Licensees of well and facility sites that were reclaimed before the implementation of the Acknowledgement of Reclamation (AOR) Program on June 19, 2007, may qualify to be exempted (grandfathered) from the reclamation submissions required under The Oil and Gas Conservation Regulations, 2012.
The Grandfathered Reclamation Release authorization applies to those well and facility sites which were reclaimed before June 19, 2007, where the Government of Saskatchewan's Ministry of Energy and Resources has no record of either:
- A surface lease release from the surface owner after completion of the reclamation work; or
- A certificate of release for the restoration of the well or facility site issued by the Surface Rights Board of Arbitration.
If the Grandfathered Reclamation Release is granted, the authorization exempts the licensee from the AOR application requirements.
Before applying for a Grandfathered Reclamation Release authorization, you must:
- Have an Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS) account and the appropriate permissions assigned by your IRIS Security Administrator.
- Be the registered licensee of the well or facility site in IRIS.
- Ensure the status for the site in IRIS is:
- Cut and cap 'abandoned' for a licensed well
- 'Abandoned not reclaimed' for a licensed facility
- Ensure the abandonment liability associated with the site is zero on the Licensee Liability Rating (LLR) Inventory and Liability Report (SIGN IN).
- Have evidence that the licensed well or facility site, including the access road, was reclaimed before June 19, 2007, and there are no existing issues related to the well or facility operation at the site.
How To Apply
To apply for a Grandfathered Reclamation Release authorization:
- Ensure you meet all eligibility requirements.
- Prepare the application package as a single PDF document (no security applied), named "Licence# Grandfathered.pdf", with the pages oriented so they can be read on a computer screen. The applicable components must be presented in the following order:
- Completed Grandfathered Reclamation Release Form
- A survey (use the most recent proposed or as-drilled survey available) which clearly identifies:
- Areas where land use differs from historical surrounding land use
- The entire site, including the access road (highlighted in yellow)
- Landowner authorized improvements remaining on site (highlighted in red)
- Surface title from Information Services Corporation (ISC) identifying all of the current registered surface owners associated with the given well/facility site and access road.
- A Reclamation release which must include one or more of the following documents:
- Surface Lease Release signed by the applicable landowner(s)
- Certificate of Release from Surface Rights Board of Arbitration
- A signed Landowner Acknowledgement Form (required where the above documents do not match the current owner listed on the surface title(s) to ensure there are no existing issues at the site)
- Evidence of the reclamation where a Surface Lease Release or Certificate of Release was not dated prior to June 19, 2007.
- For example, a time stamped air photo prior to June 2007 showing the site is equivalent to surroundings and no issues exist.
- Log in to IRIS and complete the Grandfathered Approval (AOR) application process for authorization.
The status of the application is communicated to the licensee as a notification through IRIS. Please be advised that a signed approval letter will no longer accompany the authorization approval on IRIS.
The reclamation liability for a grandfathered site is set to zero under the LLR Program if the application is approved by the Ministry.
If information emerges during the review of the application that an issue may be present the Ministry may require the licensee to submit an Application for an Acknowledgement of Reclamation in accordance with the AOR Program.
Issues reported on sites that received Grandfathered Reclamation Release authorization
If the Ministry is notified of an issue at a site that received grandfathered approval, it will be investigated. If it's determined that the issue resulted from a former well or facility operation, the Ministry will contact the licensee or working interest participant to address it in accordance to The Oil and Gas Conservation Regulations, 2012.
Depending on the severity of the issue the Ministry may require documentation to be submitted to confirm the issue has been addressed, and confirmation that the landowner is satisfied with the actions taken by the licensee or working interest participant.
The Ministry reserves the right to cancel the reclamation release and/or reinstate the reclamation liability if deemed necessary.
Status of Grandfathered Reclamation Release authorization in LLR Program
Once a Grandfathered Reclamation Release application is approved, the liability associated with the site will be set to zero in the Ministry's liability management system.
Licensees that use the LLR SIGN IN to review their inventory and liability reports will see the change reflected the next day. The approval is indicated by a 'Y' in the 'Grandfathered Reclamation Release' column, in the applicable LLR Well List or LLR Facility after the 1st of the month.