Oil & Gas

As the agency responsible for public land management, the Special Areas Board issues and administers surface dispositions to Oil & Gas companies on public land for the purpose of the development of natural resources.

Key Contacts

Lisa Bietelspacher, Lease Supervisor
(403)854-5616 Office
lisa.bietelspacher@specialareas.ab.ca

 

Nolan Ball - Rangeland Agrologist
(403)854-5647 Office/(403)854-1375 Cell
nolan.ball@specialareas.ab.ca

Mineral Surface Lease (MSL)Pipeline Applications & AgreementsMSL/PLA AssignmentsSearchesEnvironmental ReviewReclamationRestricted Development AreasOil & Gas FormsOil & Gas Related Policies

If a company holds an interest in the minerals, they may apply to the Special Areas Board for a Mineral Surface Lease (MSL).

New Application or Increasing Acres on Existing Site

You will be required to submit both a paper submission as well as a digital submission for each application.

Paper Submission

The following documents must be submitted in their original format to the attention of the Lease Supervisor. Submissions should be mailed to: Lease Supervisor, Special Areas Board, Box 820, 212-2nd Ave. W., Hanna, AB  T0J 1P0.

Documents to be submitted include:
1.       Completed Application Form (see Oil & Gas Forms tab on this page)
2.       Applicable Fees (SEE FEE SCHEDULE)
3.       Signed and Seal Occupant Consent (in duplicate) with color survey plans attached
4.       Copies of all applicable third-party approvals (if required)
5.       Completed Environmental Review Form (Completion Guide)

Digital Submission

The following documents must be submitted to the FTP Site at https://app.munisight.com/SpecialAreasBoard/

Documents to be submitted include:
1.       Full set of color survey plans
2.      Completed Environmental Review Form (Completion Guide)

In the event your project has multiple quarter involved, please use the first legal description in your application form in the Disposition Digital Plan Submission Form.

The submitted applications will be reviewed and processed by the Lease Supervisor. They are then forwarded onto the Rangeland Agrologist for field inspection and approval. Once the approval has been granted, a Letter of Authority will be drafted and submitted to the applicant.

Decreasing Acres on Existing Site or Drilling Additional Wells on Existing Site (no change in acreage to site)

Paper Submission

The following documents must be submitted in their original format to the attention of the Lease Supervisor. Submissions should be mailed to: Lease Supervisor, Special Areas Board, Box 820, 212-2nd Ave. W., Hanna, AB T0J 1P0.

Documents to be submitted include:
1.        Completed Application Form (see Oil & Gas Forms tab on this page)
2.       Digital Filing Fee (SEE FEE SCHEDULE)
3.       Signed and Seal Occupant Consent (in duplicate) with color survey plans attached

Digital Submission

The following documents must be submitted to the FTP Site at https://app.munisight.com/SpecialAreasBoard/

Documents to be submitted include:
1.      Full set of color survey plans

NOTE: There will not be a Letter of Authority granted for these applications as new information submitted will be used to update files.

Companies may also apply to the Special Areas Board for a Pipeline Agreement (PLA) which grants an easement to the company for a pipeline right-of-way.

New Application
You will be required to submit both a paper submission as well as a digital submission for each application.

Paper Submission

The following documents must be submitted in their original format to the attention of the Lease Supervisor. Submissions should be mailed to: Lease Supervisor, Special Areas Board, Box 820, 212-2nd Ave. W., Hanna, AB T0J 1P0.

Documents to be submitted include:
1.      Completed Application Form (see Oil & Gas forms tab on this page)
2.      Applicable Fees (SEE FEE SCHEDULE)
3.      Signed and Seal Occupant Consent (in duplicate) with color survey plans attached
4.      Copies of all applicable third-party approvals (if required)
5.      Completed Environmental Review Form (Completion Guide)

Digital Submission

The following documents must be submitted to the FTP Site at https://app.munisight.com/SpecialAreasBoard/

Documents to be submitted include:
1. Full set of color survey plans
2. Completed Environmental Review Form (Completion Guide)

In the event your project has multiple quarter involved, please use the first legal description in your application form in the Disposition Digital Plan Submission Form.

The submitted applications will be reviewed and processed by the Lease Supervisor. They are then forwarded onto the Rangeland Agrologist for field inspection and approval. Once the approval has been granted, a Letter of Authority will be drafted and submitted to the applicant.

NOTE: You have 1 (one) year to provide registered plans for the constructed pipeline. If it is not received in this time, the application may be cancelled.


PLA Cancellations

In the event that all or a portion of a pipeline is being cancelled for abandonment, please submit your request in writing to the attention of the Property Administration department at Special Areas Board.

Your submission should include the following documents:
1.      Letter requesting cancellation
2.     Colored plan showing the exact portion to be cancelled

Once submitted, your applications will be provided to the Rangeland Agrologist for inspection. Once the inspection is completed you will receive confirmation of the cancellation from our Administrative Team.


Pipeline Application Cancellations
In the event that all or a portion of a pipeline is being cancelled due to the project being cancelled or amended, please submit your request in writing to the attention of the Property Administration department at Special Areas Board.

Your submission should include the following documents:
1.      Letter requesting cancellation
2.     Colored plan showing the exact portion to be cancelled

Once submitted, your applications will be provided to the Rangeland Agrologist for inspection. Once the inspection is completed you will receive confirmation of the cancellation from our Administrative Team


MSL/PLA Assignment

NOTE: Prior to an assignment, please contact Special Areas Board for a listing of all dispositions to ensure that all MSL/PLA’s are properly transferred.

In situations where an Oil & Gas company is divesting all or a portion of their assets within Special Areas, an Assignment of Disposition will be required to be completed. Ensure that it is signed and sealed by both the Assignor and the Assignee and includes a schedule of all the dispositions being assigned. When the assignment is completed, the following documents are required to be submitted to the Property Administration department at the Special Areas Board:
1.      Cover letter requesting assignment
2.      Assignment document, with original signatures and seals
3.      Schedule of all dispositions
4.      Applicable fees*

Once we have registered the assignment, proof of the assignment will be sent to the Assignee.

*All assignments are charged at $100/MSL or PLA being assigned.


MSL/PLA Name Change

NOTE: Prior to a name change/amalgamation, please contact Special Areas Board for a listing of all dispositions to ensure that all MSL/PLA’s are properly transferred.

In situations where an Oil & Gas company undergoes a corporate name change or amalgamation, this change must be registered with the Special Areas. The following documents are required to be submitted to the Property Administration department at the Special Areas Board:
1.      Cover letter requesting name change
2.      Copy of the Certificate of Name Change or Certificate of Amalgamation
3.      Applicable fees*

*All assignments are charged at $50/MSL or PLA affected.


Requests can be forwarded to sasearches@specialareas.ab.ca there will be a $3.00 + GST charge for each parcel. Special Areas also offers a web title search account that can be set up. The client can then do their own searches and be billed automatically. For more information please contact the Hanna District Office at 403-854-5625.

The Environmental Review Program, in place since 2010, was designed to better manage surface disturbances and protect significant environmental features during the planning, construction, operations, and reclamation of industrial projects. This program was reviewed in late 2019/early 2020 to ensure it aligns pre-application disposition requirements of the Environmental Review with regulatory compliance set out across multi-jurisdictional areas like wildlife, species-at-risk, wetlands and waterbodies.

Environmental Review - January 2021

Effective January 1, 2021, the updated Environmental Review Form will be required for all applications for new surface dispositions located on public lands in the Special Areas. For more information on this update, you can view the updated fact sheet.

As the public land manager for the Special Areas, the Special Areas Board has always emphasized preservation of native range while maintaining industrial and commercial development. This grassland is an important resource with intrinsic value, used for agriculture, industrial, commercial and recreational purposes. This land also provides habitat to many wildlife and plant species, many of which are classified as Species at Risk.

Requirements
An Environmental Review will be required with applications for new surface dispositions on public lands located within the Special Areas. The project proponent must demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the project and the environment into which it is to be placed. This will include potential impacts associated with the project, and mitigation measures that will be taken to address those impacts. As well, the Environmental Review will provide an assessment that evaluates the following components:

  • land use
  • landscape
  • soil
  • vegetation
  • fish and wildlife
  • species at risk
  • wetlands and waterbodies
  • cultural and historical resources
  • First Nations consultation

For more information on the Environmental Review Program, or other reclamation or range management issues, contact the Property Administration Department at (403) 854-5619, or email Nolan Ball, Rangeland Agrologist.

As the agency representing the landowner interest on public lands, the Special Areas Board is concerned with maintaining the integrity of native prairie landscapes.  Within the Special Areas, industrial oil & gas activity (most recently the development of petroleum & electricity transmission lines) has been steadily increasing on native prairie landscapes.  The Special Areas Board recognizes the shift in focus from reclamation to restoration of native prairie ecosystems acknowledged in the 2010 Reclamation Criteria for Wellsites and Associated Facilities in Native Grasslands (Alberta Environment, 2011).

The use of development planning and pre-disturbance assessment is important in successful restoration of the native prairie ecosytems to their pre-disturbance ecological conditions.  Tools such as the Recovery Strategies for Industrial Development in Native Prairie (AESRD, 2013),  Range Plant Community Guides & Range Health Assessment Guidelines (Adams et al) and Grassland Vegetation Inventory (GVI) are useful in determining the ability of native plant communities.  Links to several of these resources are provided below.

Summer 2021 Reclamation Summary & FAQ

The Special Areas land base covers parts of four natural subregions as identified in the map below.  Reclamation practitioners must understand the restoration opportunities and limitations pertaining to the uniqueness of each subregion.

PDF Policy 06-05 - Minimum Disturbance on Native Range

PDF Policy 06-06  - Invasive Introduced Forages on Reclamation Sites

Rates in Effect - Reclamation - Natural Subregions within the Special Areas

Oil & Gas Related Policies
Policy 06-01 - Pipeline Road Crossing
Policy 06-02 - Access for Seismic Drill Lines & Well Site Development Near Water Bodies within the Special Areas
Policy 06-03 - Access Historical or Cultural Sites
Policy 06-04 - Guideline for License of Occupation & Shoreline Modification Approval
Policy 06-05 - Minimum Disturbance on Native Range
Policy 06-06 - Invasive Introduced Forages on Reclamation Sites
Policy 06-07 - Utility Line Easement Compensation to Landowner
Policy 07-12 - Parking of Water Trucks on Special Areas Roads