who we are
The Farmers’ Advocacy Office has the primary goal of equipping land owners to deal in their own best interests in the negotiation of surface leases and rights of way associated with the oil and gas industry.
what you’ll find
before you sign a surface lease…
The Farmers’ Advocacy Office is finding that many surface leases do NOT comply with BC Law. Before signing surface lease documents, make sure the lease document complies with the Surface Lease Regulation B.C. Reg. 497/74.
Unpaid Property Taxes on Oil and Gas Leases
In 2017, the Surveyor of Taxes implemented a new process to notify the land owner when the property taxes related to an oil and gas lease remain unpaid. It is important to remember that any collection action to recover the tax arrears related to a lease would be against the oil and gas company, not the land owner.
Well site owners (petroleum companies) that lease a portion of a property from a landowner will receive the annual Rural Property Tax Notice and a monthly statement of account when the taxes remain unpaid.
Landowners will not receive the Rural Tax Notice and statement of account because the well site company is responsible for paying the property tax. But, when the taxes remain unpaid, each year on January 5th a notification letter will be mailed out to the landowner.
Please see the attached sample letter, that some BC landowners will receive early in January.
Sample Information Letter Regarding Oil and Gas Property Taxes
NEB Interactive Pipeline Map
The National Energy Board recently launched an online map tool that allows users to view the location, routing, and substance contained in pipelines under NEB jurisdiction (learn more about pipeline jurisdiction and more by “Understanding the System“). The online map also includes incident reports and related information as an optional layer of data showing company, incident type, year and scale of the event.
“Canada’s vast network of pipelines transport millions of litres of oil and gas under our feet every day. In 2016, pipelines regulated by the NEB safely moved over a billion barrels of liquid products alone. This map shows the location of these pipelines.”
View the interactive map.
Fund for Non-Payment of Rent by Terra Energy Corp.
A fund has been established from the Court approved sale of some of Terra Energy’s BC assets. Some assets have been sold to Crew Energy and Pavilion Energy. The Surface Rights Board tells us that Crew and Pavilion will pay the back rent related to leases that they have bought.
To assist landowners with leases which were NOT bought by Crew and Pavilion, a fund has been created, and is held by the Ministry of Natural Gas Development on behalf of the Surface Rights Board.
Landowners may make a claim for unpaid rent for surface leases to the fund. The fund is limited and will be paid out on a first come first serve basis.
February 22, 2017 Update: The Surface Rights Board has confirmed that there is still some money in the fund, though it is not clear how much longer it will last. Landowners that submitted a claim to the fund last year may re-apply to the fund when the annual rent becomes due this year. To do so, landowners would complete a new Form 1F, but need not send the supporting documentation which is already on file with the Surface Rights Board.
2015 Petroleum and Natural Gas Act
Report by Rachelle Tink
Rachelle Tink, UBC student in the Bachelor of Business in Real Estate Program, and Appraisal Institute of Canada candidate, works at Aspen Grove Property Services as an appraiser during summer breaks. Rachelle prepared an assignment for a Technical Writing course, which we think is an interesting and informative read for land owners in the Peace Country.
2015 Petroleum and Natural Gas Act Report – Rachelle Tink
Enjoy the article, and be sure to contact the Farmers’ Advocacy Office at 250-782-1233 with any of your surface lease or right of way questions.