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Amendments support safe oil and gas development…

File Photo: L. Westgate Photo.

The Minister of Natural Gas Development, Rich Coleman, today introduced amendments to two acts which regulate oil and gas activities in the province and support safe development practices…

Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman states, “British Columbia is Canada’s fastest growing natural gas producing province. We are introducing amendments that ensure the provincial regulator, the Oil and Gas Commission, will keep operations safe and the best modern practices are in place for carbon capture and storage.”

Bill 40, the Natural Gas Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2015, will amend the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act (PNGA) to allow carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a permanent solution for disposing of carbon dioxide (CO2) in British Columbia.

Amendments will ensure CCS projects are safe, environmentally responsible and align with internationally accepted best practices.

Allowing industry to move forward with CCS projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions because the CO2 is not released into the atmosphere. Instead, industry will be able to remove C02 from industrial sources, like raw natural gas, and inject these emissions safely, and permanently, underground in rock formations.

The Oil & Gas Activities Act (OGAA) amendments will improve British Columbia’s rules and regulations for oil and gas activities, and include:

  • Providing authority for the BC Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) to authorize work needed to determine the location and feasibility of well sites, pipeline routes or other oil and gas activities.
  • Notification protocols are being updated to remove impractical requirements such as alerting landowners living kilometres away of small work activities like maintenance on a pipeline.
  • Statutory immunity provisions will be clearly defined so the OGC and the provincial government are the agencies responsible for the decisions made by individuals under OGAA.
  • Regulations to improve the transparency of oil and gas activities throughout the province.

These amendments strengthen industrial oversight in preparation of more large-scale projects moving forward, such as the construction and operation of pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.

Amendments are also being introduced to provide the OGC with the authority to regulate CCS projects in British Columbia, including oversight for all exploration, storage and monitoring activities.

Written by: BC Government

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