Effective September 14, 2015, the BC Oil and Gas Commission (the
"OGC") will begin requiring additional information
regarding area-based analysis as part of the application process
for all oil and gas permit applications in northeastern BC. A new
guideline document for applicants – Supplementary Information for Area-Based
Analysis – has also been released.
As regular readers may remember, area-based analysis was
introduced in January of this year. The stated intention of
Area-based Analysis is to integrate the requirements of existing
statutes and regulations and allow the OGC to better and more
consistently take into account the cumulative impact of industrial
development when assessing applications for oil and gas activities.
The combined footprint impact of all industrial development on the
selected "values" will be taken into account. 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
The OGC has identified eight "values" that will be
considered in the process. Currently the first two are being used.
The others are being developed.
old growth forest;
high priority wildlife;
cultural heritage values;
ground water; and
The revised oil and gas activity application will prompt
industry to indicate if area-based analysis has been considered in
the planning process. Applicants are also responsible for
determining if their proposed activity is in either an
"Enhanced Management" or "Regulatory Policy"
status area by downloading the appropriate shapefiles from the
OGC's website, and will be required to submit a mitigation
strategy if their activity falls within one of these areas.
The mitigation strategy must justify why the incursion is
unavoidable and outline the measures that will be taken to minimize
and mitigate the impact. All plans must be signed off by a
qualified professional, relevant to the value the plan was prepared
Where disturbance is necessary, the OGC's desired outcomes
minimal new clearing within the areas defined for the
new clearing positioned close to existing access;
limited ground and vegetation disturbance;
rapid ecological recovery or reduced time for reforestation and
restoration to commence;
no parallel roads within logical access corridors;
minimal number of linear features on the landscape;
effective use of existing clearings.
The new guidelines expand on these desired outcomes and the
factors industry is expected to consider during their oil and gas
activity planning phase..
Further information on the OGC and area-based analysis can be found here.
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The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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