A recent Alberta Court of Queen's Bench decision has
confirmed that a Crown oil and gas lease may be considered
intangible personal property to which the Personal Property
Security Act applies.
An oil and gas producer had, in a general security agreement,
granted security over "all present and after acquired personal
property" to one of its creditors. The creditor had registered
the security interest in the personal property registry.
Later, in the course of a receivership application, it became
necessary for the Court to determine whether the Crown oil and gas
lease was covered by the general security agreement.
The Court reviewed existing caselaw on oil and gas leases, and
also relied heavily on the Supreme Court's decision in Saulnier
(which held that a fishing license was intangible personal
property). The Court ruled that Crown oil and gas leases are indeed
intangible personal property to which the general security
agreement (and the charge against "all present and after
acquired personal property") and the Personal Property
Security Act would apply:
 In my view, the oil and gas lease in this case which grants
a right (or licence) to Shamrock to access, drill for and extract
the resource or substance from the ground is analogical and
identical to a commercial fishing licence which grants the right to
harvesting of fish resource as discussed in Saulnier. This is in
the sense that during the term of the oil and gas lease/licence,
Shamrock, the lease holder has a beneficial interest to the
earnings from its oil and gas lease: Saulnier at para 29. The right
to exclusively extract oil and gas by Shamrock, the lease holder
coupled with a proprietary interest in the extracted resource
pursuant to the terms of the lease/licence, "bears a
reasonable analogy to rights traditionally considered at common law
to be proprietary in nature": Saulnier at para 34.
 In the result, I conclude that Shamrock's oil and gas
lease is a proprietary interest within the purposive contemplation
of Alberta's Personal Property Security Act: Saulnier at para
34; Stout & Company LLP v Chez Outdoors Ltd, 2009 ABQB 444
(CanLII), 2009 ABQB 444 at para 39, 9 Alta LR (5th) 366 [Chez
Outdoors]. Shamrock's oil and gas lease is covered by the GSA
and Alberta's Personal Property Security Act in the category of
"intangibles": Chez Outdoors at para 15. That right is
transferable and falls within the power and authority of a
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