Oil and gas companies in B.C. can look forward to a streamlined regulatory regime forexploring and drilling on agricultural lands.
B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) and the province’s Agricultural Land Commission have signed a “delegation” agreement that transfers some of the agricultural commission’s powers to the OGC.
Instead of companies submitting applications for oil and gas development on lands reserved for agriculture to the agricultural commission for a decision, the OGC will now handle most of these applications.
The OGC says the benefits of the new arrangement for oil and gas firms include enhancing the OGC’s efficient “one-window” approach to regulation and delivery of services. Benefits for landowners include improving onsite inspections, investigations and enforcement by OGC staff.
The agreement, effective April 1, applies only in the Peace River Regional District and the Northern Rockies Regional District.
Oil vs. Trees
B.C. may be jumping with oil and gas activity, but it had better not forget about the trees. That’s the message from David Baxter, executive director of the Urban Futures Institute.
Revenue sales of oil and gas must increase 100 per cent to offset a 10-per-cent decline in the forest industry, Baxter told the Outlook 2004 conference in Vancouver earlier this month.
The forest sector powers 42 per cent of the provincial economy and has much greater economic clout than oil and gas development, he said.
B.C. earned a record $1.26 billion in oil and gas royalties in the first six months of the 2003-2004 fiscal year. In comparison, the annual timber harvest sustains a $17.7-billion forest sector – or $12,000 for every B.C. household, according to the Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association.
In these heady days of B.C.’s oil and gas rush, it’s important to not miss the forest for the pumpjack.
The Canadian oilpatch continues to extend its reach into foreign lands. Here’s a sampler of some current activities:
* GeoGlobal Resources Inc. of Calgary and its joint venture partners have signed contracts to share production from two onshore oil and gas blocks in the Cambay Basin, located in Gujarat state in northwest India.
* Vancouver-based Tanganyika Oil Company Ltd. says it plans an aggressive program this year of seismic, exploratory drilling and well workovers in the Oudeah oilfield in northeast Syria, and in the 1,898-square-kilometre West Gharib development block by the Gulf of Suez in Egypt.
* Kroes Energy Inc., a junior producer in Calgary, says its 45-per-cent owned joint venture in Ukraine, Kashtan Petroleum Ltd., plans to drill three development wells, one exploration well and complete six workovers on shut-in wells this year as part of its oilfield redevelopment project.
* First Calgary Petroleums Ltd. announced the completion of its fifth successful natural gas well in the Ledjmet development block in Algeria in North Africa.
* Calgary-based Calvalley Petroleum Inc. says it has the go-ahead from its joint venture partners and the Republic of Yemen’s Oil and Minerals Ministry to start an 11-well exploration and development program on Block 9.
* Talisman Energy Norge AS, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Talisman Energy Inc., has been awarded two new exploration licences in the Norwegian North Sea and has bought ConocoPhillips’ 35-per-cent interest in two additional licences on Norway’s continental shelf. Talisman is building exploration and development core areas around its 13-year-old Gyda gas field, which the company acquired last May for $90 million from BP.
* PetroKazakhstan Inc. plans to spend a minimum $15.6 million on exploration, including seismic and drilling, to start developing its North Nurali, Nurali and Asksai fields in the Republic of Kazakhstan.