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The Commission is a single-window regulatory agency with responsibilities for overseeing oil and gas operations, refineries, and geothermal development in British Columbia.

From exploration through to final reclamation, we work closely with communities and land owners, and confirm industry compliance with provincial legislation. We also ensure there are close working relationships with Indigenous peoples.

What We Regulate

Hover over the graphic to learn more about the legislation and regulations that govern energy development in B.C.

Permitting and Authorizations

Any company wanting to explore, develop, produce and market oil and gas resources in B.C. must apply to the Commission for a permit, which carries out an extensive review, assesses and makes decisions on these applications.

Heritage Conservation Act

This is the government legislation the Commission uses to protect heritage resources.

Geophysical Exploration Regulation

This regulation gives the Commission the ability to regulate geophysical exploration including near pipelines, utilities and residences.

First Nations Consultation and Reconciliation

The Commission has responsibility and authority to ensure the Crown’s legal obligations to consult and accommodate, if appropriate, are fulfilled with respect to decision-making on oil and gas activities.

Consultation and Notification Regulation

This regulation gives the Commission the ability to regulate how oil and gas producers communicate with people who are within specified distances of oil or gas activities.

Environmental Protection and Management Regulation

The Commission is guided by this regulation which lays out government’s environmental objectives for protection and management of resource values, including water, streams and lakes; wildlife and habitat; and forest health.

Forest Act - Tree Cutting

The Commission administers sections of this government legislation to allow oil and gas producers to clear the land for their operations.

Forest Act - Land Clearing

The Commission administers sections of this government legislation to allow oil and gas producers to clear the land for their operations.

Water Sustainability Act - Water flow in/out

The Commission administers sections of this government legislation and issues permits and licences so oil and gas producers can access water, make changes in and about a stream and build dams for their activities.

Water Sustainability Act - Stream Crossing

The Commission administers sections of this government legislation and issues permits and licences so oil and gas producers can access water, make changes in and about a stream and build dams for their activities.

Oil and Gas Road Regulation

This regulation gives the Commission the ability to regulate how oil and gas producers build, operate, maintain and deactivate resource roads.

Agricultural Land Reserve - Agricultural Land

The BC Oil and Gas Commission has a delegation agreement with the Agricultural Land Commission so it can permit some non-farm uses on Agricultural Land Reserve lands for oil and gas-related activities.

Agricultural Land Reserve - Grazing Land

The Commission administers sections of this government legislation to allow oil and gas producers to clear the land for their operations.

Mines Act - Gravel/Borrow Pit

The Commission has delegated authority under this government legislation to allow aggregate extraction for the oil and gas sector only.

Drilling and Production Regulation - Drilling/producing

This allows the Commission to regulate how oil and gas producers drill and complete wells, including spacing, protection from hazards, safety requirements, well restoration and records keeping.

Drilling and Production Regulation - Hydraulic Fracturing

This allows the Commission to regulate how oil and gas producers drill and complete wells, including spacing, protection from hazards, safety requirements, well restoration and records keeping.

Drilling and Production Regulation - Reservoir Management

This allows the Commission to regulate how oil and gas producers drill and complete wells, including spacing, protection from hazards, safety requirements, well restoration and records keeping.

Drilling and Production Regulation - Unconventional Well

This allows the Commission to regulate how oil and gas producers drill and complete wells, including spacing, protection from hazards, safety requirements, well restoration and records keeping.

Drilling and Production Regulation - Injection Disposal Well

This allows the Commission to regulate how oil and gas producers drill and complete wells, including spacing, protection from hazards, safety requirements, well restoration and records keeping.

Geothermal Operations Regulation

This allows the Commission to regulate how geothermal wells are drilled and completed – focused solely on subsurface activity – including spacing, protection from hazards, safety requirements, well restoration and records keeping.

Pipeline Regulation

This allows the Commission to regulate how oil and gas producers move oil, gas, water and related fluids in pipelines, incorporating national standards and consistent with other western Canadian jurisdictions.

Liquefied Natural Gas Facility Regulation

This allows the Commission to regulate how natural gas is liquefied, based on a national standard, and covers the full life-cycle of LNG activities, including construction, operation, safety requirements and deactivation.

Oil and Gas Processing Regulation

This is a new regulation under development which will regulate how oil is refined and natural gas is converted into organic compounds such as plastics and fuels.

Environmental Management Act

This is government legislation that regulates environmental performance in the province, and the Commission administer specific sections for oil and gas producers related to surface and air discharges.

Dormancy and Shutdown Regulation

The Commission uses this to regulate how oil and gas activities are decommissioned and restored, including timelines to ensure an orderly wind up of operations.

Compliance and Enforcement

The Commission strives to ensure a fair, effective and consistent approach to enforcement of the oil and gas sector and can issue non-compliance notices and warning letters, compliance orders, make findings of contravention, issue administrative penalties or tickets, suspensions or cancellations of permits, and seek prosecution through the courts.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Act

This is the government legislation that allows the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to regulate the bidding process for sub-surface tenure rights and charge rents and royalties for the resources.

Oil and Gas Activities Act

This is the government legislation that allows regulation of oil and gas and related activities in B.C. throughout their entire lifecycle, from exploration to construction, operation, transportation, to decommissioning and restoration.

Fee, Levy and Security Regulation

This regulation gives the Commission the ability to charge fees for services and levies to fund its ongoing operations.

Emergency Management Regulation

This regulation allows the Commission to take an “all-hazards” approach to regulating the full life-cycle of all oil and gas activities, including requirements for training exercises and site-specific emergency response plans.

Land Act

The Commission administers sections of this government legislation on Crown land to issue land leases, licences of occupation, or rights-of-way.

Oil & Gas

Oil and natural gas are produced when organic matter from millions of years ago is subjected to heat and pressure.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

LNG is an acronym for liquefied natural gas. When natural gas is cooled to -162 degrees Celsius it condenses into a liquid form.

Geothermal

In the simplest terms, geothermal means ‘heat from the earth’. Volcanic activity in the Pacific basin means deep underground water aquifers are heated by magma rising from the earth’s core.

Major Projects

A major project is a proposal that requires a high degree of internal and external coordination.
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