When a well or facility licence is deemed an orphan, it will stay in the defunct licensee's name. However, the Ministry of Energy and Resources has the authority to abandon and reclaim the orphan site or transfer the licence to another eligible party.
Parties interested in acquiring well or facility licences that have been deemed orphan, under the Orphan Fund Procurement Program, should refer to the Orphan Inventory Reports to view the list of orphan licences.
Before applying to transfer an orphaned well, the interested party may wish to assess the economic potential of an orphaned well. A person may obtain the production history of a well through IRIS or by contacting ER.Servicedesk@gov.sk.ca.
Parties interested in acquiring an orphan licence should notify the Ministry of their intent to ensure the Ministry does not schedule the orphan well or facility of interest for abandonment during the licence transfer process. The notification should be submitted to ER.Servicedesk@gov.sk.ca with subject line "Interested in acquiring an orphan licence" and include the following details:
- licensee name and code (where applicable);
- the applicable orphan licence number(s); and
- contact name, phone number and email.
Please be advised that the ministry will review the requests on a first-come first-served basis and reserves the right to approve/deny any licence transfer application.
For a licensee to qualify to transfer orphaned well/facility licences in Saskatchewan, you must:
- Be eligible to hold a licence under section 12 of The Oil and Gas Conservation Regulations, 2012;
- Obtain Mineral Rights Agreement from the Crown/Freehold/Lessee of an active mineral rights agreement to the orphan well zone of interest;
- Obtain Surface Lease with Landowner/Crown to access the orphan well/facility site of interest;
- Submit a $10,000 non-refundable Orphan Fund Fee if the licensee has not previously held a well/facility licence pursuant to The Oil and Gas Conservation Regulations, 2012 in the province of Saskatchewan. Use the Orphan Fund Fee Payment Form to submit the 'Orphan Fund - First Time Application Fee' to the Government of Saskatchewan;
- Obtain an IRIS account and the appropriate permissions assigned by your IRIS Security Administrator to submit a licence transfer application; and
- Be registered with Information Services Corporation (ISC) as a corporation to do business in Saskatchewan.
NOTE: Once a licence is transferred the applicant (now Licensee) is responsible for the liability associated with the future abandonment and reclamation of the licensed site. This includes environmental liability that existed prior to acquiring the licence. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to ensure they are aware of potential liabilities that may exist before applying to transfer the licences.
How to Apply
To apply for authorization to transfer a well or facility licence:
- Ensure you meet all eligibility requirements.
- Complete the Licence Transfer Application. Note: The form would be completed in conjunction with the ministry, who would be signing on behalf of the orphaned Licensee (Transferor) in this situation.
- Prepare a Well List ("Schedule A") to include the following for each well being transferred:
Prepare a Facility List ("Schedule B") to include the following for each facility being transferred:
- Surface location
- Licence number
- Transferee Working Interest Participants (WIP): Defined as a person who owns a legal or beneficial interest in a well.
- Note: As shown in the "Schedule A" example, the well list must be sorted by "Surface Location" in reverse ascending order (starting from meridian, range, township, section, and legal subdivision). The "WIP Name" and "Percentage held by each WIP" should be defined at the bottom of "Schedule A" and correspond to the number provided in the WIP column.
Log in to IRIS and complete the Licence Transfer Application Process for authorization:
- Surface location
- Licence number
- Facility code
- Transferee Working Interest Participants (WIP): Defined as a person who owns a legal or beneficial interest in a facility.
- Note: As shown in the "Schedule B" example, the facility list must be sorted by "Surface Location" in reverse ascending order (starting from meridian, range, township, section, and legal subdivision). The "WIP Name" and "Percentage held by each WIP" should be defined at the bottom of "Schedule B" and correspond to the number provided in the WIP column.
Transfer authorizations are communicated as a notification in IRIS to the company that submitted the application and authorized transfers are reflected in IRIS the next business day.
- The application description box must include the following information: "Application to Transfer ## orphan wells and ## orphan facilities from <insert BA Code and Name associated with the Transferor> to <insert BA Code and Name associated with the Transferee>."
- Attach the Licence Transfer Application Form as a single PDF (no security applied) with the information presented in the following order:
- Licence Transfer Application Form
- Schedule A (where applicable)
- Schedule B (where applicable)