Surrender of Subsurface and Surface Contracts

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Contract holders may surrender their rights or interests, under a subsurface or surface contract, in whole or in part.

Process to Surrender a Subsurface Contract


The contract holder shall complete the Subsurface Contract Notice of Surrender form and send the original to IOGC. There is no application fee.

Forms are available on the IOGC Forms page, or may be requested from the Subsurface Contracts Business Unit.


Once the Subsurface Contract Notice of Surrender has been verified by IOGC for accuracy, a copy will be sent to the First Nation and contract holder. In the case of a partial surrender, an amended contract will also be provided. The surrender will also be registered in the Indian Lands Registry System (ILRS).

Multiple Contract Holders

If a subsurface contract is held by multiple contract holders, all contract holders must sign the Subsurface Contract Notice of Surrender form.

Process to Surrender a Surface Contract

Remediation and reclamation must be complete prior to making an application; refer to the Remediation, Reclamation and Surrender section of the Business Cycle for more information. Once the area to be surrendered meets IOGC's reclamation criteria, the company can submit an application.

No existing surface contracts, whether held by the contract holder or another party, can been left without access or left dead-ending. Action must been taken to resolve any potential access or dead-ending issues prior to submission of the application, which may include the amendment of one or more surface contracts.

Undisturbed sites

If the contract holder did not carry out any projects or make any physical alterations to the lands within the contract area, they must still submit an application.


The contract holder submits to IOGC a Reclamation and Surrender Application. If the surrender is in part, the contract holder must have obtained a legal survey plan prepared by a Canada Lands Surveyor that identifies the lands to be retained. Survey plan requirements are described in the Survey Plan Requirements section.

There is no application fee.

Online forms are currently unavailable; contact the Lease Administration Unit to obtain the required form.


IOGC's Environment Unit will undertake a review of the application. Upon completion of this review, the Environmental Analyst will schedule a joint site inspection of the contract area with the First Nation council and contract holder. Upon IOGC confirming the remediation and reclamation of the contract area are satisfactory a Reclamation Inspection Pass Letter is issued.

  • A Band Council Resolution is required to approve any facility or infrastructure to remain in place.

IOGC's Lease Administration Unit will then undertake a review of the surface contract and contract holder. If the contract holder is not in default under the contract, the Regulations or an order given under the Indian Oil and Gas Act, and if the surrender of the surface contract would not result in other existing surface contracts being left without access or left dead-ending, the application will proceed for approval.


Upon approval, IOGC will provide the First Nation and contract holder with a notice of approval and register it in the Indian Lands Registry System (ILRS). In the event the surrender was made in part, an amended surface contract is also provided and registered in ILRS.

Payments Due under Surface Contracts

Annual Rents

Contract holders are required to continue paying annual rents until the surrender has been approved. Rents paid for any rental periods after the effective date of the surrender will be refunded.

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