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“Point in Time” Act Content

GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES ACT

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 171

NOTE: Links below go to act content as it was prior to the changes made on the effective date. (PIT covers changes made from September 6, 2000 to present)
SECTIONEFFECTIVE DATE
1October 4, 2010
 October 4, 2010
 October 4, 2010
 December 6, 2010
 February 29, 2016
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
4March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
5March 31, 2017
7March 31, 2017
9March 31, 2017
10December 1, 2007
12April 1, 2004
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
14March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
15December 1, 2007
 March 31, 2017
16March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
19.1March 31, 2017
19.2March 31, 2017
20March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
22March 31, 2017
23March 31, 2017
24December 1, 2007
 October 4, 2010
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017
 March 31, 2017

  Section 1 (1) definitions "board", "commission" and "facility" were added by 2008-36-131(a) and (c), effective October 4, 2010 (BC Reg 274/2010).

  Section 1 (2) BEFORE amended by 2010-9-6, effective October 4, 2010 (BC Reg 274/2010).

(2)  Sections 6 to 31 of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act apply in respect of entry onto and use of land for the purpose of exploring for and producing geothermal resources.

  Section 1 (3) BEFORE repealed by 2010-9-7, effective October 4, 2010 (BC Reg 274/2010).

(3)  For subsection (2), "produce" and "producing" in sections 7 to 11 and 16 of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act have the same meaning as in this Act.

  Section 1 (1) definition of "commissioner" BEFORE amended by BC Reg 357/2010 under RS1996-440-12, effective December 6, 2010 (BC Reg 357/2010).

"commissioner" means the commissioner as defined in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act;

  Section 1 (4) BEFORE amended by 2014-15-169, effective February 29, 2016 (BC Reg 35/2016).

(4) If there is inconsistency between the Utilities Commission Act or Water Act and this Act, the Utilities Commission Act or Water Act prevails.

  Section 1 (1) definition of "field" BEFORE amended by 2008-36-131(d), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

"field" means

(a) the surface of land that is underlaid or appears to be underlaid by a geothermal resource, and

(b) the subsurface region vertically beneath that land surface

that is designated by the division head as a field;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "geothermal exploration", paragraphs (b) and (c) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-131(e) and (f), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(b) well drilling or test hole drilling, or

(c) any other method approved by the division head;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "geothermal rig licence" BEFORE repealed by 2008-36-131(g), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

"geothermal rig licence" means a geothermal rig licence issued under section 12;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "lessee" BEFORE amended by 2008-36-131(h), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

"lessee" means a person in whose name a lease is recorded in the division records;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "permittee" BEFORE amended by 2008-36-131(i), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

"permittee" means the person in whose name a permit is recorded in the division records;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "test hole" BEFORE repealed by 2008-36-131(j), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

"test hole" means a hole drilled or being drilled

(a) with a bore hole diameter of 100 mm or less, or

(b) to a depth not exceeding 600 m,

to obtain information about a geothermal resource, but does not include a hole drilled or being drilled for firing an explosive charge in seismic operations;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "well" BEFORE amended by 2008-36-131(k), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

"well" means a hole or shaft that is or is being drilled, bored or otherwise sunk into the earth

(a) through which a geothermal resource is or can be produced,

(b) for the purpose of producing a geothermal resource or for the purpose of injecting any substance to assist the production of a geothermal resource, or

(c) that

(i) extends deeper than 600 m,

(ii) has a bore hole diameter of more than 100 mm, and

(iii) is intended to obtain information about a geothermal resource.

  Section 4 (1) (b) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-133(a), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(b) the plan is approved, with respect to matters of energy conservation and operational safety, by the minister, and

  Section 4 (3) and (5) BEFORE repealed by 2008-36-133(b), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(3) No person may drill a test hole unless a test hole program authorization has been issued for the test hole.

(5) No person may, for the purpose of exploring for or producing a geothermal resource, operate a drilling rig or service rig except in accordance with a geothermal rig licence issued for the rig under this Act or a rig licence issued for the rig under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act.

  Section 4 (4) and (6) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-133(c) and (d), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(4) No person may drill or operate a well unless a well authorization has been issued for the well.

(6) No person may conduct geothermal exploration other than by way of well drilling or test hole drilling unless the person has notified the commissioner in writing in the form prescribed of the intention to do so.

  Section 5 (8) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-134, effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(8) Application for renewal of a permit must be made to the commissioner who may renew it, subject to the regulations.

  Section 7 (2) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-134, effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(2) A permittee must record all work, including road construction giving access to the location, with the commissioner in the permit year in which it is done.

  Section 9 (1) and (3) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-134, effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(1) The commissioner must maintain a register in which must be recorded transfers and other instruments affecting the title to permits and leases.

(3) On registration, a transfer or other instrument affecting the title to a permit or lease is registered and, effective from the time that the commissioner receives the application to register it.

  Section 10 (1) (b) BEFORE amended by 2007-14-215,Sch, effective December 1, 2007 (BC Reg 354/2007).

(b) a notice or an order under this Act or the regulations, or

  Section 12 (4) (c) BEFORE amended by 2003-54-27,Sch A, effective April 1, 2004 (BC Reg 11/2004).

(c) chartered banks', trust companies' or credit unions' certificates of deposit if supported by an appropriate letter giving direction concerning payment of the funds to the Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations,

  Section 12 (1) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-135(a), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(1) Subject to the regulations, the division head or a person authorized by the division head in writing to do so may issue, subject to conditions, restrictions and stipulations considered necessary or desirable, or may refuse to issue, a test hole program authorization, well authorization or geothermal rig licence.

  Section 12 (2) BEFORE repealed by 2008-36-135(b), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(2) A geothermal rig licence expires one year from its date of issue.

  Section 12 (3), (4), (5) and (6) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-135(c), (d), (e) and (f), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(3) In subsections (4) and (6), "operator" means a person to whom a test hole program authorization or well authorization is issued.

(4) An operator must deposit with the minister

(a) cash,

(b) government of Canada and government of British Columbia direct or guaranteed securities having a maturity of not longer than 3 years, or

(c) chartered banks', trust companies' or credit unions' certificates of deposit if supported by an appropriate letter giving direction concerning payment of the funds to the Minister of Finance,

in an amount prescribed by the regulations as security for the proper completion of the well or test hole in compliance with the Act and regulations.

(5) If the application for a well authorization or a test hole program authorization is not approved, the deposit must be returned to the applicant in accordance with any directive under section 22 (3) of the Financial Administration Act.

(6) The deposit or part of it may be refunded to the operator on completion of the drilling of the test hole or well in accordance with the Act and regulations to the satisfaction of an officer of the division.

  Section 14 (1) (part) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-136(a), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(1) At any reasonable time, persons authorized in writing by the division head have the right, with respect to a geothermal resource,

  Section 14 (2) and (3) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-136(b) and (c), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(2) If records required by the regulations to be kept are kept at a place other than a place referred to in subsection (1) (a), persons employed in the division and authorized in writing by the division head have the right, during normal business hours and after giving reasonable notice to the persons affected, to inspect the records, and for that purpose to enter the place where the records are kept.

(3) Persons authorized by the division head to exercise any of the powers in subsection (1) or (2) must produce on demand their authorization signed by the division head and their identification card signed by the minister.

  Section 15 (b) BEFORE amended by 2007-14-215,Sch, effective December 1, 2007 (BC Reg 354/2007).

(b) a notice given or order made under this Act or the regulations, or

  Section 15 BEFORE amended by 2008-36-137, effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

Removal of equipment

15   A person who has failed to comply with

(a) this Act or the regulations,

(b) a notice given or order made under this Act, or

(c) a term, covenant or condition of that person's permit or lease,

must not

(d) remove equipment, or

(e) allow equipment to be removed

from a location or former location without permission in writing from the commissioner.

  Section 16 (1), (2) and (3) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-138(a) and (b), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(1) A person holding a permit or lease must keep all machinery, equipment, test holes, wells and other facilities on the location in a safe condition.

(2) The duty imposed by subsection (1) continues after the expiry or other termination of the lease or permit, until an officer of the division issues a certificate of restoration certifying that

(a) all equipment, machinery, test holes, wells and other facilities on the location of the lease or permit have been removed, plugged or are otherwise in safe condition in accordance with prescribed standards, and

(b) the land surface of the location has been restored to a satisfactory condition in accordance with the regulations.

(3) The minister may refuse to accept a surrender of a permit or lease until an officer of the division has issued a certificate of restoration.

  Section 16 (4) and (5) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-138(c) and (d), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(4) If, after inspection of a location or well, an officer of the division considers that a method or practice being employed in connection with the location or well constitutes or may constitute a hazard to the health or safety of any person, or of the public, the officer may give notice of it in writing to

(a) the permittee or lessee of the location,

(b) the holder of a well authorization or test hole program authorization for the well, or

(c) the agent or representative of a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b),

setting out the remedial measures the officer requires be taken.

(5) If the officer of the division considers that delay in implementation of the remedial measures would constitute a danger to any person or to the public, the officer may, in the same notice or subsequently, order in writing that

(a) the method or practice be discontinued, or

(b) all operations in the location or in connection with the well cease

until the matter is remedied to the officer's satisfaction.

  Section 19.1 was enacted by 2008-36-139, effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

  Section 19.2 was enacted by 2008-36-139, effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

  Section 20 (2) (part) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-140(a), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(2) If the ministry receives

  Section 20 (3) was added by 2008-36-140(b), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

  Section 22 (2.1) was added by 2008-36-141, effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

  Section 23 BEFORE re-enacted by 2008-36-142, effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

Regulations and orders made by minister

23   (1) The minister may make regulations of general application, or may make an order related to a specific location or well, governing the drilling of wells and test holes and the production and conservation of geothermal resources including regulations and orders for the following purposes and respecting the following matters:

(a) prohibiting the drilling of a well at any place within a prescribed distance of any boundary, roadway, road allowance, right of way, building of any specified type or any specified work;

(b) requiring permittees and lessees to submit an application and obtain the approval of an officer of the division before

(i) deepening a well beyond the formation from which production is being taken or has been taken,

(ii) recompletion of a well by perforating any casing with a view to producing a geothermal resource from any formation other than that from which production is being taken or has been taken,

(iii) suspending drilling,

(iv) ceasing normal producing operations,

(v) resuming drilling after a previous completion, suspension or abandonment of a well,

(vi) resuming production after production stops,

(vii) reworking a well to alter its producing characteristics, or

(viii) abandoning a well,

and authorizing an officer of the division to direct the conditions under which approval is granted in any such case, and the methods to be employed in a drilling or abandonment operation;

(c) prescribing the conditions under which drilling may be carried out in water covered areas, and any special measures to be taken;

(d) prescribing the measures to be adopted to confine geothermal resources water encountered during drilling to its original stratum, and to protect the contents of the stratum from infiltration, inundation and migration;

(e) prescribing the minimum standard of tools, casing, equipment and materials that may be used for drilling, development and production of geothermal resources;

(f) to regulate the drilling of multizone wells, prohibit completion of a well as a multizone well without the permission of an officer of the division, prohibit the use of a well for the production from or injection to more than one zone without the approval of an officer of the division and authorize the officer of the division to grant permission or approval subject to conditions the officer of the division considers necessary;

(g) prescribing measures for the protection of petroleum and natural gas deposits, coal seams, mineral deposits and any workings in them;

(h) requiring the provision of adequate well casing and proper anchorage and cementation;

(i) requiring and prescribing samples, tests, analyses, surveys, logs, records, other information respecting a geothermal resource or operation, the method of taking samples and submission of records and information to the division;

(j) prescribing the measures to be taken before drilling begins and during drilling and production to conserve geothermal resources and water;

(k) prescribing or limiting the methods of operation to be used during drilling and in the subsequent management of a well and the conduct of an operation for any purpose, including

(i) the prevention and extinguishing of fires, and

(ii) the prevention of wells flowing out of control;

(l) regulating the location and equipping of production facilities;

(m) regulating the conditioning or reconditioning of wells by mechanical, chemical or explosive means;

(n) requiring the inspection of wells both during and after drilling;

(o) requiring the capping or closing in of wells for the purpose of preventing waste;

(p) requiring the cleaning out of a well;

(q) regulating the unitization of a field for drilling and production;

(r) regulating and prohibiting the release of well records and well data;

(s) the naming of wells and production facilities;

(t) measures to contain and eliminate spillage;

(u) regulating production from a geothermal well;

(v) the general conservation of geothermal resources, their waste or improvident disposition, and any matter incidental to geothermal resource wells' development, drilling, operation and production;

(w) the methods and units to be used for the measurement of geothermal resources, and the standard conditions to which the measurements are to be converted.

(2) A regulation or order made under subsection (1) may provide that the division head may, by order, in relation to a particular location or well and subject to conditions the division head specifies, exempt a person from the application of all or part of the regulation or order.

  Section 24 (2) (a) BEFORE amended by 2007-14-215,Sch, effective December 1, 2007 (BC Reg 354/2007).

(a) establishing the conditions under which persons are eligible to apply for the issue and renewal of permits, leases, test hole program authorizations, well authorizations, geothermal rig licences, registrations, recordings and other rights, privileges and services under this Act or the regulations, and the procedures to be followed and the fees to be paid by them;

  Section 24 (2) (c) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-143(b), effective October 4, 2010 (BC Reg 274/2010).

(c) the application, with or without modification, of regulations made under section 36 of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act respecting geophysical exploration, to exploration for geothermal resources;

  Section 24 (2) (a), (b) and (e) BEFORE amended by 2008-36-143(a) and (c), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(a) establishing the conditions under which persons are eligible to apply for the issue and renewal of permits, leases, test hole program authorizations, well authorizations, geothermal rig licences, registrations, recordings and other rights, privileges and services under this Act, and the procedures to be followed and the fees to be paid by them;

(b) the revocation and suspension by officers of the ministry in circumstances specified in the regulations of permits, leases, test hole program authorizations, well authorizations and geothermal rig licences and the powers to be exercisable by those officers for those purposes;

(e) establishing the conditions under which permits, geothermal rig licences, leases, test hole program authorizations and well authorizations may be transferred;

  Section 24 (2) (h) BEFORE repealed by 2008-36-143(d), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).

(h) prescribing the amount or method of calculation of security deposits required under the Act;

  Section 24 (2) (p), (q) and (r) were added by 2008-36-143(e), effective March 31, 2017 (BC Reg 39/2017).