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How to apply to modify the drainage unit/area or setback distance of oil or gas wells in Saskatchewan.
A drainage unit is the subsurface area allocated to a vertical oil well completion or gas well completion for drilling and producing in order to maximize oil or gas recovery from a defined or miscellaneous pool. A drainage area is made up of the drainage units associated to a horizontal well completion based on set-back requirements. The Government of Saskatchewan's drainage unit/area and set-back requirements ensure long-term, equitable, and orderly development of resources while preventing reservoir damage.
In accordance with subsections 17(1)(a), (b) and (c) and section 27 of The Oil and Gas Conservation Act, an application for oil/gas well spacing modifications must be submitted and approved by the Minister of Energy and Resources before licensing a well completion that won't meet the well spacing minimum requirements. Typically, this occurs if additional wells are proposed within a drainage unit or if a well is being proposed that will not meet the setback requirements.
An application for well spacing modification can be made:
Well spacing modifications 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.
To apply for a well spacing modification authorization:
If the proposed spacing modification relates to horizontal oil wells, the Major or Minor form may be used depending on the information related to the reason for application:
Click on the link below to view the desired application webpages:
Documents related to third-party engineering reports and seismic data can be attached as confidential. The application must have enough non-confidential information within it to adequately justify/explain the application. Confidential attachments are kept confidential and are only viewable to the Business Associate that applies and the ministry.
Note: If an authorization is associated to a project and additional reporting is required, that reporting will be set as an obligation on the project. Reporting requirements (timelines, details) related to what must be submitted within the report and the frequency of providing information will be part of the authorization documents provided in IRIS or in the approval wording itself. If additional reporting is required and the authorization is not associated to a project, the requirements related to what must be submitted within the report and the frequency will be part of the authorization documents provided in IRIS or in the approval wording itself.
Refer to the Directives and Guidelines below for details.
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