review process and common understanding of objectives and expected actions for oil and gas activities. In areas under order with ABA Status normal, applications meeting the POMs negates the previous requirements for a Mitigation Strategy.
Currently to indicate compliance with Planning and Operational Measures (POM) an applicant needs to complete the following information in the stewardship tab:
Does the application adhere to the Environmental Protection and Management Guideline? YES/NO (defaults to NO)
If Yes, nothing further is required
If No, the mandatory mitigation strategy upload will prompt (this is where a rationale or mitigation strategy, if required, should be uploaded).
A second question will prompt you to confirm if an exemption requested from Part 3 of the Environmental Protection and Management Regulation.
This question defaults to NO and does not apply to Planning and Operational Measures.
In the near future AMS will be updating the wording in this section to specify adherence to Planning and Operational Measures.
A rationale is a brief statement of reason, or a logical basis, to justify a course of action proposed by a proponent. A rationale is required when an application for an oil and gas activity is not consistent with the POMs provided by the Commission for a specific environmental value. Rationales must:
Be prepared by a Qualified Professional
Include an explanation of why the oil and gas activity cannot be planned to be consistent with the planning and operational measures provided by the Commission.
Provide a detailed description of the alternate measures planned for the activity and describe how desired outcomes specified in the planning and operational measures will be achieved.
Mitigation Strategy Requirements
A Mitigation Strategy is a formal document capturing a proponent’s commitment to mitigation and monitoring, including mitigation goals, mitigation actions and the specific measures that will be carried out. A mitigation strategy is required when a proposed activity is within 100 metres of water works and/or water supply well, in cases where the Commission has not defined POMs for the environmental value overlapped (impacted), or where the ABA Status is either enhanced management or regulatory policy. A Mitigation Strategy may also be required in specific circumstances at the discretion of a statutory decision maker. Mitigation Strategies must be prepared in accordance with Appendix B of the Environmental Protection and Management Guideline.
Appendix B of the EMPG provides minimal guidelines for Mitigation Strategy documents.
In addition ABA Mitigation Plans should include:
- An explanation of any efforts made to coordinate access and development with other industrial users with operations in the area.
- A detailed rationale is required when the applicant does not demonstrate avoidance, use of existing disturbance or shared access.
- A detailed account of any criteria that were considered to minimize the disturbance footprint in well site design, such as alignment to fit local topography, limited use of cut and fill, minimizing pad size, avoidance of sensitive areas and actions to reduce the number of trees harvested.
- A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site specific measures employed to minimize disturbance to soil and vegetation including plans that minimize impact to the duff layer (such as limited stumping/grubbing, frozen ground access, use of rig matting, use of low ground pressure equipment and soil management for restoration).
- A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site-specific measures employed to limit disturbance by the roadway, such narrowing the cleared width of the right of way and limiting ground disturbance for the running surface and ditch lines.
- A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site-specific measures employed to limit disturbance by pipeline construction, such as use of trenchless technology and reduction of workspace requirements on either side of the crossing.
- A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site-specific geophysical survey design elements used to minimize disturbance, such as avoidance, dead-ending at riparian zones, cutting restrictions limited to brush and understory, meandering avoidance, doglegs and mulch management.
- A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site-specific remediation and/or prescriptions for restoration and recovery, including actions related to access control, spreading coarse woody debris, mounding, planting and/or seeding.
- A detailed explanation of minimal disturbance strategies for activity in Riparian Reserve Zones. This should include an erosion risk assessment, sediment control, timing considerations, stability analysis, minimal tree felling (away from watercourse), re-establishing vegetation, contingency measures, and a post construction recovery and monitoring plan.
- Rationale detailing operational need or relevant constraints to justify any exceedance of the documented expectations for well pad area.
- A detailed account of any considerations that support the objectives of the area within which the activity is proposed
- Any other information that may support the proposed development being permitted within the Old Forest or Riparian Reserve Zone as proposed.
The Well Data Submission Requirements Manual outlines to industry the required format for well data submissions to the Commission. The file formats and naming conventions outlined in the Well Data Submission Requirements Manual are utlilized when submitting well data via the eSubmission portal. The data types that are not currently processed via the eSubmission portal will retain the file formats and file naming conventions when they are integrated into the portal.
A: If you have access to an electronic version of the file or scanned image, please send your query to Records and Information Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the Well Data Help Line at (250) 419-4488.
The Commission email can handle file sizes up to 100MB, but you’re encouraged to advise us when sending files in excess of 25MB. Within the eSubmission portal, users can upload files up to 250MB in size. If your files sizes exceed these limits or you have additional concerns, contact the Well Data Help Line at (250) 419-4488 and inform them of the issue. The most likely resolution will be to copy the files to a CD/DVD and courier them to Well Data Management at the following address. All files contained with the CD/DVD must follow the prescribed file naming conventions, as outlined in the Well Data Submission Requirements Manual. You may include the data for several wells on a single CD/DVD. Mailing address: Well Data Management, BC Oil and Gas Commission, 300 – 398 Harbour Rd, Victoria, B.C., V9A 0B7.
The date format portion of the file naming convention is always 7 characters. The first 4 characters are always digits and represent the year. For 2016, the YYYY is “2016”. The second portion of the data format is for the month and is always three alphabetic characters. For January, the MMM is JAN. The remaining months are FEB/MAR/APR/MAY/JUN/JUL/SEP/OCT/NOV/DEC. The third and final portion of the data format is always two numeric characters. For the first of the month, it is 01 and for the 22nd of the month it is 22. Example: For September 3, 2016, it would be 2016SEP03. The only exception to this is for injection and disposal, which are monthly statements whereby the file naming convention coincides with that month’s statement, where the file naming format is YYYYMM. YYYY is a 4 digit year code and MM is the two digit month code, so for a May 2016 monthly injection and disposal statement, the date format is 201605.
No, submissions received in electronic format do not require a duplicate paper (hard) copy submission. For more information on electronic data types, please refer to the eSubmission Portal User Guide.
Each analyses should be a copy of the report in PDF and the associated PAS file. PAS file business rules for GAN (Gas and Liquid Hydrocarbon), OAN (Oil) and WAN (Water) are outlined in the OGC PAS File Business Rule document. These files to the be uploaded using the eSubmission portal. Once an electronic copy has been submitted, a paper (hard copy) is not required. For additional information, please reference the Well Data Submission Requirements Manual.
Users are required to generate and download templates in .xml format directly from eSubmission. One or many Water Use Numbers can be included in a template. Once a user has generated a template, they can enter the volumes for the month(s) they are reporting for directly in the template, save the file according to the required file naming convention, and upload to eSubmission.
Prior to July 2016, the Commission provided permit holders templates in .csv format. Historical .csv templates saved in .xml format are not accepted by eSubmission since they do not adhere to the structure the eSubmission is expecting. Additionally, historical .csv files are not accepted by eSubmission.
No. Users can download a template following permit approval, make edits to, and submit the same file at the end of each quarterly submission period. However, users must ensure the file name is updated each time a submission is made so it adheres to the required file naming convention. Duplicate file names are not acceptable. If a user chooses to generate a template for each submission they make, the template will contain any volumes previously submitted to the Commission. Previously submitted volumes will not be overwritten.
To work with an .xml files users will need to have an .xml editing program installed on their machine. The Commission recommends the free-of-charge Notepad++ program.
Once an .xml editing program has been installed, users need to set it as the default program for editing .xml files. In File Explorer, navigate to an .xml file, right-click and choose to open with a default program, and select the installed .xml editing program of your choice.
eSubmission is the online portal for permit holders to submit a variety of operational data directly to the Commission in order to meet regulatory and conditional data submission requirements. Most data, reports and notices for Wells, Geophysical Programs, Waste Disposal, Permits and Water Use can all be submitted directly to the Commission via eSubmission. For further guidance regarding support operational submissions, please refer to the eSubmission Portal User Guide.
eSubmission is divided into applications. Access to each application is restricted to users with a OGC user account and the appropriate security role. Please refer to the eSubmission Portal User Guide for guidance on accessing each application and the required security roles. For detailed instructions regarding account creation and the assignment of security roles please refer to the Company Administration document.
Yes, there is a submission log application within eSubmission that will allow you to track all submissions made to the Commission. A log is in each application and then a detailed submission log that allows you to both track, and download, your submissions is also available. For well data submissions, the DCP Admin role is required to access to the detailed submission log. More details on permissions can be found here.
By default browsers windows will share the same session and eventually you will start seeing expired pages in one or both browser windows.
If you are using Internet Explorer (IE) you will avoid the problem as follows:
- Open IE and run Esub. (You will be asked to logon.)
- Open the second IE browser window. On the “File” pull down menu select “New session”. Now run Esub. (You will be asked to logon.)
If you are using Firefox visit the following and load the Multifox Add-on. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/multifox/
- Open Firefox and run Esub. (You will be asked to logon.)
- Open the second Firefox browser. Press the multifox icon on the browser toolbar and select “Private Profile”. Now run Esub. (You will be asked to logon.)
If you are using Chrome you can load an Extension called Multilogin. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/Multilogin?hl=en-US
- Open Chrome and run Esub. (You will be asked to logon.)
- Open the second Chrome browser. Press the “New Identity” icon on the browser toolbar. Now run Esub. (You will be asked to logon.)
Another solution is to mix browsers. Different browsers technologies will not share sessions.
- Open Firefox and run Esub. (You will be asked to logon.)
- Open Chrome and run Esub. (You will be asked to logon.)
The online eSubmission system supports commonly used web browsers.
- Internet Explorer 9 or higher
- Firefox (v.25) or higher
- Chrome (v.32) or higher
Yes. The equipment at the wellsite would be under facility type “Well Facility”. As per the Fee, Levy and Security Regulation, Well Facility falls under “non-oil-and-gas facility” and does not have an application fee.
No. The definition of Natural Gas Facility can be found in the Fee, Levy and Security Regulation. The only facilities classified as Natural Gas Facilities are Compressor Stations, Gas Dehydrator facilities and Gas Processing Plants.
All volumes should be the cumulative (existing and proposed) of all equipment associated with the applicable Facility ID.
There is no specific requirement for the installation of high pressure or high level shutdown devices in vessels unless specified in a permit condition, or if these devices are used as controls to satisfy requirements of particular sections in the Drilling & Production Regulation such as, but not limited to, Section 39, Safety & Pollution Prevention, Section 45(3), Fire Precautions, Section 50(1), Prevention of Losses. These devices are typically installed as a best practice to ensure measurement integrity and for over pressure protection purposes.
Increasing the permitted H2S concentration of an approved facility requires a facility amendment application which must be submitted through the Application Management System submission process and landowner notification.
Decreasing the permitted H2S concentration can be done through a Notice of Intent (NOI).
Please read the applicable sections of the Oil and Gas Application Manual for the process and required documents.
We require the cumulative facility venting rate, existing and proposed (new).
This would normally require a Facility Permit Amendment, submitted through the Application Management System (AMS).
This could also be applied for with a New OGAA Application, if desired.
Generally all metering changes related to production accounting or custody transfer will require a permit or permit amendment.
Yes. Refer to the Measurement Guideline for Upstream Oil and Gas Operations for additional information. Also refer to section 4.3 of the Oil and Gas Activity Application Manual for guidance on how to enter this information when submitting an application or amendment through the Application Management System (AMS).
This question would be answered, “No” in this instance as the scrubber is not recovering the vented gas stream. The gas would need to be captured and re-compressed into the main process stream through a vapor recovery system, or utilized as fuel gas, etc. to be viewed as recovered.
KERMIT (Knowledge, Enterprise, Resource, Management, Information, and Technology) is the BC Oil and Gas Commissions database application that provides industry with an electronic submission process for pipelines and facilities.
KERMIT provides the functionality to:
- Submit Pipeline and Facility Construction Starts, Pressure Tests, Leave-To-Open's or As-builts
- Submit Pipeline and Facility Notices of Intent
- Search Pipeline Projects and Facilities
- Manage user account security
You can access KERMIT through the "Online Services" page linked to in the upper right corner of www.bcogc.ca.
You will require an account with the OGC to access KERMIT. You can set up a new account by clicking on the "Create an Account / Change Password" under the "Additional Links" grouping on the "Online Services" page.
Once you have created your login ID you must contact your company administrator and request the correct level of access to company data.
Your company administrator can grant the following types of access:
- Admin Deficiency Representative
- Company Admin
- Drilling Comp Prod Rep
- DCP Admin
- First Nations Portal Read Only
- First Nations Portal Update
- Frac Fluid Reporting
- Geophysical Portal
- Incident Reporting
- Inspections Representative
- Invoice Reconciliation
- Waste Disposal Representative
If you do not know who your company administrator is please contact email@example.com and request the contact details. For more details on the types of access listed above, please consult the External KERMIT Company Admin How To Document
The letter of credit beneficiary and cheques are payable to, BC Oil and Gas Commission.
Security deposits are to be couriered to:
BC Oil and Gas Commission
#300, 398 Harbour Rd
Victoria, BC V9A 0B7
Permit holders who fail to submit required security deposits within the allocated timeframe may be in noncompliance with Section 30 of OGAA. If the security deposit was required to approve a permit transfer application, the application will not be approved. If the security deposit was required under an initial or monthly assessment, additional compliance action will be taken against the permit holder. This may result in the cancellation of permits or orders to cease operations.
Security deposits will be accepted as a certified company cheque or electronic/wire transfer, from a recognized Canadian financial institution, or as an irrevocable letter of credit from a Canadian Schedule I or Schedule II bank, a Canadian Credit Union, the Caisse Desjardins, or the Alberta Treasury Branch. Please note, letters of guarantees, safekeeping agreements, performance bonds, and personal cheques, will not be accepted.
Security will be returned for one of two reasons.
- The Commission may, upon request by a permit holder, return a security deposit where the permit holder has achieved a consistent and sustainable non security-adjusted LMR greater than 1.0. The permit holder must also have demonstrated compliance with regulatory obligations.
- The security deposit will be automatically returned when an operator no longer holds any permits in B.C.
No, interest will not be paid. Only the amount that was held as security will be returned. This policy was rolled over from the Ministry of Finance administration.
It is the intention that the LMR program will result in adequate security to cover well plugging and reclamation activities if a company becomes insolvent. The program is a protection measure to cover liabilities should a company fail to meet its closure obligations. However, there may be a potential for orphan wells should a company become insolvent that has failed to pay the required security.
The Commission may at any time request a current ‘Permit Holder Netback Calculation’ form from disposers and processors to calculate the industry average netback for each non-producer category. You will be provided with ample time to submit a ‘Permit Holder Netback Calculation’ form when required.
In November 2015 the calculation parameters (netback, shrinkage factor, and oil equivalency factor) were updated with 2009 to 2013 industry data collected by CAPP. Future updates will be implemented at the discretion of the Commission.
A drilling event may not have occurred on the lease; however, the Commission has reason to believe that construction had started (e.g. clearing, road construction, cut/fill, etc.) Therefore these wells have been flagged ‘cancelled with surface disturbance’ and will require restoration work be completed in order to have a Certificate of Reclamation issued.
Producers: No, you do not have to complete this form unless you choose to dispute a required security deposit by submitting a dispute request to the Commission. Under the current LMR program, a universal netback is calculated for all producers based on CAPP statistics.
Non-producers: Yes, you do have to submit this form upon request from the Commission if a Permit holder wishes to receive a deemed asset for a designated gas plant or disposal station. The netbacks used in the determination of a deemed asset for processors and disposers is based on an average of all submitted industry netbacks from the most recent year-end totalled and calculated individually for each non-producer category.
Permit holders that chose not to submit a netback will be given a deemed asset of zero.
Sufficient notice will be given when the Commission is required or deems it necessary to update the industry average netbacks.
No. At this time WIPs are not taken into account. Under the program the permit holder of the site holds 100% of the deemed liability and production assets.
Because WIPs are frequently changing we are unable to consistently keep our records current enough to tie into the LMR program. Ultimately, the permit holder is held responsible by the Commission.
A number of things may have happened.
- A surface casing vent flow/ gas migration issue was identified, therefore a premium is added to the wells individual deemed liability.
- A drilled/cased well completion has been entered into the Commission database.
- A cancelled wellsite was later identified as being cancelled with surface disturbance.
- A well previously never having produced/injected, does so.
Complete abandonments: Deemed liability will decrease when a well is abandoned and the appropriate documentation is submitted to and approved by the Commission
Apply for a Certificate of Restoration (CoR): The deemed liability assigned to a site will be removed when the wellsite is reclaimed and a CoR is issued.
Terminate a facility: A Facility’s deemed liability will only be removed when a facility is decommissioned, removed from site and terminated in the Commission database.
The Commission may require a site-specific liability assessment for one or more permits to be used in the calculation of an operator’s LMR or, in the case of a problem site, for the determination of a required security deposit. The only time an operator may make the choice to submit a site-specific assessment is as part of a security deposit dispute process. As part of the process an operator must submit for review, along with a operator specific netback calculation, site-specific liability assessments completed by a qualified third-party professional for each well and facility permitted to the operator. More information on the dispute process and site-specific liability assessments can be found on pages 16 and 17 of the LMR Program Manual .
LMR ratios for BC operators are posted to the Commission’s website here. Ratios are calculated and updated daily. An operator may also request an Operator Detail Report (a report that lists the deemed assets and liabilities for each individual permit held by an operator) by emailing Liability.Management@bcogc.ca .
The Commission recognizes that other jurisdictions have previously implemented liability rating programs and believes that a consistent process between western provinces is a valid approach. However, there are no existing plans or agreements to harmonize a liability rating program among western provinces.
At this time no further consultation periods will be held for the producer and non-producer programs. That being said, the Commission is always open to feedback from stakeholders regarding our programs.
Below is a definition for each tool within the NEWT application.
- Use the pan and/or navigation buttons to find the desired location on the map
- Select the “Identify with tools” button, then use the “Select” tool
- Click a location on the desired stream or lake. The upstream watershed area will now be displayed with a red outline and crosshatched interior.
- The NEWT tool box will now display the selected watershed results, click result to zoom to the selected watershed.
- By default, the “Report Title” on the NEWT tool box will be filled in. This can be changed if desired. The report can now be exported in either PDF or CSV format.
- Select the “Enter Values Manually” tool
- Enter the UTM coordinates for one or more points in the format of Easting, Northing (eg. 516410, 6630377)
- Select submit
- The watershed area(s) will now be displayed with a red outline and cross hatched interior.
- The NEWT box will now display the watershed results. If you entered multiple points there will be multiple watershed results listed. Click on a watershed to zoom to zoom to it.
- By default, the “Report Title” will be filled in on the NEWT tool box. This can be changed if desired. The report can now be exported in either PDF or CSV format.
Before you can access a variety of the functionality on our website, you must create an account. You can create an account by doing the following:
- Go to http://www.bcogc.ca.
- At the top of the website on the right, click "Online Services"
- Under the grouping title "Additional Links", click "Create an Account / Change Password".
- Enter your email address and click "Submit" to start the process of creating an account. (PLEASE NOTE: Your email address is not your login. Your login will be emailed to you.)
- Follow the online form to complete your account.
- You should receive an automated email from our system with your user name (usually first initial last name).
**If you have any issues creating the account or if you do not get an email with your password please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
- Open the Tools menu.
- Select Internet Options.
- Click Content.
- Under AutoComplete, click Settings.
- Click on Manage Passwords.
- Click on the Web Credentials Manager.
- Click on the drop down arrow by the web site you want to remove the password.
- Click on Remove.
- Open the Chrome menu using the button on the far right of the browser toolbar.
- Choose the Settings menu option (highlighted in blue).
- Click the Show advanced settings… link located at the bottom of the page.
- In the “Passwords and forms” section, click the Manage passwords link.
- You can easily manage the usernames and passwords that Firefox has saved for you.
- Click the menu button and choose Options.
- Click the Security panel.
- Click Saved Logins… and the Password Manager will open.
- Go to http://www.bcogc.ca
- At the top of the website at the right, click "Online Services"
- Here you will find the Online Services/Applications that are made available by BCOGC.
- One that may be of interest is "Data Downloads" that can be found in the "Web Applications" grouping. You can log in with the login account you created on our website.
- Once logged in, click "MENU", then click "Data Downloads"
On the data downloads webpage you will find the following information
- Directional Surveys in pdf format for March 2009 onward.
- Other directional survey data
- Drilling data for wells in BC
- Hydrocarbon and by-products reserves in BC
- Monthly Drilling Reports
- Production data for wells in BC
- Unique Well identifier changes
- Well Index data (by various options)
- Other download data.
- To access either of these applications you need to be granted Drill Comp Prod Rep access to our system. Each company has a company administrator that can grant you this access.
- If you do not know who your company administrator is please contact email@example.com and request the contact details.
- Please note: You must create your login account before you can ask your company administrator for this access.
Please review the document ‘How to Apply for Compensation’ at https://www.bcogc.ca/public-zone/orphan-site-management/land-owners-and-compensation. If you have additional questions, you may wish to review the following FAQs.
The Surface Rights Board (SRB) may make a payment order against a former permit holder with interest (which may be enforced like a court order with collection options), and sometimes may administer a security fund to satisfy payment. The Commission may make payment under section 46 of OGAA from the Orphan Site Reclamation Fund administered by the Commission.
Yes. After issuing a payment order against a former permit holder, the SRB will forward your application to the Commission for review. If payment is outstanding, the Commission will determine whether compensation is payable under section 46 of OGAA.
Yes, if you choose to apply to the SRB. If you choose to apply to the Commission, an application is required once. On each anniversary of the surface lease, the Commission will examine your application, and assess and determine your eligibility for further payment(s).
Yes, if you notify the Commission.
The Assignment transfers to the Commission the right to seek payment from the former permit holder for the money you receive from the Orphan Site Reclamation Fund (the Fund). In other words, instead of you pursuing the former permit holder for that money, the Commission can pursue the former permit holder for reimbursement of the money paid to you from the Fund. Any money recovered by the Commission is returned to the Fund, where it can be used to restore orphan sites, provide land owner compensation under section 46, or support other purposes of the Fund. It remains your choice to pursue any other claims you may have against the former permit holder under the surface lease.
Clause 1: “Nothing in or arising from this Assignment shall in any way alter or affect any other rights or claims of the Assignor under the Surface Lease, which may be pursued by the Assignor at its sole discretion.”
The clause means that the land owner remains a party to the surface lease and maintains any legal rights or claims that exist under the surface lease, other than the right to pursue payment from the former permit holder for money you receive from the Orphan Site Reclamation Fund.
Clause 2: “This Assignment does not convey any duties or obligations whatsoever to the Commission under or arising from the Surface Lease.”
The clause means that the Commission is not taking on any responsibilities or obligations under the surface lease as a result of the Assignment. The clause does not mean that you are waiving any rights to apply to the Commission for additional payment in the future, nor does it alter the Commission’s objective to complete restoration of orphan sites
Yes. An Assignment is required for each annual submission to the SRB, or once with your initial application to the Commission (the SRB version is found on its website, the Commission version on its website).
Yes. The Commission will contact you on or near your next surface lease anniversary with respect to completion of an Assignment, unless you notify us that you are applying to the SRB. If you are not applying to the SRB, an Assignment will be required only once. If you choose to apply to the SRB, an Assignment will be required on an annual basis.
A Notice of Intent can be submitted through KERMIT by doing the following:
- Log into KERMIT.
- Click on the “Post Permit Actions” tab
- Under Notices of Intent select the activity type for your notice:
- NOI for Pipeline Project
- NOI (Upstream) for Facility
- NOI (Downstream) for Facility
- Find Notice of Intent
- Once you have selected the activity above you will be presented with a list of NOI options. Select the one you want to submit and complete the request on screen.
"Section 76 (1) of OGAA says that carrying out a prescribed activity cannot take place without either the agreement of the pipeline owner or an order from the Commission. Specifically 76 (1) (c) notes that the agreement must be in writing and may be limited to “the construction or the carrying out of an activity....” In the event a party’s efforts to receive written agreement from the pipeline permit holder have failed, the party may apply to the Commission, explaining the situation and requesting an order. The party should provide detailed information with respect to the scope of the project, the perceived impact on the buried pipeline, and the attempts made to secure agreement from the pipeline permit holder. The Commission will then review the information and make a decision on whether or not to issue an order. "
If the line is crossing lease boundaries by going from one lease to the next, it is a pipeline and must be applied for as a pipeline application.
The reportable spill amounts are found in the Environmental Management Act: Spill Reporting Guidelines. Spills are to be reported promptly; there is no specific requirement under the new regulations to submit a written report within 14 days; however, a post incident report may be requested by the Commission.
Water is used for various stages of unconventional gas development. It is used during geophysical exploration, for washing equipment, to freeze winter ice roads, for dust control, for drilling wells, as part of the hydraulic fracturing injection process and for hydrostatic testing of pipelines.
During the hydraulic fracturing stage of unconventional gas development, water is mixed with sand and chemicals and pumped down the wellbore. Fractures are then created in the target formation, allowing natural gas to flow up the wellbore.
The BC Oil and Gas Commission (Commission) has delegated authority to issue short-term water use permits under Section 8 of the Water Act. The Commission looks at a number of key points when reviewing water applications, such as runoff levels in rivers, other users and ecological values of the area. Community and ecological needs must be able to be sustained before a permit is issued and conditions may be attached to the permit. The Commission is a proactive regulator with the authority to intervene when necessary.
In most river basins, the total approved short-term water use is a fraction of the mean annual runoff. In 2012, 3.77 million m3 of water was reported as used. The water reported as used was 18.5 per cent of the total approved for use in 2012.
The volume of water used per well ranges from 10,000 to 70,000 m3 depending on the targeted formation. For the majority of basins, approved water use corresponds to less than 0.2 per cent of mean annual runoff. Actual water use as reported by the approval holders in individual basins is a small fraction of the approved water use, and was less than 0.075 per cent of mean annual runoff in all river basins between January and December 2012. Basins with the largest total approved water volumes as a percentage of mean annual runoff are listed in the Annual Report on Water Use in Oil and Gas Activities.
Provincial laws outline how the oil and gas industry must ensure water resources are protected during drilling and production operations. A number of measures are required to protect the water supply such as setbacks to maintain distance between water wells and drilling operations. Pressure-tested steel casings are cemented in place to prevent hydraulic fracturing fluids from migrating into freshwater aquifers, and the integrity of the casing can be evaluated to ensure it is maintaining an impermeable barrier. There has never been an instance of groundwater contamination due to hydraulic fracturing in British Columbia.
The water table is in most cases thousands of metres above unconventional gas target zones. Potable water is found between 18 and 150 metres down while unconventional gas target zones are typically at a depth of 2,000 to 3,200 metres.
When the well is no longer being used it is plugged with dense impermeable cement. The casing is cut off below ground and the well is capped.
Provincial laws ensure produced water never comes into contact with the environment. Currently, about 40 per cent of produced water is reused in hydraulic fracturing operations. Produced water is disposed of in deep injection wells or stored temporarily, both which are subject to strict regulations.
To ensure river and lake levels are conserved for community water supplies and fish and aquatic resources are not impacted, the Commission can and does issue suspensions of short-term water use by the oil and gas industry during drought conditions.
Currently, 65 per cent of water used for oil and gas activities comes from surface water such as lakes and rivers. The remaining 35 per cent comes from recycled water such as flowback fluids from operations or deep groundwater aquifers located more than 800m below the surface. Some water comes from shallow groundwater aquifers between 0-200m underground.
There is an abundance of water in northeast B.C. but it needs to be managed carefully, for example by halting industry water withdrawals during periods of seasonal low flow and drought as the Commission did in both 2010 and 2012. The Commission has also launched hydrology modelling for Northeast B.C. and created a tool that gives water license and permit decision-makers access to stream flow data, water approval data and recognizes water availability for every river or lake in Northeast B.C.
Fact Sheets defining water used in natural gas activities can be found here.
The Commission publishes water use data via its Water Information page here.
For each basin, the mean annual discharge and runoff are listed. A list of current Section 8 permits is also available on www.bcogc.ca and is updated daily.
The Northeast Water Tool (NEWT) provides information for decision makers on current stream flow data and other water approvals. NEWT and other water tools are available here: http://www.bcogc.ca/northeast-water-tool-newt.
If you have further questions about water use for oil and gas activities in B.C. or the Commission in general, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A well permit amendment is required when there is a change to the surface wellhead coordinates that results in a change to the legal surface location (NTS or DLS coordinates). For example, if the well is located in a boundary and a proposed change causes the legal surface location to change from 1-3 to 3-3. An amendment is not required when changing the wellhead location if there is no change to the wellhead surface location (NTS or DLS coordinates). However, if the wellhead location changes where an amendment is not required, the new well center coordinates must be submitted through eSubmission in the Drilling Section, Summary Report. The permitted well coordinates can then be changed to the new wellhead location.
Section 5 of the Drilling and Production Regulation addresses the positioning of wells.
No application is required if the tower is being installed on OGC approved land.
Yes, estimation of small flare / vent sources is acceptable. Refer to section 11 of the Flaring and Venting Guideline for more information.
No, flaring activities are not included in the consultation/notification requirement. Consultation and Notification is restricted to the applications for activities described in the C&N regulation, which does not include flaring notification. Resident notification requirements prior to flaring are specified in well permits, and is required 24 hours prior to the start of flaring.
Guidelines for abandonments during drilling operations are found in the Drilling section of the Oil and Gas Activity Operations Manual. Guidelines for cased-well abandonments are found in the Completions, Maintenance and Abandonment section of the Oil and Gas Activity Operations Manual. Cased-well abandonments conducted in accordance with AER Directive 20 meet the intent of the regulatory requirements for well abandonments in B.C. A cement plug at surface is not required.