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IL 90-21: Oil and Gas Development - Rumsey Block

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Release Date: Nov 26, 1990

The Rumsey Block is made up of approximately 50 sections of relatively undisturbed aspen parkland, as shown on the attached map. The rarity of such a large contiguous area of this type of ecosystem led to the development of site-specific guidelines for oil and gas development within the Block which have been in effect since 1982. The guidelines represent a policy established by Forestry, Lands and Wildlife, Recreation and Parks, and the ERCB.

A decision was taken by the above agencies to proceed with the development of a management plan for the area in the form of a Regionally Integrated Decision (RID) early in 1989. The Central Region's Resource Management Committee (RRMC) endorsed the RID approach in November 1989 and initiated the RID Committee in January 1990. The participating team members on the RID committee include representatives from the Department of Forestry, Lands and Wildlife (Public Lands, Fish and Wildlife), and the Departments of Energy, Recreation and Parks, and Culture, along with the ERCB. The consultative team members consist of grazing lessees, industry, municipalities, and the Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA).

The RID timetable projects completion and public review of the draft Management Plan for the area by June 1991.

Application Review Process

Alberta Energy, Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife, and the ERCB are committed to ensure that any new developments within the Block are carried out in an orderly and consistent fashion. In order to do this, and also to provide all stakeholders with an opportunity to learn in advance of any proposed developments, the following principles in reviewing development applications will be followed:

Issuance of Mineral Leases

The Department of Energy will

(a) upon application, grant term extensions to expiring leases, pursuant to section 8(l)(h) of the Mines and Minerals Act, where surface access is denied, and
(b) not issue any new agreements until the RID has been completed and approved.

Issuance of Mineral Surface Leases

The Public Lands Division of Forestry, Lands and Wildlife will

(a) advise companies requesting Mineral Surface Leases (MSLS) that they must have a well licence granted by the ERCB prior to any access road or lease construction, and
(b) submit any applications for the upgrading of existing roads or construction of new, permanent access roads within the Block, to the RID committee for comment before processing of such applications.

Issuance of Well Licences

The ERCB will advise the RID committee and the AWA of receipt of any applications for well licences within the Rumsey proposed parkland boundary.

This process is being initiated as an interim measure to ensure protection of the Rumsey Block while the RID planning process is under way. It is expected that the RID process will establish a general framework for all forms of land use and development in the Block, including oil and gas, grazing, and recreational uses.

<original signed by>

M. G. Turnbull, Assistant Deputy Minister
Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife
Public Lands Division

<original signed by>

M. J. Day, Assistant Deputy Minister
Alberta Energy
Mineral Resources Division

<original signed by>

B. F. Bietz, Board Member
Energy Resources Conservation Board