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Surface Rights Board

Feb 7, 2021 | Right of Entry and Compensation, Surface Rights Board | 0 comments

Surface Rights Board

When a company plans to develop an oil and gas resource and private land is needed to access the project, the company must work out lease agreements and compensation amounts with private landowners. These discussions do not always lead to positive resolutions and may need some assistance to come to an agreement.

The Surface Rights Board (SRB) is a tribunal that has been given jurisdiction under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act (PNG Act) to resolve disputes between landowners and oil and gas companies on issues regarding access to the land for a well sites, flow lines or facilities. The SRB also has the authority to grant a company Right of Entry to private property if access is needed.

The SRB would first pursue mediation between the parties to resolve disputes. If an agreement cannot be reached, the SRB Board Member may refer it to arbitration. More information on steps taken to resolve issues can be found on the SRB website.

 

Resolving Disputes on Compensation Values

During negotiations on a lease agreement, the oil and gas company and the landowner may not agree on the terms for compensation to the landowner. Either party has the option to submit an application to the SRB for mediation or arbitration services to resolve compensation matters.

The application process can be started by using SRB Form 1A.

 

Resolving Disputes on Damages

If a landowner has incurred damage to their property as a result of oil and gas activities and they are not able to settle it directly with the company, they have the option to apply to the SRB for help in resolving the issue.

The application process can be started by using SRB Form 1C.

 

Resolving Disputes on Non Payment of Rent and Terms of Lease Agreements

A disagreement may take place between a landowner and an oil and gas company about whether or not the company has complied with the terms of the surface lease agreement. The landowner might consider what is taking place on the site to be substantially different from what was approved in the permit. A company is also be considered non-compliant for failing to pay rent to the landowner.

A landowner can submit an application to the SRB for assistance in resolving either of these issues by using SRB Form 1E.

  

Resolving Disputes on Right of Entry

When a company needs to access private land for an oil and gas activity, they will first contact the landowner to negotiate a surface lease agreement. If an agreement cannot be negotiated, the company has the option to apply to the Surface Rights Board (SRB) for the right to enter the land. The SRB will typically not grant a right of entry order until the company has a permit from the BC Oil and Gas Commission for the proposed oil and gas activity.

The company can begin the application process by completing SRB Form 1A.

 

Renegotiating Rent

The amount of annual rent paid to landowners may be renegotiated every four years. The renegotiation process can be initiated by either the landowner or the company by submitting Form 2 – Notice for Rent Renegotiation to the other party.

If rent is not renegotiated within 60 days, either party may make an application to the Surface Rights Board (SRB). The application process can be started by using SRB Form 1D.

 

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