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Storage Project Application

Apply to implement, modify or expand a storage project related to hydrocarbon underground storage, salt cavern waste disposal, geothermal production and CO2 storage (non-EOR) in Saskatchewan.
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1. Guidance

An operator must apply to and receive authorization from Saskatchewan's Ministry of Energy and Resources through the Integrated Resource Information System before licensing, recompleting or reclassifying a well associated with a specific storage project, as outlined in Section 17 of The Oil and Gas Conservation Act. This applies to both pilot and full-scale storage projects, as well as modifications and expansions.

There are three application types in IRIS related to storage operations:

  • Storage Project A storage project means a development for the storage of hydrocarbon in underground reservoirs and salt caverns, and the disposal of wastes in salt caverns. The applicant shall use the latest CSA (Canadian Standards Association) Z341, for the design, construction, testing, operation, maintenance and repair of underground hydrocarbon storage and cavern waste disposal projects in Saskatchewan.
  • Geothermal Project A geothermal project means a development where geothermal energy is recovered through deep well(s). There are two main types of geothermal project; open-loop and closed-loop. An open-loop system includes: (1) withdrawing formation water for the purpose of extracting geothermal energy as part of an industrial process, and (2) disposing the cooling fluids into subsurface through a waste disposal well following the extraction of its heat content. In a closed-loop system, the source fluids are circulated in a sealed wellbore – heat exchange loop and there are no formation fluids to be withdrawn or fluids to be disposed. The geothermal project application is only applied to the subsurface activities. A project feasibility study is expected to be completed prior to the application submission.
  • CO2 Storage Project A CO2 storage project means a development that is the long-term isolation of CO2 in subsurface geological formations, and is primarily applicable to saline aquifers and depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs. It does NOT preclude to storage associated with hydrocarbon recovery – CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), and does NOT include CO2 storage in unminable coal beds, basalt formations, shales, and salt caverns, and disposal of acid gas. If the proposed storage pool is a depleted hydrocarbon pool (including associated aquifer), and if incremental production is anticipated as a result of the proposed injection, consider applying for CO2-EOR rather than CO2 storage.

Read the following Directives and Guidelines for regulatory requirements and for information to assist you in applying for a storage project:

Storage projects approved by the Ministry of Energy and Resources are available on the Minister's Order Bulletin Board. All archived Minister's Orders since 2005 can also be found on the bulletin board.

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2. Eligibility

To apply for a storage project authorization, applicants must:

  • The applicant has the right to construct, operate and modify the proposed project wells within a storage project area.
  • Have an IRIS account and the appropriate permissions assigned by your IRIS Security Administrator.
  • Complete the required public notices as outlined by the Directive PNG009: Public Notice Requirements.
    • It's the responsibility of the applicant to identify any potentially or directly affected parties outside of the minimum notification area and provide notification to these parties.
  • Obtain any other approvals needed from government agencies or ministries relating to the design, construction and operation of a proposed storage project (if applicable).
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3. How To Apply

To apply for a specific storage project authorization:

  1. Ensure you meet all eligibility requirements.
  2. Complete the one of the following forms with all the necessary attachments:
  3. Complete the Reclassification/Recompletion (part of a reservoir) Application Form with all the necessary attachments (as one document), if required.
  4. Compile the applicable supporting documentation:
    • Well list
    • Third-party Engineering Report (Confidential)
    • Seismic Data and Report (Confidential)
    • Public Notice Package/Consents
    • Other supporting documents (if applicable)
  5. Log in to IRIS and complete the storage project application process for authorization and attach the required documents.

Once an application package is submitted through IRIS it cannot be modified by the applicant. Any subsequent changes or additions require resubmission, or attachment(s) update during the application review stage if requested by the ministry through IRIS.

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4. Apply

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5. Further Information

Storage Project Authorization

  • The applicant will be notified through IRIS whether the application for authorization is approved or denied.
  • The applicant has one year to use an authorization before it expires, unless otherwise extended by the ministry in IRIS. An authorization number may be used multiple times if it is issued approving multiple wells/operations. The authorization will not expire if it is used at least once within the one-year period.
  • New wells approved as part of a storage project receive an authorization number that can be used to obtain a well licence through IRIS.
  • If injecting fluids in undisposed Crown Lands, a Lease of Space Agreement must be executed with Crown on application in IRIS after the project authorization. Refer to Non-Advertised Dispositions and Non-Advertised Dispositions Application for more information.

Project Obligations

Project obligations are set on a project to be fulfilled or honoured by a project operator in order to meet regulatory requirements. Project obligations are triggered, added or maintained anytime during the life-cycle of a project beginning with the authorization of a new project. Obligations are associated with different activities related to a project such as project commencement, reporting and termination. Effective December 16, 2020, project operators can fulfill project obligations in IRIS. Project obligations are currently not billable. However, project operators are encouraged to review IRIS regularly for any new or modified obligations.

The Project Obligations Training Module is a tool that outlines step by step how to fulfill project obligation process in IRIS.

Project Commencement

Note: Effective December 16, 2020, the project obligation “Report Project Commencement” replaces the former Project Commencement Application in IRIS. The Project Commencement Application link will be disabled so no IRIS user can view or submit a new project commencement application. However, previously submitted applications or approved authorizations can be found in the Application or Authorization Search.

An obligation for project commencement is triggered upon creation of a project with the project number assigned in IRIS. The project operator must report project commencement within 14 days once criteria are met as outlined for the storage project.

The commencement date for a storage project is typically the date when the first well is in-service.

Progress Reports

Note: Effective December 16, 2020, the project obligation “Submit Progress Report” in IRIS replaces the former email submission process.

An obligation for progress report submission will be added for the project if applicable. Progress reports are confidential.

The reporting frequency is typically yearly but can be varied on a project-by-project basis. If annual progress report is required, the report is due on March 31st each year unless otherwise stated in the approval. The reporting period covers the 12-month period but is Not necessarily ending December 31st of each year. Specifically, unless otherwise stated in the approval,

  • Natural gas storage project (commercial): the period is usually beginning on November 1st and continuing until October 31st of the following year;
  • Other storage projects: the period is based on the calendar year ending on December 31st.

Information in the progress report includes:

  • A summary of project development and operations over the reporting period, including:
    • a list of authorized project wells and their status;
    • any anomalies or trends of significance for awareness of both the operator and the ministry; and
    • any other significant changes that were made.
  • Information to demonstrate that the conditions of the approval are being met, including operating, inspection, testing, maintenance and monitoring activities.
  • For a Storage Project, storage inventory information to demonstrate the integrity of the storage system, including monthly inventory volumes in each storage system at the same facility, evaluation the inventory discrepancies and the impact of any stored product loss or migration if applicable.
  • Future plans for the project and an estimated timeline.

Project Termination

Note: Effective December 16, 2020, the project obligation “Report Project Termination” in IRIS replaces the former email or mail submission of the project termination notice.

An obligation for project termination is triggered upon creation of a project with the project number assigned in IRIS. The project operator must report project termination within 14 days once criteria are met or the project is no longer operating for its authorized purpose. The changes of the individual well status would not change the project status.

Termination requirements for other executed Agreements such as Storage Agreement, Storage Unit Agreement, Lease of Space Agreement, are separate from the Project Termination and the (Project or Unit) Operator is responsible for meeting applicable requirements.

Information in the termination document includes:

  • A project evaluation (success or failure) with reason for termination.
  • Confirmation that project operation has ended and is not planned in the future.
  • Future plans with non-abandoned project wells.
  • Any other outstanding regulatory requirements if known.

An obligation for a final project report submission may be required within 30 days of the approved project termination date.

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