Q & A - PSAR

General

If an occupant has registered an agreement and they no longer occupy the land, is there a mechanism for a company to request that the agreement be removed from the registry?

Currently there is no mechanism for a company to request that a private surface agreement (PSA) be removed from the registry if an occupant no longer occupies the land.

If one company is bought by another, will the AER change the name on the agreement?

Currently there is no way for a company to request a change in operator for the PSA. Any changes to the agreement would be addressed in the Section 64 request process.

If the AER determines a company is noncompliant, can that decision be appealed? If so, what is the appeal process?

No. The AER does not have an appeal process for PSAs. Appeals can be made to the Court of Appeal.

Will a private surface agreement be linked to a specific well, facility or pipeline licence?

PSAs will not be linked to the well, facility, or pipeline licence.

Once a reclamation certificate is filed, will the agreement be removed from the registry?

A PSA will be closed in the registry if an owner or occupant requests it or the agreement expires.

Is PSAR meant to provide an alternative to alternative dispute resolution?

Registering a PSA is an option available to landowners and occupants if they feel a term or condition of their agreement is not being met. Mediation and dispute resolution are still an option that is encouraged by the AER.

How does PSAR fit with the Surface Rights Board and the Surface Rights Act?

There have been no changes to the jurisdiction of the Surface Rights Board or to the Surface Rights Act as a result of the AER’s new PSAR. PSAR is just an additional option available to landowners and occupants.

Is there a timeline within which a company must respond to a section 64 request?

When the AER notifies a company of a section 64 request, information will include dates by which a company should respond.

How do I request public information related to a PSA?

You can request a PSA from the AER’s Information Product Services using company name, location of the energy resource activity or the AER registration number.

What happens to agreements dated before November 30, 2013? Will the AER get involved?

Agreements dated before November 30, 2013, will not be registered in PSAR. Existing mechanisms for dispute resolution remain in place if there is an issue.

Does the AER consider First Nations an occupant of the land on Crown land?

Parties who meet the definition of owner or occupant as defined in REDA are eligible to register a PSA.

Can a PSA be between two companies where one is the landowner and the other does the development? What about an agreement between a city or town and a company?

As long as a party can be defined as an owner or occupant as outlined in REDA, they may register a PSA.

Will the AER consider disagreements that are related to compensation?

The AER may refer the dispute to the Surface Rights Board or the Court if it believes it is a more appropriate forum.

How long will the AER hold onto a PSA?

A PSA will remain active until the AER is made aware it has expired or the owner or occupant asks to have it closed in the registry.

Can a rental review agreement be registered?

As long as an agreement meets the definition of private surface agreement as outlined in REDA, it can be registered as a PSA.

If there is an amendment to an agreement, does that mean the original agreement will be updated in the registry?

An owner or occupant may send in an amendment and the original agreement will be updated.

How are landowners being made aware of this process?

Information is available on the AER’s website www.aer.ca under Applications and Notices : How Do I Get Involved and within the EnerFAQs How to Register a Private Surface Agreement.

Will the PSA form part of the confirmation of non-objections?

A PSA will only be considered for the purposes of a section 64 request.

Will the landowner be responsible for knowing the original PSA reference number?

Owners and occupants should keep a record of the PSA registration number and use it in all correspondence relating to it.

Why is there no expiry date on a PSA? Wouldn’t that keep the registry up to date?

An expiry date can be entered if one exists on the agreement being registered.

If the agreement has an assignment clause will the AER recognize and accept that clause?

Any assignment clause would be considered part of a section 64 request.

Will the new EnerFAQ be part of the required handouts as per Directive 056?

The new EnerFAQ must be offered as per Directive 056.

Is there a searchable database of PSAs?

No. There isn’t currently a searchable database of PSAs.

Can a landowner include conditions in its PSA that address other interests on their land?.

If an agreement meets the definition of private surface agreement as defined in REDA, it may be registered.

Will dollar amounts be shown on the lease if requested through FOIP?

Each FOIP request will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Are transitional occupants be eligible to file an agreement on PSAR (e.g., agriculture leases)?

If a party meets the definition of owner or occupant outlined in REDA, they are eligible to register a PSA.

Section 64 Request

Will there be consequences if a section 64 request has been submitted without merit?

The AER will close the request if it is found to be without merit.

What happens if a company does not comply with an order to comply under section 64?

The AER may consider enforcement action if a company does not comply with an order.

Will the AER provide alternative dispute resolution regarding section 64 disputes?

Alternative dispute resolution will be an option available to parties for section 64 requests

Is it acceptable if our company sent out notification of a planned oil and gas activity before November 30 that did not include the PSAR EnerFAQ? What if the oil and gas activity we have planned is to occur after November 30?

Yes. It is ok if your company sent out notification before November 30 that did not include the EnerFAQ on PSAR even if the activity is to occur after November 30.

Is a landowner charged for making section 64 request?

No. There is no charge for making a section 64 request.

When is a company notified of a section 64 request?

The company will be notified once a section 64 request is registered.

Will a section 64 decision trigger a regulatory appeal?

A section 64 request will not trigger a regulatory appeal.

Are section 64 requests publically available immediately after they are submitted to the AER or only after the AER has reviewed them?

Once a section 64 request has been registered, it is available on the public record.

What recourse does a company have when a landowner is not cooperating with a condition of the PSA?

Only a person or group of people who have entered into a PSA with a company may make a request under section 64 to review the PSA.

Confidentiality

Who can view the surface agreements in PSAR?

All documents related to the PSA are available through a FOIP request. Once a Section 64 request has been made all documents will be placed on the public record.

If the operator and the landowner have agreed in writing that a PSA cannot be registered, will the AER still register it?

Yes. Responsible Energy Development Act allows agreements to be registered even if a confidentiality provision exists.