Indian Oil and Gas Canada at a Glance . . .
Who We Are
Indian Oil and Gas Canada (IOGC) is a special operating agency that is responsible for managing and regulating oil and gas resources on First Nation reserve lands across Canada.
IOGC currently manages the oil and gas resources of more than 45 First Nations with active oil and gas agreements. Our activities include collecting oil and gas moneys on behalf of First Nations; 100 per cent of moneys collected on behalf of First Nations are deposited in their trust accounts.
IOGC Co-Management Board, which includes First Nation, industry and Crown members, provides guidance on our strategic direction and operations.
Our offices are located on the Tsuu T’ina Nation reserve adjacent to the southwest quadrant of Calgary. With more than 80 staff almost half are of Aboriginal descent, we are committed to delivering excellence in service.
What We Do
IOGC assists First Nations with designated reserve lands in the oil and gas process through the following activities:
- negotiation, issuance, and administration of agreements between the Crown, First Nations and oil and gas companies
- conduct environmental reviews and other environmental stewardship activities
- monitoring and verification of oil and gas production and sales prices
- verification, assessment, and collection of moneys such as bonuses, royalties and rents
- ensuring that all legislative and contract requirements are met
IOGC works closely with Chiefs and Councils. Band Council approval is required for all deals.
- To fulfill the Crown’s fiduciary and statutory obligations related to the management of oil and gas resources on First Nations lands; and
- To further First Nation initiatives to manage and control their oil and gas resources (i.e. governance).
Life Cycle of Oil and Gas Agreements on First Nation Reserve Lands
1. Land for Leasing
Prior to leasing, IOGC confirms reserve title to the land and verifies that the lands are designated,which allows IOGC to manage the First Nation’s oil and gas resources.
2. Subsurface Agreements
Subsurface agreements enable First Nations to gain economic benefits from their oil and gas resources. Subsurface agreements provide oil and gas companies with rights to drill and to produce oil and gas and, in return, the companies pay royalties and other compensation. IOGC assists the First Nation to reach agreements with companies and also ensures fair returns before IOGC and the First Nation approve the agreement. IOGC drafts, issues and administers the agreements and collects oil and gas royalties, bonuses and rents from companies on behalf of the First Nation.
3. Seismic Programs
Exploratory licences provide companies with surface access to conduct seismic activity. A company must submit an environmental review form, as part of the exploratory licence application, to IOGC and the First Nation. IOGC collects compensation for the exploratory work from companies on behalf of the First Nation
4. Surface Agreements
Surface agreements provide companies with the right to construct the necessary surface facilities to access and produce the oil and gas. Surface agreements are issued for items such as well sites, access roads or the installation of pipelines. A company must submit an environmental review form to IOGC and the First Nation, as part of its surface lease or right-of-way application. IOGC ensures that environmental protection standards are met before IOGC and the First Nation approve the agreement. Additionally, companies must conduct ongoing environmental monitoring during construction and operation phases. IOGC administers the agreements and collects initial considerations and annual rents from companies on behalf of the First Nation.
5. Drilling Wells
Prior to drilling a well, a company must: have a subsurface lease; obtain a surface lease; submit a provincial well licence to the First Nation and IOGC; and notify the First Nation and IOGC that it plans to drill the well. IOGC collects drilling information from companies for statistics and other purposes, such as helping with IOGC’s interpretation of the geology under the reserve.
IOGC monitors and evaluates all aspects of oil and gas production from drilling to abandonment. For example, IOGC ensures that production occurs in a sound environmental manner and that oil and gas production is properly measured and reported. IOGC ensures that oil and gas royalties are calculated accurately through assessments and audits. IOGC collects royalties on behalf of the First Nation.
7. Well Abandonment
When a well can no longer produce sufficient oil or gas economically, a company may wish to abandon it. A company requires written permission from IOGC, in consultation with the First Nation, to abandon a well.
8. Surrenders of Subsurface Agreements
Companies that no longer wish to have a subsurface agreement (or part thereof) must submit a surrender request to IOGC. IOGC reviews all surrender requests in consultation with the First Nation. IOGC will process and execute the surrender if the company is not in default of any part of the agreement or the Indian Oil and Gas Regulations, 1995. Any wells on the terminated subsurface lease must be abandoned.
9. Surrenders of Surface Agreements (Remediation and Reclamation)
Before IOGC will consider a surface surrender, companies must abandon any wells, remove any facilities, conduct remediation if necessary and reclaim the area. The surrenders of surface agreements are approved by IOGC following confirmation, by inspection with the First Nation, that reclamation is satisfactory.
Our Current Operations
IOGC currently manages the oil and gas resources of over 45 First Nations with active oil and gas agreements. These agreements are located on more than 110 reserves across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. IOGC also monitors First Nations reserve lands across Canada for hydrocarbon potential. There are about 3,000 First Nation reserves in Canada.
IOGC manages a high level of oil and gas activity on First Nation lands. IOGC has collected more than $ 1 billion over the last seven years on behalf of First Nations. Oil and gas development by First Nation-owned companies accounts for an estimated 25 percent of IOGC’s leasing and land holdings.
In the 1950s, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), then Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), established the Indian Minerals unit, which was responsible for all oil, gas and mineral rights on First Nation reserves throughout Canada. In the late 1970s, the Indian Minerals unit was split into Indian Minerals East and Indian Minerals West, which were responsible for oil, gas and mineral resources in eastern and western Canada, respectively.
IOGC was established in 1987, replacing Indian Minerals West, as a dedicated branch within AANDC to manage oil and gas resources on First Nation reserves across Canada and to further First Nation initiatives to manage and control their oil and gas resources. In 1993, IOGC was affirmed as a special operating agency to increase its client focus.
A Board of Directors, known as the IOGC Co-Management Board, was established in 1996 by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and the Indian Resource Council (IRC). The IRC is an organization representing more than 180 First Nations across Canada with oil and gas interests.
IOGC operates pursuant to the Indian Oil and Gas Act and the Indian Oil and Gas Regulations, 1995. It also operates pursuant to provisions of other federal legislation such as the Indian Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the Financial Administration Act, in addition to other relevant legislation.
Oil and gas development on First Nation reserve lands has been legislated since 1974 under the Indian Oil and Gas Act and, before that, under the Indian Act. In 1977, theIndian Oil and Gas Regulations were revised and brought under the Indian Oil and Gas Act from the Indian Act. The regulations were revised again in 1995, mostly to provide for increased First Nation participation.
As a result of an overall review of its operations, IOGC identified a need, in 1998, to update and modernize the Indian Oil and Gas Act. After years of work, An Act to amend the Indian Oil and Gas Act received Royal Assent in May 2009 and will come into force when updated Regulations are ready. Related amendments to the Indian Oil and Gas Regulations are in the process of being developed.
Indian Oil and Gas Canada
100, 9911 Chiila Boulevard
Tsuu T'ina, AB T2W 6H6