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Orphan Fund Levy

Upstream oil and gas licensees are assessed an Orphan Fund Levy each year to offset a portion of the costs incurred by the Orphan Fund Procurement Program to carry out the abandonment and/or reclamation work to bring the orphaned well and facility sites to closure.

The orphan fund levy is a single annual payment to Saskatchewan's Oil and Gas Orphan Fund. The levy invoice and supporting Licensee Liability Inventory (LLI) Report are delivered to industry through the Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS).

Who pays into the Orphan Fund Levy?

Each Saskatchewan upstream oil and gas licensee that has abandonment and/or reclamation liability associated with their well and facility licences, under the Licensee Liability Rating (LLR) Program, is required to pay an Orphan Fund Levy.

Note: The Orphan Fund Levy is only applicable to oil and gas producers. Therefore, any licensees holding only non-oil and gas well/facility licences, for purposes other than oil and gas production (such as potash mining, storage facilities, waste facilities, etc.) would be exempt from the levy. If a licensee receives a levy invoice and believes they qualify for exemption, please contact ER.Servicedesk@gov.sk.ca and provide supporting evidence for the ministry to review.

How is the licensee's portion of the Orphan Fund Levy Calculated?

Authority for assessing the orphan fund levy is found in section 20.98(c) of The Oil and Gas Conservation Act (OGCA). The formula approved under the Act to calculate each licensee's levied amount is found in section 119 of The Oil and Gas Conservation Regulations, 2012 (OGCR).

Each fiscal year, the ministry determines the values used in the formula as follows:

  • The Licensee Liability is the licensee's total liability associated with all facilities, wells and unreclaimed sites as of April 28, under the LLR Program. Appeals are not accepted. A Licensee Liability Inventory (LLI) report is included with the IRIS invoice, which details how the licensee's total liability was derived. Further information on the calculations used to determine the liability associated with each licence on the LLI report is provided in Directive PNG025 Licensee Liability Rating (LLR) Program.
  • The Industry Liability is the total liability, under the LLR Program, associated with all facilities, wells and unreclaimed sites as of April 28.  For further details, refer to the Orphan Fund Levy Reports.
  • estimated costs for carrying out suspension, abandonment/decommissioning, remediation and reclamation work, under the Orphan Fund Procurement Program, for the upcoming fiscal year;
  • anticipated reimbursement of defunct licensees' working interest participant costs;
  • technical, administrative, legal or other costs related to acquiring professional services that are incurred in pursuing the above two points,
  • any other costs directly related to the administration and operation of the Orphan Fund; and
  • any surplus for emergency or contingencies and non-budgeted expenditures the ministry deems necessary.

When is the Orphan Levy Fund Issued?

Each year, the ministry determines the amount each licensee is levied and issues invoices in May based on the licensee's total liability, under the Licensee Liability Rating (LLR) Program, as of April 28; appeals will not be accepted.

When and how is the Orphan Fund Levy collected?

The Orphan Fund Levy is collected annually. Each year, a licensee receives an invoice from the ministry for its share of the total levy and payment must be submitted within 30 days of the invoice being issued.

Note: Ensuring that a levy is paid promptly after issuance is in the interest of industry and the regulator. Any licensee that does not pay the Orphan Fund Levy may face consequences. Section 12(2)(d) of The Oil and Gas Conservation Act allows for the minister to amend, suspend or cancel a licence if the licensee fails to pay the Orphan Fund Levy within the prescribed period, which is prescribed in section 119(1) of the OGCR as 30 days after issuance.

Ministry Accepted Payment Methods

Orphan Fund Levy payments must be made payable to the Minister of Finance and include reference to the Invoice # being paid. The invoiced amount can be paid by Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD), Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), direct deposit or cheque.

Note: Licensees wishing to sign up to pay the Orphan Fund Levy invoice via PAD should complete the following form, if they have not already done so.

Inquiries related to the payment methods should be directed to the ER Service Desk at 1-855-219-9373 or ER.Servicedesk@gov.sk.ca.

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