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know your property rights as they relate to

well sites and surface leases

The Farmers’ Advocacy Office is finding that many surface leases do NOT comply with BC Law. Before signing surface lease documents, make sure the lease document complies with the Surface Lease Regulation B.C. Reg. 497/74 (link opens in a new window).

BC laws require that all surface leases in BC must contain these clauses:

  1. The Leased Area shall not be used for purposes other than those set out in the Lease unless the Owner consents in writing to such use.
  2. The Leased Area may not be reduced without the written consent of the Owner and the Operator.
  3. If the Operator fails or neglects to make payment required pursuant to this Lease and such default shall continue for a period of 90 days after demand therefor shall have been made, the Owner may terminate this Lease.
  4. The Operator may, upon not less than 90 days notice to the Owner, terminate this lease on or after the expiration of the second year term.

These statutory clauses may not be deleted, amended or replaced unless and until the Surface Lease Regulation is deleted, amended or replaced by an Order in Council.

To learn more about Surface Leases and to see a sample surface lease that does comply, see one prepared in 2009 by the Northeast Energy and Mines Advisory Committee (NEEMAC). It was negotiated through the cooperation of NEEMAC member landowner groups, regional government, and the oil and gas industry, including:

  • Custodians of the Peace Country Society
  • Peace River Regional District
  • Peace River Forage Association (B.C.)
  • Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
  • Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (SEPAC)
  • Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen (CAPL)

BC Standard Surface Lease Agreement (Word Document) (218 KB)

BC Standard Surface Lease Agreement (PDF Document) (352 KB)

Note: since the sample lease was drafted, the Oil and Gas Activities Act has become law. There are now consultation and notification requirements that were not in place in 2009.  These requirements are outlined in the Oil and Gas Commission fact sheet In Brief: Landowners (PDF Document)