COVID-19 NOTICE – November 24, 2020:
The Surface Rights Board of Arbitration continues to take steps to safeguard the health of our staff and the public, while fulfilling its mandate under The Surface Rights Acquisition and Compensation Act. The Board will continue to monitor the situation and will update this notice as necessary.
Board Operations: Until further notice, the Surface Rights Board will be conducting its hearings by video conference (Microsoft Teams) or by written submissions (only in the event that both parties consent to proceed in writing). The Board will provide guidelines to both parties regarding the use of video hearings. Please consult the Board's website from time to time to obtain the most up to date information on the Board's operations.
The Surface Rights Board is an arbitration board used as a last resort when a landowner or occupant and an oil/gas or potash operator are unable to reach an agreement for surface access to private land and related compensation.
The Surface Rights Board of Arbitration conducts hearings for matters such as:
- the rights required by the operator to enter on the surface of the land;
- damage claims;
- compensation for wellsite and/or flowlines;
- reclamation of abandoned land sites; and
- rental reviews.
The Board's objectives are:
- to provide a comprehensive procedure for acquiring surface rights;
- to provide for the payment of just and equitable compensation for the acquisition of surface rights; and
- to provide for the maintenance and reclamation of the surface of land acquired in connection with surface rights.
Public and private organizations, businesses and agricultural operations lobby the Board to ensure that it is accountable to a healthy agricultural industry, a healthy petroleum industry and a healthy environment.
Balancing sound, consistent and standardized oil field practices, agricultural practices and environmental practices with the public interest and the maintenance of public policy is always a challenge. The environmental integrity of petroleum operations is always of great concern to the Board.
The Board's ability to monitor and enforce existing environmental standards is limited to acts of the operator creating damage less than $1,000 and to the reclamation and restoration involved in the abandonment of a well.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources monitors the maintenance of oil field operational standards during the well's life. Please contact the applicable field office for further information: