Mines and Minerals Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. M-17 (Alberta M&M Act)

Jurisdiction(s)
Instrument Date
Effective Date
Instrument Type
Primary
Relevant Regulatory Authority
Alberta Energy; Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Purpose and Context
The Alberta M&M Act applies to all mines and minerals, pore space and related natural resources vested in or belonging to Alberta (section 2). The Carbon Capture and Storage Statutes Amendment Act, S.A. 2010, c. 14, amended the Act in December 2010, along with a number of other acts, to insert provisions: declaring that all pore space in Alberta is owned by the province; enabling the Minister to enter into an agreement granting the right to inject CO2 into pore space within Alberta for storage purposes; enabling assumption by the province of certain obligations on issuance of a closure certificate; and creating a Post-Closure Stewardship Fund drawn from fees paid by lessees, to cover certain post-closure costs.
Relevant links
Instrument Access Date
25 May 2012
I. Regulatory scope and definitions
Definitions

Article/Section No.

Section 1(1)
Section 106
Section 114

Instrument Text

Interpretation

1

(1) In this Act,

(a) “agreement” means an instrument issued pursuant to this Act or the former Act that grants rights in respect of a mineral or subsurface reservoir, but does not include a notification, a transfer referred to in section 12, a unit agreement or a contract under section 9(a);

(a.1) “captured carbon dioxide” means a fluid substance consisting mainly of carbon dioxide captured from an emissions source;

(b) “certificate of record” means a certificate of record within the meaning of the regulations;

(c) “certificate of title” means a certificate granted pursuant to the Land Titles Act;

(d) “crude bitumen” means a naturally occurring viscous mixture, mainly of hydrocarbons heavier than pentane, that may contain sulphur compounds and that, in its naturally occurring viscous state, will not flow to a well;

(e) “Department” means the Department administered by the Minister;

(f) “disposition” means a grant, a transfer referred to in section 12 or an agreement;

(g) “estate in a mineral” means an estate in fee simple in a mineral or an estate for a life or lives in being in a mineral;

(h) “fluid mineral substance” means a fluid substance consisting of a mineral or of a product obtained from a mineral by processing or otherwise;

(i) “former Act” means any predecessor of this Act;

(j) “grant” means letters patent under the Great Seal of Canada or a notification issued pursuant to The Provincial Lands Act, RSA 1942 c62, the former Act or this Act;

(k) “issue”, with reference to a disposition, means to issue the disposition in accordance with the regulations;

(l) “lessee” means, except in section 82.1, the holder according to the records of the Department of an agreement;

(m) “location” means, except in section 82.1, the tract described in an agreement;

(n) “mine” means any opening or excavation in, or working of, the surface or subsurface for the purpose of working, recovering, opening up or proving any mineral or mineral-bearing substance, and includes works and machinery at or below the surface belonging to or used in connection with the mine;

(o) “mineral claim” means the tract described in a certificate of record;

(p) “minerals” means all naturally occurring minerals, and without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes

(i) gold, silver, uranium, platinum, pitchblende, radium, precious stones, copper, iron, tin, zinc, asbestos, salts, sulphur, petroleum, oil, asphalt, bituminous sands, oil sands, natural gas, coal, anhydrite, barite, bauxite, bentonite, diatomite, dolomite, epsomite, granite, gypsum, limestone, marble, mica, mirabilite, potash, quartz rock, rock phosphate, sandstone, serpentine, shale, slate, talc, thenardite, trona, volcanic ash, sand, gravel, clay and marl, but

(ii) does not include

(A) sand and gravel that belong to the owner of the surface of land under section 58 of the Law of Property Act,

(B) clay and marl that belong to the owner of the surface of land under section 57 of the Law of Property Act, or

(C) peat on the surface of land and peat obtained by stripping off the overburden, excavating from the surface, or otherwise recovered by surface operations;

(q) “Minister” means the Minister determined under section 16 of the Government Organization Act as the Minister responsible for this Act;

(r) “notification” means a notification in the prescribed form; (s) “oil sands” means

(i) sands and other rock materials containing crude bitumen,

(ii) the crude bitumen contained in those sands and other rock materials, and

(iii) any other mineral substances, other than natural gas, in association with that crude bitumen or the sands and other rock materials referred to in subclauses (i) and (ii), and includes a hydrocarbon substance declared to be oil sands under section 7(2) of the Oil Sands Conservation Act;

(t) “owner” when used in connection with a mineral claim means the holder according to the records of the Department of a certificate of record;

(u) “quarry” means a pit or excavation in the ground for the purpose of removing, opening up or proving any mineral other than coal or oil sands, and includes works and machinery belonging to or used in connection with the quarry;

(v) “record” means a record as defined in the Financial Administration Act;

(w) “registered” means

(i) registered under Division 1 of Part 6, in relation to a transfer, or

(ii) registered under Division 2 of Part 6, in relation to a security notice or any other document registrable under that Division;

(x) “Registrar” means the Registrar within the meaning of the Land Titles Act;

(y) “royalty compensation” means money payable to the Crown in right of Alberta as compensation pursuant to regulations made under section 36(2)(i);

(y.1) “sequestration” means permanent disposal;

(z) “storage rights” means the right to inject fluid mineral substances into a subsurface reservoir for the purpose of storage;

(aa) “subsurface cavern” means a subsurface space created as a result of operations for the recovery of a mineral;

(bb) “subsurface reservoir” means the pore space within an underground formation or a subsurface cavern;

(cc) “transfer”, in relation to an agreement, means

(i) a transfer of the agreement, a part of the location of the agreement or a specified undivided interest in the agreement made by the lessee of the agreement or the interest, as the case may be,

(ii) a transfer of the agreement or a specified undivided interest in the agreement made by the Minister pursuant to section 23(3), or

(iii) a transfer of the agreement, a part of the location of the agreement or a specified undivided interest in the agreement made by the Minister pursuant to a judgment or order of a court;

(dd) “Transfer Agreement” means the agreement in the Schedule to The Alberta Natural Resources Act, SA 1930 c21, and all amendments to that agreement;

(ee) “unit agreement” means an agreement entered into by the Minister under section 102(1);

(ff) “unit operation order” means an order under the Turner Valley Unit Operations Act;

(gg) “well” means a well within the meaning of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act.

[…]

Definitions

106

In this Part,

(a) “approved exploration program” means a program of exploration under a preliminary plan for the program approved under the regulations;

(b) “exploration” means,

(i) in relation to petroleum and natural gas or subsurface reservoirs,

(A) any operations on or over land or water to determine geologic conditions underlying the surface of land or water, and

(B) any operations that are preparatory to or otherwise connected with the operations described in paragraph (A) that, in the opinion of the Minister, have the potential to cause surface disturbance,

and

(ii) in relation to minerals other than petroleum and natural gas,

(A) any investigation, work or act to determine the presence of a mineral that, in the opinion of the Minister, results in a disturbance of the surface of land, and

(B) any operations that are preparatory to or otherwise connected with the operations described in paragraph (A) that, in the opinion of the Minister, have the potential to cause surface disturbance,

but does not include operations exempted from this Part by the Minister under section 109(2);

(c) “exploration approval” means an approval under the regulations of a preliminary plan for a program of exploration;

(d) “exploration equipment” means any equipment used or employed in exploration, but does not include any type of equipment exempted from this Part by the Minister;

(e) “exploration licence” or “licence” means a licence to conduct exploration issued pursuant to the regulations;

(f) “exploration permit” or “permit” means a permit to operate exploration equipment issued pursuant to the regulations;

(g) “licensee” means the holder of an exploration licence;

(h) “permittee” means the holder of an exploration permit;

(i) “private land” means land that is owned by a person other than

(i) the Crown, or

(ii) an agent of the Crown;

(j) “unique identification number” means

(i) in relation to exploration equipment owned or leased by a licensee or a permittee, the licence number of that licensee or the permit number of that permittee, as the case may be,

(ii) in relation to exploration equipment under contract to a permittee or otherwise being operated under the authority of a permittee’s permit, the permit number of that permittee, or

(iii) an identification number assigned to the owner of exploration equipment in accordance with the regulations.

[…]

Definitions

114

In this Part,

(a) “Board” means the Energy Resources Conservation Board;

(b) “facility” means any building, structure, installation, equipment or appurtenance over which the Board has jurisdiction and that is connected to or associated with the injection or sequestration of captured carbon dioxide pursuant to an agreement under this Part;

(c) “Fund” means the Post-closure Stewardship Fund established under section 122;

(d) “orphan facility” means a well, facility, facility site or well site designated by the Board under section 123 as an orphan well, facility, facility site or well site for the purposes of this Part.

Composition of CO2 stream

Summary

Captured CO2 is defined in section 1 of the Alberta M&M Act as “a fluid substance consisting mainly of carbon dioxide captured from an emissions source.” This definition should accommodate CO2 streams comprising incidental or ancillary substances in addition to CO2.

Section 5 also empowers the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations addressing the measurement, calculation or estimation of the quantity, quality and composition of captured CO2.

Article/Section No.

Section 1(1)
Section 5(1)

Instrument Text

Interpretation
1
(1) In this Act,
[…]
(a.1) “captured carbon dioxide” means a fluid substance consisting mainly of carbon dioxide captured from an emissions source.
[…]
Regulations
5
(1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations:

(l.2) respecting the measurement, calculation or estimation of the quantity, quality or composition of minerals, of products obtained by processing minerals or by reprocessing such products, or of captured carbon dioxide, including, without limitation, regulations
(i) requiring or authorizing measurement, calculation or estimation,
(ii) respecting the purposes for which measurements obtained or calculations or estimates made pursuant to regulations made under this clause are to be used, notwithstanding the provisions of any other enactment,
(iii) respecting the persons required to undertake measurement, calculation or estimation and the responsibilities of those persons in respect of measurement, calculation or estimation,
(iv) governing the kinds and specifications of tools, equipment and materials that may be used for measurement, and the standards and other requirements respecting the installation, operation and maintenance of those tools, equipment and materials,
(v) governing the methods to be used for measurement, calculation or estimation and the standard conditions to which those measurements, calculations or estimates are to be converted, and
(vi) governing methods and procedures for conducting sampling, analyses, tests, verification and monitoring in relation to measurement, calculation or estimation.

Geographical coverage, exclusions and prohibitions

Summary

Section 17 of the Alberta M&M Act empowers the Minister to:
1. restrict the issuance of agreements granting rights to pore space; and
2. withdraw pore space from disposition, meaning that no person has the right to be granted rights to the pore space for the period of the withdrawal.

Article/Section No.

Section 17

Instrument Text

Restrictions on disposition
17
(1) The Minister may, in respect of any specified area and in any manner that the Minister considers warranted,
(a) restrict the issuance of agreements granting rights to minerals or pore space;
(b) withdraw any or all minerals or pore space from disposition.
(2) During the period that a mineral or pore space is withdrawn from disposition pursuant to subsection (1)(b), no person has the right to acquire an agreement granting rights to that mineral or pore space in all or any part of the area specified.

II. The scope and management of rights
Property rights

Summary

Section 15.1(1)(b) of the Alberta M&M Act declares that the pore space below the surface of all land in Alberta belongs to the Government of Alberta. This remains the case regardless of whether rights are granted in respect of the subsurface reservoir or minerals therein, or minerals or water are produced, recovered or extracted from the reservoir.

Section 15.1(3) then empowers the Minister to enter into agreements for the use of pore space.

Section 15.1(5) states that no person has a right of action or shall commence or maintain proceedings as a result of enactment of the section.

Section 57 provides that owners of petroleum and natural gas titles in land will also own the storage rights (as defined in section 1) with respect to every underground formation within that land. This amounts to a right to inject “fluid mineral substances” into the “subsurface reservoirs” within the relevant land (each term as defined again in section 1), for storage purposes.

Article/Section No.

Sections 15.1
Section 57

Instrument Text

Pore space
15.1
(1) It is hereby declared that
(a) no grant from the Crown of any land in Alberta, or mines or minerals in any land in Alberta, has operated or will operate as a conveyance of the title to the pore space contained in, occupied by or formerly occupied by minerals or water below the surface of that land,
(b) the pore space below the surface of all land in Alberta is vested in and is the property of the Crown in right of Alberta and remains the property of the Crown in right of Alberta whether or not
(i) this Act, or an agreement issued under this Act, grants rights in respect of the subsurface reservoir or in respect of minerals occupying the subsurface reservoir, or
(ii) minerals or water is produced, recovered or extracted from the subsurface reservoir, and
(c) the exception of pore space under this section is deemed to be an exception contained in the original grant from the Crown for the purposes of section 61(1) of the Land Titles Act.
(2) Subsection (1) does not operate to affect the title to land that, on the date on which this section comes into force, belongs to the Crown in right of Canada.
(3) The Minister may enter into agreements with respect to the use of pore space.
(4) It is deemed for all purposes, including for the purposes of the Expropriation Act, that no expropriation occurs as a result of the enactment of this section.
(5) No person has a right of action and no person shall commence or maintain proceedings
(a) to claim damages or compensation of any kind, including, without limitation, damages or compensation for injurious affection, from the Crown, or
(b) to obtain a declaration that the damages or compensation referred to in clause (a) is payable by the Crown, as a result of the enactment of this section.
[…]
Ownership of storage rights, etc. 57
(1) Subject to subsection (2),
(a) where a person owns the title to petroleum and natural gas in any land, that person is the owner of the storage rights with respect to every underground formation within that land, and
(b) where one person owns the title to petroleum in any land and another person owns the title to natural gas in the same land, those persons are co-owners of the storage rights with respect to every underground formation within that land.
(2) Where a person owns the title to a mineral in any land and operations for the recovery of the mineral result or have resulted in the creation of a subsurface cavern in that land, that person is the owner of the storage rights with respect to that subsurface cavern to the extent that it lies within that land.
(3) A person who has storage rights in respect of a subsurface cavern within any land has the right to recover any fluid mineral substance stored in that cavern, to the exclusion of any other person having the right to recover a mineral from the same land.
(4) In subsections (1) to (3), “person” includes the Crown in right of Alberta.
(5) Where the Crown in right of Alberta owns storage rights in respect of a subsurface reservoir pursuant to subsection (1) or (2), no person has, as against the Crown, any storage rights in respect of that reservoir except under
(a) a unit agreement to which the Crown is a party,
(b) a contract entered into under section 9(a), or
(c) an agreement issued with the authorization of the Lieutenant Governor in Council,
that expressly conveys storage rights in respect of that reservoir.

Competition with other Interests

Summary

Sections 58 of the Alberta M&M Act provides that a person with:
1. the right to any mineral or the right to work it;
2. storage rights in respect of a subsurface reservoir (where “storage rights” are defined in section 1(1) as the right to inject fluid mineral substances into a subsurface reservoir for the purpose of sequestration); or
3. an agreement with the Minister under Part 9 (i.e. granting the right to drill evaluation wells or inject captured CO2 for sequestration);
may work through the pore space and any other mineral in the same tract to the extent necessary to obtain the mineral or exercise the rights, without permission from or compensation to any other person. This right is subject to the terms of the Act and other relevant laws.

Section 59 sets out equivalent rights to work through pore space and minerals outside the relevant tract, in certain circumstances.

Article/Section No.

Section 58
Section 59

Instrument Text

Right to work through the pore space and other minerals
58
(1) Any person who has the right to any mineral or the right to work it may work through the pore space and any other mineral in the same tract to the extent necessary to obtain the person’s mineral, without permission from or compensation to any other person for the right to work through the pore space or the other mineral, subject, however, to this Act and the provisions of any other Act affecting the exercise of that right.
(2) Any person who has storage rights in respect of a subsurface reservoir may work through the pore space and any mineral in the same tract to which the storage rights relate to the extent necessary to exercise those storage rights, without permission from or compensation to any other person for the right to work through the pore space or that mineral, subject, however, to this Act and the provisions of any other Act affecting the exercise of that right.
(3) A person who has entered into an agreement with the Minister under Part 9 may work through the pore space and any mineral in the same tract to which the agreement relates to the extent necessary to exercise the rights granted in that agreement, without permission from or compensation to any other person for the right to work through the pore space or that mineral, subject, however, to this Act and the provisions of any other Act affecting the exercise of that right.

Right to work through the pore space and minerals outside tract
59
(1) Any person who has the right to any mineral or the right to work it in a tract and who has obtained a licence under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act to drill a well for the recovery of the mineral may, if the orifice of the well is located outside the tract, work through the pore space and all minerals outside the tract to the extent necessary to obtain the person’s mineral for the recovery of which the licence was granted, without permission from or compensation to any other person for the right to work through the pore space or the minerals outside the tract, subject, however, to this Act and the provisions of any other Act affecting the exercise of that right.
(2) A person who has storage rights in respect of a subsurface reservoir and who has obtained a licence under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act to drill a well completed or to be completed in that reservoir may, if the orifice of the well is located outside the tract to which the storage rights extend, work through the pore space and all minerals outside the tract to the extent necessary to drill, complete and operate the well, without permission from or compensation to any other person for the right to work through the pore space or the minerals outside the tract, subject, however, to this Act and the provisions of any other Act affecting the exercise of that right.

III. Permitting storage site exploration, project development and CO2 injection
Permitting exploration activities

Summary

Part 8 of the Alberta M&M Act deals generally with geophysical exploration (i.e. for subsurface reservoirs, petroleum, natural gas and other minerals).

Section 107 prohibits exploration or operating exploration equipment without an exploration licence or permit respectively, and requires exploration to be conducted in accordance with an approved exploration program.

Sections 108 to 110 establish a number of powers in favour of the Minister or Lieutenant Governor in Council, including the power to make regulations respecting applications for and issuance of exploration approvals, licences and permits.

Section 5(1) further enables the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations respecting exploration for subsurface reservoirs.

If the holder of an exploration licence or permit breaches the Alberta M&M Act, any regulations under the Act or the conditions of the relevant exploration licence or permit, the Minister may:
1. order a cease of operations for a specified period subject to any specified conditions (section 108.4);
2. suspend or cancel the licence or permit (section 110); or
3. prescribe another penalty in accordance with the regulations made under the Act.

Section 115 addresses rights to drill evaluation wells for CO2 sequestration purposes, and entitles the Minister to enter into agreements granting the right to evaluate a subsurface reservoir to determine its suitability for CO2 sequestration.

Section 124 enables the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations respecting requirements to conduct risk assessments before being granted rights to drill exploration wells.

Article/Section No.

Section 5(1)
Section 106
Section 107
Section 108
Section 109
Section 110
Section 111
Section 112
Section 113
Section 115
Section 124

Instrument Text

Regulations
5(1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) respecting
[…]
(iv) exploration for subsurface reservoirs.
[…]
Part 8 Exploration
Definitions
106
In this Part,
(a) “approved exploration program” means a program of exploration under a preliminary plan for the program approved under the regulations;
(b) “exploration” means,
(i) in relation to petroleum and natural gas or subsurface reservoirs,
(A) any operations on or over land or water to determine geologic conditions underlying the surface of land or water, and
(B) any operations that are preparatory to or otherwise connected with the operations described in paragraph (A) that, in the opinion of the Minister, have the potential to cause surface disturbance,
and
(ii) in relation to minerals other than petroleum and natural gas,
(A) any investigation, work or act to determine the presence of a mineral that, in the opinion of the Minister, results in a disturbance of the surface of land, and
(B) any operations that are preparatory to or otherwise connected with the operations described in paragraph (A) that, in the opinion of the Minister, have the potential to cause surface disturbance,
but does not include operations exempted from this Part by the Minister under section 109(2);
(c) “exploration approval” means an approval under the regulations of a preliminary plan for a program of exploration;
(d) “exploration equipment” means any equipment used or employed in exploration, but does not include any type of equipment exempted from this Part by the Minister;
(e) “exploration licence” or “licence” means a licence to conduct exploration issued pursuant to the regulations;
(f) “exploration permit” or “permit” means a permit to operate exploration equipment issued pursuant to the regulations;
(g) “licensee” means the holder of an exploration licence;
(h) “permittee” means the holder of an exploration permit;
(i) “private land” means land that is owned by a person other than
(i) the Crown, or
(ii) an agent of the Crown;
(j) “unique identification number” means
(i) in relation to exploration equipment owned or leased by a licensee or a permittee, the licence number of that licensee or the permit number of that permittee, as the case may be,
(ii) in relation to exploration equipment under contract to a permittee or otherwise being operated under the authority of a permittee’s permit, the permit number of that permittee, or
(iii) an identification number assigned to the owner of exploration equipment in accordance with the regulations.

Prohibitions
107
(1) No person shall conduct exploration in Alberta unless
(a) that person is the holder of a subsisting exploration licence that is not under suspension or is a person who is authorized by the holder to conduct exploration on the holder’s behalf,
(b) the exploration is conducted under the licence referred to in clause (a), and
(c) subject to section 109(3), the exploration is conducted in accordance with an approved exploration program.

(2) No person shall operate exploration equipment in Alberta unless
(a) that person is the holder of a subsisting exploration permit that is not under suspension or is a person who is authorized by the holder to operate exploration equipment under the holder’s permit,
(b) the exploration equipment is operated under the permit referred to in clause (a), and
(c) a unique identification number is displayed on the exploration equipment in accordance with the regulations.

Regulations
108
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) respecting the circumstances and conditions under which, the methods by which, the manner in which and the areas of Alberta in which exploration may be conducted;
(b) respecting the circumstances and conditions under which, the methods by which, the manner in which and the areas of Alberta in which exploration equipment may be operated;
(b.1) respecting the research, testing, authorization or approval for use in the conduct of exploration or of approved exploration programs of products described, referred to or defined in the regulations;
(c) respecting applications for and the issuing of exploration approvals, exploration licences and exploration permits;
(d) prescribing the fees payable in respect of applications for, or for the issuing of, exploration approvals, exploration licences or exploration permits;
(d.1) governing the assignment and use of unique identification numbers in respect of exploration equipment for the purposes of section 107(2)(c);
(e) respecting the furnishing of deposits, bonds or other forms of security to the Government by applicants for exploration approvals, exploration licences or exploration permits or by licensees or permittees, and providing for
(i) the amounts of the deposits, bonds or other security, or the fixing of those amounts by the Minister,
(ii) the circumstances under which the deposits, bonds or security become payable or forfeited,
(iii) the purposes for which the deposits, bond proceeds or security so paid or forfeited may be expended by the Government,
(iv) the circumstances under which the deposits, bonds, bond proceeds or security may be returned or refunded, or
(v) any other matter relating to the deposits, bonds or other security;
(f) establishing systems and procedures for the submission, referral, evaluation and review of applications for exploration approvals;
(g) respecting the filing of reports, plans, maps, surveys and other documents and materials associated with the conduct of exploration with a person authorized by the Minister to receive them;
(g.1) respecting the submission for examination of rock samples, drill cuttings, core samples, logs or the data obtained as a result of the conduct of exploration to a person authorized by the Minister to receive them;
(h) prescribing the nature of the content of the reports, plans or maps and the condition of samples, cuttings, logs or other data referred to in clauses (g) and (g.1);
(i) authorizing the Minister to examine rock samples, drill cuttings and core samples at a drill site and to select and take all or any part of those rock samples, drill cuttings or core samples for storage or further evaluation at a place designated by the Minister;
(j) respecting the retention, confidentiality, release, disposition and publication of
(i) information contained in applications, approvals, authorizations, reports, plans, maps, surveys and other documents and materials associated with the conduct of exploration, and
(ii) rock samples, drill cuttings, core samples and logs or the data obtained as a result of the conduct of exploration;
(k) respecting remedial measures to be taken in relation to property damaged or destroyed in the course of exploration;
(k.1) respecting the powers and duties of a person conducting an investigation or inspection under section 108.3 and the responsibilities of licensees, permittees and other persons in respect of such investigations and inspections;
(l) repealed 2003 c28 s6;
(m) prescribing, for the purposes of section 112, maximum penalties in respect of the contravention of this Part or the regulations or a failure of compliance with a condition of an exploration approval, licence or permit;
(n) authorizing a permittee to enter on a public highway or road for the purpose of operating exploration equipment, if the highway or road is located in an incorporated municipality or special area and is closed pursuant to any Act, whether or not it is also leased, and prescribing the conditions on which the entry may be made.

Adoption of codes
108.1
(1) The Minister may prescribe rules, directives, codes, standards and guidelines in respect of the conduct of exploration and matters related to the conduct of exploration.
(2) A regulation under section 108 may adopt or incorporate in whole or part or with modifications
(a) a rule, directive, code, standard or guideline prescribed by the Minister under subsection (1), or
(b) a rule, code, standard or guideline in respect of the conduct of exploration or matters related to the conduct of exploration that is published by the Government of Alberta or another jurisdiction, a board or agency of such a government or a person or association.
(3) Where a rule, directive, code, standard or guideline is adopted or incorporated under subsection (2), the Minister shall ensure that a copy of the rule, directive, code, standard or guideline is made available to a person on request.

Minister’s directions
108.2
(1) The Minister may by notice in writing give directions to a licensee or permittee in respect of exploration operations or the operation of exploration equipment in order to effect the purposes of this Part.
(2) A person who receives a direction under subsection (1) shall comply with it.

Investigations and inspection
108.3
(1) The Minister or a person designated by the Minister for the purpose may conduct an investigation or inspection in relation to a program of exploration on any land in Alberta, including private land.
(2) A person conducting an investigation or inspection may enter and have access to any land on which exploration is being or has been conducted, and the licensee or permittee, any person performing any operation or function under the authority of a licence or permit and the person in possession or occupation of the land shall
(a) give whatever assistance is requested by the person conducting the investigation or inspection, and
(b) supply any information that is requested by the person conducting the investigation or inspection and is relevant to the investigation or inspection.
(3) A person who contravenes subsection (2) is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not more than $100 000.

Stop order
108.4
(1) Where the Minister determines that a licensee or permittee or any person performing any operation or function under the authority of a licence or permit
(a) contravenes this Part or the regulations, or
(b) fails to comply with any conditions of an exploration approval, licence or permit,
the Minister may by an order in writing given to the licensee, permittee or person order the licensee, permittee or person to cease operations under the licence or permit for the length of time and subject to the terms and conditions referred to in the order.
(2) A licensee, permittee or other person to whom an order under subsection (1) is given shall comply with it.

Powers of Minister
109
(1) The Minister may refuse to grant an exploration approval or to issue an exploration licence or exploration permit
(a) where the applicant is indebted to the Crown, or
(b) where the Minister considers that for any other reason it would be appropriate to refuse to grant the exploration approval or issue the exploration licence or exploration permit.
(1.1) The Minister may make an exploration approval, exploration licence or exploration permit subject to any conditions the Minister prescribes.
(2) The Minister may exempt from this Part any kind of operations and any equipment used or employed in exploration.
(3) The Minister may exempt a person who proposes to conduct exploration from the requirement of section 107(1)(c).
(4) The Minister may make an exemption under subsection (2) or (3) subject to any terms and conditions that the Minister considers necessary in order to ensure that the purposes of this Part are met.
(5) A person to whom an exemption is granted under subsection (2) or (3) shall ensure that all applicable terms and conditions to which the exemption is subject are complied with.

Cancellation of licence or permit
110
(1) The Minister may cancel an exploration licence or an exploration permit if the licensee or permittee, as the case may be, or any person performing any operation or function under the authority of a licence or permit,
(a) contravenes this Part or the regulations, or
(b) fails to comply with any condition of an exploration approval, licence or permit.
(1.1), (1.2) Repealed 2002 c4 s3.
(2) The Minister may cancel a licence or permit
(a) if the licence or permit was issued in error, or
(b) if the licensee or permittee, as the case may be, requests the cancellation.
(2.1) The Minister may cancel or suspend a licence or permit if the licensee or permittee is indebted to the Crown.
(2.2) Where the Minister suspends a licence or permit under subsection (2.1), the Minister may exercise the same powers that the Minister has under subsections (3) and (4).
(3) If a permittee or any person authorized by a permittee to operate exploration equipment contravenes this Part or a regulation under this Part, or fails to comply with a condition of an exploration approval, the Minister may, with or without conditions and either indefinitely or for a specified period, suspend the permittee’s permit
(a) generally with respect to all programs of exploration being conducted under the authority of the permit or with respect to one or more specified programs, or
(b) with respect to all or specified exploration equipment being operated under the authority of the permit.
(4) If a licensee or any person performing an operation or function under the authority of the licensee’s licence contravenes this Part or a regulation under this Part or fails to comply with a condition of an exploration approval, the Minister may, with or without conditions and either indefinitely or for a specified period, suspend the licensee’s licence generally with respect to all programs of exploration being conducted under the authority of the licence or with respect to one or more specified programs.
(5) The Minister may, with or without conditions and either indefinitely or for a specified period, suspend a licence if no exploration has been conducted under the licence for a period of 2 years or more.
(6) The Minister may reinstate a licence or permit that was cancelled or suspended under this section, subject to any conditions the Minister considers appropriate.

Effect of withdrawal
111
(1) When a licensee
(a) withdraws from Alberta and discontinues carrying on business in Alberta, or
(b) being a corporation
(i) is struck off the register of companies under the Companies Act or is wound up or dissolved, or
(ii) has its registration cancelled or is dissolved or liquidated and dissolved under the Business Corporations Act,
all reports, plans, maps, surveys, logs and other data filed with or surrendered to the Department pursuant to the regulations become the property of the Crown in right of Alberta and may be made available to the public by the Minister after the expiration of one year of the termination or cancellation of the licence.
(2) The right of the Minister to refuse to disclose a report, plan, map, survey, log or other data referred to in subsection (1) until the expiration of the one-year period referred to in that subsection prevails despite the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Protection from prosecution
111.1
A person who pays an administrative penalty under section 112 in respect of a contravention may not be charged under this Act with an offence in respect of that contravention.

Penalties
112
(1) If a person
(a) contravenes this Part or the regulations, or
(b) fails to comply with any condition of an exploration approval, licence or permit,
the Minister may order that person to pay to the Crown a penalty not exceeding the maximum penalty prescribed by the regulations in relation to that contravention or failure to comply.
(2) When the contravention or failure to comply is of a continuing nature, the penalty ordered to be paid under subsection (1) may, subject to the regulations, be a penalty payable for each day on which the contravention or failure to comply occurs.
(3) When the Minister orders a person to pay a penalty under subsection (1), the Minister shall serve on that person personally or by registered mail a notice demanding payment of the amount of the penalty and stating the grounds on which the penalty was ordered.
(4) A person who has been served with a notice pursuant to subsection (3) shall pay to the Minister the amount of the penalty within 30 days from the date of the service of the notice on the person.
(5) If a person fails to pay a penalty in accordance with subsection (4), the Minister may recover the penalty by an action in debt and in the action the court shall
(a) determine whether the person is liable to a penalty under subsection (1),
(b) if it is determined that the person is liable to a penalty, confirm or vary the amount of the penalty ordered by the Minister, and
(c) give judgment for the amount of the penalty so confirmed or varied.

Transitional
113
(1) A licence issued under this Part before August 1, 1978 is deemed to be an exploration licence.
(2) A permit to operate geophysical equipment issued under the regulations before August 1, 1978 is deemed to be an exploration permit.

Rights to drill evaluation wells
115
(1) Notwithstanding section 57, the Minister may enter into an agreement with a person that grants that person the right to evaluate the geological or geophysical properties of a subsurface reservoir in a location to determine its suitability for use for the sequestration of captured carbon dioxide.
(2) The lessee of an agreement referred to in subsection (1) shall obtain a well licence and approval of the Board under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act prior to drilling or using a well for the purposes of this section.
(3) A lessee of an agreement under this section shall in accordance with the regulations
(a) submit a monitoring, measurement and verification plan for approval;
(b) comply with the monitoring, measurement and verification plan that has been approved;
(c) provide reports with respect to the lessee’s compliance with the monitoring, measurement and verification plan;
(d) fulfil the work requirements with respect to the location of the agreement.
[…]
Regulations
124 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) respecting requirements for applicants for agreements under this Part to conduct risk assessments before being granted an agreement;
[…]

Permitting CO2 injection and storage

Summary

Section 116 of the Alberta M&M Act enables the Minister to enter into agreements granting the right to inject captured CO2 into a subsurface reservoir for the purpose of sequestration.

Section 116(3) sets out a number of requirements for lessees under such agreements, including requirements to:
1. submit a monitoring, measurement and verification plan for approval, comply with the plan once approved, and provide reports with respect to such compliance;
2. submit a closure plan for approval, and comply with the plan once approved; and
3. make payments into the Post-Closure Stewardship Fund established under section 122, in accordance with the regulations.

Section 117 sets out a prohibition on injecting captured CO2 into a subsurface reservoir under an agreement unless injection is conducted in accordance with the agreement and other relevant laws.

Section 54 sets out a general prohibition on injection without authorisation, while section 116(2) requires lessees to obtain a well licence and approval of the Energy Resources Conservation Board prior to drilling or using a well.

Sections 5 and 124 of the Act enable the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations respecting:
1. development and operation of injection wells and facilities;
2. risk assessment requirements; and
3. injection of captured CO2.

 

 

Article/Section No.

Section 5
Section 54
Section 116
Section 117
Section 124

Instrument Text

Regulations
5(1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) respecting
[…]
(v) development and operation of injection wells and facilities and any other matters incidental to the use of subsurface reservoirs.
[…]
Prohibition
54
(1) No person shall
(a) win, work or recover a mineral, or
(b) inject any substance into a subsurface reservoir
that is the property of the Crown in right of Alberta unless the person is authorized to do so under this Act or by an agreement.
[…]
(2.1) The Minister may, if the Minister has grounds to believe that a person has contravened subsection (1)(b), order that any installations and equipment used in connection with injecting a substance into a subsurface reservoir are forfeited to the Crown in
right of Alberta free and clear of all interests, charges and liens.
(3) An order made under subsection (2) or (2.1) may direct a person to seize, remove and sell any mineral, installations and equipment so forfeited in the manner and subject to the terms and conditions in the order.
(4) The Minister may order any mineral and any installations and equipment seized pursuant to this section to be returned to the person in whose possession they were at the time of seizure.
(5) The Minister may authorize in writing the conducting of operations in respect of a mineral or subsurface reservoir that is the property of the Crown in right of Alberta and that is not the subject of an agreement issued under this Act where the Minister is of the opinion that the operations are desirable in respect of the exploration for or the development, processing or recovery of minerals or the sequestration of captured carbon dioxide.
[…]

Rights to inject captured carbon dioxide for sequestration
116
(1) Notwithstanding section 57, the Minister may enter into an agreement with a person that grants that person the right to inject captured carbon dioxide into a subsurface reservoir for sequestration.
(2) The lessee of an agreement referred to in subsection (1) shall obtain a well licence and approval of the Board under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act prior to drilling or using a well for the purposes of this section.
(3) A lessee of an agreement under this section shall in accordance with the regulations
(a) submit a monitoring, measurement and verification plan for approval;
(b) comply with a monitoring, measurement and verification plan that has been approved;
(c) provide reports with respect to the lessee’s compliance with the monitoring, measurement and verification plan;
(d) fulfil the work requirements with respect to the location of the agreement;
(e) submit a closure plan for approval;
(f) comply with a closure plan that has been approved;
(g) pay fees into the Fund.

Prohibition
117
No person may inject captured carbon dioxide into a subsurface reservoir pursuant to an agreement under this Part unless the injection is conducted in accordance with that agreement, the regulations and the Oil and Gas Conservation Act.
[…]
Regulations
124 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) respecting requirements for applicants for agreements under this Part to conduct risk assessments before being granted an agreement;
[…]
(d) respecting the injection of captured carbon dioxide;

IV. Operating and closing storage facilities
Monitoring, reporting and verification

Summary

Section 116(3) of the Alberta M&M Act requires lessees under CO2 injection and sequestration agreements to, in accordance with the regulations:
1. submit a monitoring, measurement and verification plan for approval;
2. comply with the approved plan; and
3. provide reports with respect to such compliance.

Lessees are also required under section 119 to monitor all wells and facilities on cessation of injection, in accordance with applicable regulations.

Section 124 of the Act empowers the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations respecting monitoring, measurement and verification plans, reporting requirements and monitoring to be conducted before and after issuance of a closure certificate.

Article/Section No.

Section 116
Section 119
Section 124

Instrument Text

Rights to inject captured carbon dioxide for sequestration
116
(1) Notwithstanding section 57, the Minister may enter into an agreement with a person that grants that person the right to inject captured carbon dioxide into a subsurface reservoir for sequestration.
[…]
(3) A lessee of an agreement under this section shall in accordance with the regulations
(a) submit a monitoring, measurement and verification plan for approval;
(b) comply with a monitoring, measurement and verification plan that has been approved;
(c) provide reports with respect to the lessee’s compliance with the monitoring, measurement and verification plan;
[…]


Duties on cessation of injection
119
The lessee of an agreement under this Part shall monitor all wells and facilities and perform all closure activities in accordance with the regulations.
[…]
Regulations
124 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
[…]
(b) respecting closure plans and monitoring, measurement and verification plans, including regulations respecting
(i) the form and contents of plans,
(ii) the submission and approval of plans,
(iii) the amendment of plans, and
(iv) the reporting requirements contained in a plan; […]
(f) respecting the monitoring of wells and facilities that must be conducted before and after a closure certificate is issued;
[…]

Inspections

Summary

Section 52 of the Alberta M&M Act entitles the Minister, or a person designated by the Minister, to investigate or inspect any well, installation, equipment or other facility used or formerly used in connection with the injection of a substance into a subsurface reservoir for sequestration.

Section 52(3) provides for entry and access to relevant sites, and sets out requirements for lessees, operators and other parties to render assistance, supply information and samples, and provide access to any reports, plans, logs and other information.

Separate provisions for inspections and investigations in relation to exploration activities are provided under section 108.3.

Article/Section No.

Section 52
Section 108.3

Instrument Text

Investigation and inspection
52
(1) The Minister or a person designated by the Minister for the purpose may, from time to time or on a periodic basis, conduct an investigation or inspection in relation to any of the following:
[…]
(b) any well, installation, equipment or other facility used or formerly used for or in connection with the injection of a substance into a subsurface reservoir for the purpose of storage or sequestration.
[…]
(2) An investigation or inspection under this section may, without limitation, be conducted whether or not any mineral or product referred to in subsection (1) is or was commingled with any mineral recovered other than pursuant to an agreement or with any product obtained from such a mineral.
(3) A person conducting an investigation or inspection may enter into and have access to the site of the well, battery, mine, quarry, installation, equipment, plant or other facility to which the investigation or inspection relates, and the lessee or other person in charge of it, and any person performing any operation or function in relation to it, shall
(a) render whatever assistance is requested by the person conducting the investigation or inspection,
(b) supply any information and samples requested by the person conducting the investigation or inspection, and
(c) provide access to any reports, plans, logs, data, designs, process control and engineering documents or other records requested by the person conducting the investigation or inspection,
if it is, in the opinion of the person conducting the investigation or inspection, relevant to the investigation or inspection.
[…]
Investigations and inspection
108.3
(1) The Minister or a person designated by the Minister for the purpose may conduct an investigation or inspection in relation to a program of exploration on any land in Alberta, including private land.
(2) A person conducting an investigation or inspection may enter and have access to any land on which exploration is being or has been conducted, and the licensee or permittee, any person performing any operation or function under the authority of a licence or permit and the person in possession or occupation of the land shall
(a) give whatever assistance is requested by the person conducting the investigation or inspection, and
(b) supply any information that is requested by the person conducting the investigation or inspection and is relevant to the investigation or inspection.
(3) A person who contravenes subsection (2) is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not more than $100 000.

Corrective and remedial measures

Summary

The Alberta M&M Act does not impose any specific requirement to undertake corrective and remedial measure requirements as part of CO2 sequestration activities.

However, section 124 of the Act empowers the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations respecting remedial actions that a lessee must undertake, including:
1. circumstances under which a remedial action plan must be prepared and submitted;
2. the form, contents, submission, approval and amendment of plans; and
3. reporting requirements.

Section 60, which is set out in the general provisions of the Act, provides that if the Minister has reason to believe that operations are exposing others to the risk of damage or loss, the Minister can authorise any person to enter and remain at the relevant site for the purposes of:
1. remedying existing defaults;
2. enforcing compliance with any safety provisions required to eliminate the risk of damage or loss; and
3. charge and collect from the lessee any expenses incurred.

Article/Section No.

Section 60
Section 124

Instrument Text

Right to enter to remedy defaults
60
(1) If the Minister has reason to believe that operations on any location are being conducted in such a manner as to expose others to the risk of damage or loss, the Minister may authorize any person to enter the mine, quarry, works, plant, buildings and structures on the location and to remain for any period or periods that the Minister considers necessary, for the purpose of enforcing compliance with any safety provisions required to eliminate the risk of damage or loss and remedying existing defaults.
(2) The Minister may charge and collect from the lessee the expenses incurred in connection with the supervision authorized by the Minister under subsection (1).
[…]
Regulations
124 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
[…]
(e) respecting remedial actions that a lessee shall undertake, including regulations respecting
(i) the circumstances under which a remedial action plan must be prepared and submitted,
(ii) the form and contents of a plan,
(iii) the submission and approval of a plan,
(iv) the amendment of a plan, and
(v) the reporting requirements contained in a plan;
[…]

Financial security

Summary

Section 5(1)(g.1) of the Alberta M&M Act empowers the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations regarding the type and amount of insurance that must be held by the lessee of an agreement under Part 9 (i.e. agreements granting the right to drill evaluation wells or inject captured CO2 for sequestration). 

Article/Section No.

Section 5(1)(g.1)

Instrument Text

Regulations
5
(1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
[…]
(g.1) respecting the type and amount of insurance that must be carried by the lessee of an agreement under Part 9.

Enforcement

Summary

Section 63 of the Alberta M&M Act provides that a person who contravenes sections 107 (which prohibits exploration or operation of exploration equipment without an exploration licence or permit) or section 117 (which prohibits injection of CO2 except in certain specified circumstances) is guilty of an offence, and can be subject to a fine of up to CAD$100 000.

Subject to certain exceptions:
1. employers will be liable under the Alberta M&M Act for any offence committed by an employee; and
2. any authorising or acquiescing officer, director or agent of a corporation will be liable for any offence committed by the corporation (see section 63.1).

If a person injects CO2 into a subsurface reservoir that is government property, the Minister has the power under section 54 to order that the injection installation and associated equipment be forfeited, seized and sold.

Where operations are creating a risk of damage or loss, the Minister can authorise any person under section 60 to enter and remain at the relevant site, including any buildings and facilities located at the site, for the purposes of:
1. enforcing compliance with any safety provisions required to eliminate such risks; and
2. remedying existing defaults.

Provision by a party of data, information or statements known to be false or misleading, or that misrepresents or fails to disclose a material fact, is an offence under section 63 and subject to a fine.

Section 124 empowers the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations regarding offences, and the Act also includes specific penalty provisions as part of dedicated new exploration and injection provisions.

Article/Section No.

Section 54
Section 60
Section 63
Section 63.1
Section 112
Section 124

Instrument Text

Prohibition
54
(1) No person shall
(a) win, work or recover a mineral, or
(b) inject any substance into a subsurface reservoir
that is the property of the Crown in right of Alberta unless the person is authorized to do so under this Act or by an agreement.
(2) The Minister, if the Minister has grounds to believe that a person has contravened subsection (1)(a), may order that the mineral and any installations and equipment used in connection with winning, working or recovering the mineral are forfeited to the Crown in right of Alberta free and clear of all interests, charges and liens.
(2.1) The Minister may, if the Minister has grounds to believe that a person has contravened subsection (1)(b), order that any installations and equipment used in connection with injecting a substance into a subsurface reservoir are forfeited to the Crown in right of Alberta free and clear of all interests, charges and liens.
(3) An order made under subsection (2) or (2.1) may direct a person to seize, remove and sell any mineral, installations and equipment so forfeited in the manner and subject to the terms and conditions
in the order.
(4) The Minister may order any mineral and any installations and equipment seized pursuant to this section to be returned to the person in whose possession they were at the time of seizure.
(5) The Minister may authorize in writing the conducting of operations in respect of a mineral or subsurface reservoir that is the property of the Crown in right of Alberta and that is not the subject of an agreement issued under this Act where the Minister is of the opinion that the operations are desirable in respect of the exploration for or the development, processing or recovery of minerals or the sequestration of captured carbon dioxide.
[…]
Right to enter to remedy defaults
60
(1) If the Minister has reason to believe that operations on any location are being conducted in such a manner as to expose others to the risk of damage or loss, the Minister may authorize any person to enter the mine, quarry, works, plant, buildings and structures on the location and to remain for any period or periods that the Minister considers necessary, for the purpose of enforcing compliance with any safety provisions required to eliminate the risk of damage or loss and remedying existing defaults.
(2) The Minister may charge and collect from the lessee the expenses incurred in connection with the supervision authorized by the Minister under subsection (1).
[…]
Offences
63
(1) A person who contravenes
(a) section 47, 48(3), 50, 52(3), 53, 54, 79, 107 or 117, or
(b) a regulation made under section 5(1)(j) or (l.2)
is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of not more than $100 000.
(1.1) A person who is guilty of an offence under the regulations is liable to a fine of not more than $100,000.
(2) Every person who, under this Act, files or submits any report, return, estimate, declaration, plan, map, survey, record or other information or makes any statement or answers any question, whether in connection with an agreement or otherwise, knowing that the report, return, estimate, declaration, plan, map, survey, record, other information, statement or answer is false or misleading or misrepresents or fails to disclose a material fact, is guilty of an offence and liable
(a) to a fine of not more than an amount of money equal to the value of the Crown’s royalty share of a mineral or the amount of money, as the case may be, of which the Crown in right of Alberta was deprived by reason of the commission of the offence, or
(b) to a fine of not more than $100 000, whichever is the greater.
(3) In any prosecution for an offence under this Act, it is sufficient proof of the offence to establish that it was committed by an employee or agent of the accused, whether or not the employee or agent is identified or has been prosecuted for the offence, unless the accused establishes that the offence was committed without the accused’s knowledge or consent and that the accused took all reasonable measures to prevent its commission.
(4) If a corporation is guilty of an offence under this Act, an officer, director or agent of the corporation who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the offence is a party to and guilty of the offence and liable to the punishment provided for the offence, whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted or convicted.
(5) A prosecution for an offence under section 54(1) may be commenced within 60 months from the date on which the subject-matter of the prosecution arose, and not afterwards.

Vicarious responsibility
63.1
For the purposes of this Act, an act or thing done or omitted to be done by a director, officer, official, employee or agent of a corporation in the course of that person’s employment or in the exercise of that person’s powers or the performance of that person’s duties is deemed also to be an act or thing done or omitted to be done by the corporation.
[…]
Penalties
112
(1) If a person
(a) contravenes this Part or the regulations, or
(b) fails to comply with any condition of an exploration approval, licence or permit,
the Minister may order that person to pay to the Crown a penalty not exceeding the maximum penalty prescribed by the regulations in relation to that contravention or failure to comply.
(2) When the contravention or failure to comply is of a continuing nature, the penalty ordered to be paid under subsection (1) may, subject to the regulations, be a penalty payable for each day on which the contravention or failure to comply occurs.
(3) When the Minister orders a person to pay a penalty under subsection (1), the Minister shall serve on that person personally or by registered mail a notice demanding payment of the amount of the penalty and stating the grounds on which the penalty was ordered.
(4) A person who has been served with a notice pursuant to subsection (3) shall pay to the Minister the amount of the penalty within 30 days from the date of the service of the notice on the person.
(5) If a person fails to pay a penalty in accordance with subsection (4), the Minister may recover the penalty by an action in debt and in the action the court shall
(a) determine whether the person is liable to a penalty under subsection (1),
(b) if it is determined that the person is liable to a penalty, confirm or vary the amount of the penalty ordered by the Minister, and
(c) give judgment for the amount of the penalty so confirmed or varied.
[…]
Regulations
124 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
[…]
(m) prescribing provisions of the regulations under this Part as provisions the contravention of which is an offence.

Site closure

Summary

Section 119 of the Alberta M&M Act provides that lessees under agreements under Part 9 (i.e. granting the right to drill evaluation wells or inject captured CO2 for sequestration) are to perform all closure activities in accordance with the regulations.

Under section 120, lessees under agreements granting the right to inject captured CO2 for sequestration may apply to the Minister for a closure certificate in accordance with the regulations.

The Minister can issue a closure certificate if satisfied that:
1. the lessee has complied with section 119;
2. the lessee has complied with abandonment and reclamation requirements under relevant laws;
3. the closure period specified in the regulations has passed;
4. the conditions specified in the regulations have been met; and
5. the captured CO2 is behaving in a stable and predictable manner, with no significant risk of future leakage.

Importantly, issuance of a closure certificate also provides the basis for the transfer of liability from a lessee to the Alberta government under section 121.

Section 124 empowers the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations respecting:
1. closure plans, including form and content, submission and approval, amendment and reporting requirements in a closure plan;
2. closure activities to be undertaken by a lessee;
3. applications for closure certificates, including form and content and the period to have elapsed before a lessee is eligible to apply; and
4. conditions for issuance of a closure certificate for the purposes of section 120(3)(e).

 

Article/Section No.

Section 119
Section 120
Section 124

Instrument Text

Duties on cessation of injection
119
The lessee of an agreement under this Part shall monitor all wells and facilities and perform all closure activities in accordance with the regulations.

Closure certificate
120
(1) A lessee of an agreement under section 116 may apply to the Minister for a closure certificate in accordance with the regulations.
(2) The Minister may refuse to accept an application for a closure certificate if, in the Minister’s opinion, the application is not complete and accurate.
(3) The Minister may issue a closure certificate to a lessee in respect of the lessee’s wells and facilities within the location of the agreement if the Minister is satisfied that
(a) the lessee has complied with section 119,
(b) the lessee has abandoned all wells and facilities in accordance with the requirements under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act and the regulations under this Part,
(c) the lessee has complied with the reclamation requirements under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act,
(d) the closure period specified in the regulations has passed,
(e) the conditions specified in the regulations have been met, and
(f) the captured carbon dioxide is behaving in a stable and predictable manner, with no significant risk of future leakage.
(4) On issuing a closure certificate to a lessee the Minister shall notify the Board and any other person as required by the regulations.
[…]
Regulations
124 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
[…]
(b) respecting closure plans and monitoring, measurement and verification plans, including regulations respecting
(i) the form and contents of plans,
(ii) the submission and approval of plans,
(iii) the amendment of plans, and
(iv) the reporting requirements contained in a plan; […]
(g) respecting the closure activities that a lessee shall undertake;
[…]
(h) respecting applications for closure certificates, including regulations respecting the form and contents of applications and the closure period that must have passed before a lessee is eligible to apply;
(i) specifying conditions for the purposes of sections
120(3)(e) […].

V. Management of long-term responsibilities and liabilities
Allocation of long term responsibilities & liabilities

Summary

Section 121 of the Alberta M&M Act provides for the assumption of certain responsibilities and liabilities by the Alberta government on issuance of a closure certificate. Following such issuance, the Alberta government:
1. becomes the owner of injected CO2;
2. takes on all obligations of the lessee under a number of specified acts; and
3. releases the lessee from any indemnity obligations under section 56(2)(a) with respect to certain CO2 injection wells.

Under section 121(2) of the Act, the Alberta government is also required to indemnify lessees against liability for damages in tort, where this liability is attributable to acts or omissions done in the exercise of rights under an agreement for injection of captured CO2, provided other conditions specified in the regulations are also met. Section 124 empowers the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations specifying these conditions.

Article/Section No.

Section 121
Section 124

Instrument Text

Assumption of liability
121
(1) On the Minister issuing a closure certificate to a lessee in respect of an agreement under this Part, the Crown
(a) becomes the owner of the captured carbon dioxide injected pursuant to the agreement,
(b) assumes all obligations of the lessee
(i) as owner and licensee under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act of the wells and facilities covered by that agreement,
(ii) as the person responsible for the injected captured carbon dioxide under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act,
(iii) as the operator under Part 6 of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act in respect of the land within the location of the agreement used by the lessee in relation to the injection of captured carbon dioxide, and
(iv) under the Surface Rights Act, and
(c) releases the lessee from any obligations under section 56(2)(a) with respect to the wells within the location of the agreement used by the lessee in relation to the injection of captured carbon dioxide.
(2) The Crown shall indemnify a lessee referred to in subsection (1) against liability for damages in an action in tort brought by another party if
(a) the liability is attributable to an act done or omitted to be done by the lessee in the lessee’s exercise of rights under the agreement in relation to the injection of captured carbon dioxide, and
(b) any other conditions specified in the regulations are met.
(3) If prior to the issuing of a closure certificate to a lessee of an agreement under this Part the lessee ceases to exist, the Crown may in accordance with the regulations assume ownership of the captured carbon dioxide injected pursuant to that agreement.
(4) On issuing a closure certificate to a lessee the Minister shall notify the Board and any other person as required by the regulations.
[…]
Regulations
124 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
[…]
(i) specifying conditions for the purposes of sections
[...] and 121(2)(b);
[…]

Financial contributions to long term stewardship

Summary

Section 122 of the Alberta M&M Act establishes the Post-Closure Stewardship Fund.

Section 122(2) sets out allowable uses for the monies held in the Fund, which include:
1. monitoring the behaviour of injected CO2;
2. fulfilling any obligations assumed by the Alberta government under section 121(1)(b) (regarding its assumption of liability);
3. paying for costs in respect of orphan facilities in certain specified circumstances;
4. paying for the cost of pursuing reimbursement from lessees in respect of orphan facilities; and
5. any other purpose prescribed in the regulations.

Lessees are to pay fees into the Fund in accordance with the regulations.

Under section 124, the Lieutenant Governor in Council is empowered to make regulations respecting the Fund, including respecting the establishment of fees and payment of fees into the Fund.

The Minister may also calculate, recalculate or make additional calculations of the amounts payable into the Post-Closure Stewardship Fund (see section 38).

 

Article/Section No.

Section 38
Section 122
Section 124

Instrument Text

Calculations and recalculations
38
[…]
(2) Where the Minister considers it appropriate to do so, the Minister may, in accordance with this section, calculate, recalculate or make additional calculations of any of the following:
[…]
(e.3) any fees payable into the Post-closure Stewardship Fund under Part 9.
(3) A calculation, recalculation or additional calculation of any amount referred to in subsection (2) may be made by the Minister
(a) on the Minister’s own initiative, or
(b) on receipt of a request in writing that is made by the lessee, the lessee’s agent or any other person authorized by the regulations to make the request in accordance with any terms and conditions specified by the Minister.
(4) A calculation, recalculation or additional calculation of any amount referred to in subsection (2) may be made,
(a) subject to subsection (6), within 4 years after the end of the calendar year in which
(i) the mineral that is the subject of the calculation, recalculation or additional calculation was recovered in a case to which subsection (2)(a) applies,
(ii) the amount referred to in subsection (2)(b), (e), (e.1), (e.3) or (f), as the case may be, became owing, or
(iii) the amount of any credit, deduction, reduction or exemption referred to in subsection (2)(c) or (d) was first determined by the Minister.
(5) Subject to subsection (6), where the calculation, recalculation or additional calculation of any amount referred to in subsection (2) is made
(a) pursuant to a written request in accordance with
subsection (3)(b), or
(b) as a result of an audit or examination under section 47(5),
and the written request is received or the audit or examination is commenced in the 4th year as calculated under subsection (4)(a), that 4-year period is extended by one year.

[…]
Post-closure Stewardship Fund
122
(1) The Post-closure Stewardship Fund is established.
(2) The Fund may be used
(a) for the purposes of monitoring the behaviour of captured carbon dioxide that has been injected pursuant to an agreement under this Part;
(b) for the purposes of fulfilling any obligations that are assumed by the Crown pursuant to section 121(1)(b);
(c) for the purposes of paying for suspension costs, abandonment costs and related reclamation or remediation costs in respect of orphan facilities where the work is carried out
(i) by the Board,
(ii) by a person authorized by the Board, or
(iii) by a Director or a person authorized by a Director in accordance with the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act;
(d) for the purposes of paying for costs incurred in pursuing reimbursement for the costs referred to in clause (c) from the lessee responsible for paying them;
(e) for any other purpose prescribed in the regulations.
(3) Fees must be paid by a lessee into the Fund in accordance with the regulations.
(4) The Fund is to be held and administered by the Minister in accordance with this Act and the regulations.
(5) The Minister may be a participant under section 40 of the Financial Administration Act with respect to the Fund.
(6) The Minister may make payments out of the Fund for the purposes of the Fund.
(7) Income earned by the Fund accrues to and becomes part of the Fund.
(8) The Minister must maintain a separate accounting record of the Fund.

[…]
Regulations
124 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(l) respecting the Fund, including regulations
(i) respecting the administration of the Fund;
(ii) limiting, regulating and controlling the exercise of the Minister’s discretion with respect to the Fund;
(iii) respecting the establishment of fees and payment of fees into the Fund;
(iv) prescribing purposes for which the Fund may be used;
(v) prescribing limits on the value of the Fund to be held and administered by the Minister;
[…]