ARCHIVED - Update on the Modernization of the Act, Regulations, and Systems (MARS) - Volume IV, Issue 1

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IOGC Quarterly Newsletter

Reporting Period April 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014

Indian Oil and Gas Canada (IOGC) reports to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) via the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Lands and Economic Development Sector. In March 2014, our then-ADM, Sara Filbee, returned home to Atlantic Canada when she left the department to join Service Canada's Atlantic Regional Office. Sara had been our ADM for more than five years. Andrew Beynon then stepped in as Acting ADM until our new ADM, Sheilagh Murphy, assumed the position beginning on June 23, 2014.

During this reporting period, IOGC continued to make good progress on new regulations. The objective remains to complete a set of core regulations. Once finalized, the Indian Oil and Gas Act, 2009 (IOGA, 2009) would be brought into force along with the set of core regulations. Following this, regulations would continue to be developed and brought into force until the existing 1995 Regulations have been entirely replaced by new, modern regulations.

In the past several newsletters, we informed clients that the department adopted a phased approach for regulations development that would allow the bringing into force of the 2009 Act with minimal delay. This approach ensures that First Nations will benefit sooner from the improvements contained in the IOGA, 2009 which provides new authority for IOGC: 1) to audit companies working on First Nation lands; 2) to set longer periods for industry to maintain records for auditing purposes; 3) to deal more effectively with surface and sub-surface trespass; 4) to protect First Nation sites of cultural importance; 5) to order companies to take remedial action under certain circumstances; and, 6) to issue fines and penalties for offences under the Act or regulations.

The phased approach calls for updates to the Indian Oil and Gas Regulations, 1995 – to make them compatible with the IOGA, 2009 – plus new regulations in the areas of: 1) Drainage and Compensatory Royalty; 2) Sub-surface Tenure; 3) First Nations' Audit (a component of Royalty Management); and, 4) reporting requirements to facilitate royalty verification. The remaining regulations would be completed in a sequence yet to be finalized.

An important element of the work is First Nations consultation and engagement. Throughout the regulations development process, face-to-face meetings have taken place with individual First Nations, Tribal Councils, and Treaty areas, upon request. Please contact IOGC if you would like a one-on-one session or require any more information.

In addition to face-to-face meetings, oil and gas First Nations and their business partners each receive quarterly newsletters. In early February 2014, Chiefs and Councils of all oil and gas First Nations were mailed a package that contained: policy considerations for the new regulations; regulatory drafting instructions for all proposed regulatory modules; and, an early, preliminary draft of certain sections of the core regulations. In the spirit of openness and transparency, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) also received a copy of the regulatory drafting instructions. At the end of March 2014, the Indian Resource Council and the Saskatchewan First Nations Natural Resources Centre of Excellence both assisted IOGC with the logistics for conducting oil and gas symposiums – one in Regina the other in Edmonton. During the symposiums, the phased approach to regulations development was presented to oil and gas First Nations. In addition, they were provided specific details on the new regulations along with the projected timeframes for the implementation of the 2009 Act and the core regulations. IOGC will fund the cost of obtaining independent legal and technical advice on the draft regulations to three of its major oil and gas producing First Nations. The results will be shared with all producing First Nations and those with oil or gas potential. They will then have an opportunity to be fully engaged on the new regulations prior to implementation.

In December 2013, the Minister wrote to the Indian Resource Council seeking their support for a phased approach to regulations development. The Indian Resource Council responded on January 27, 2014 that they would support such an approach provided the department met eight conditions. At the end of the current reporting period, the Minister responded that six of the eight conditions had already been met and proposed an approach to satisfy the remaining two.

The Consultation Draft of the regulations is projected to be completed early in the fall and immediately shared with all stakeholders. Progress continues on supporting documents required for regulations approval. A Cost-Benefit Analysis is nearly complete and will be publicly available, along with the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, when the regulations are pre-published in Canada Gazette, Part I.

Informatics enhancements continue. Since October 2013, IOGC has been a member of PETRINEX (PETRoleum INformation EXcellence), the recognized authoritative source for hydrocarbon volume and pricing data. IOGC is completing a request to Treasury Board to complete the work required for data exchange with PETRINEX plus other new informatics.

For further information, please contact IOGC at:

Indian Oil and Gas Canada
100 – 9911 Chiila Blvd.
Tsuu T'ina AB  T2W 6H6
Phone: (403) 292-5625
Fax: (403) 292-5618

Date last reviewed: 2014-08-08

Date modified: