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Oil and gas well sites: A guide for companies

Oil and gas well sites: A guide for companies

This information is intended to provide the landowner or occupant with information on the assessment process for well sites leased by the property owner to oil and gas companies.

How is a well site on private land assessed?

Well site land is valued on the principle of raw land plus development costs. Components that make up this value include the:

  • Raw land
  • Cost of clearing and grubbing
  • Cost of grading and shaping

Most locations are surveyed with plans registered in the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia. Well sites vary in size from the historically typical well-site area of 3.558 acres with one well to larger sites that may contain multiple wells where the size may range between 4 - 25 acres. Areas do not include access roads or off-site pipeline rights of way. In cases where a survey plan is tied to a specific well site, the surveyed size of the well site is used in the land calculation.

How do BC Assessment and the BC Energy Regulator work together?

The BC Energy Regulator (BCER) works under the mandate to provide a single-window agency to streamline the regulatory processes and expand stakeholder consultation.
The BCER is responsible for regulating oil and gas activities in British Columbia, including exploration, development, reclamation, and pipeline transportation.
BC Assessment (BCA) determines the market value and correct classification of over 2 million properties in British Columbia, including oil and gas properties. This valuation is then used by local governments to calculate annual property taxes.
Data for BCA's valuation of petroleum properties comes from a variety of sources, including site inspections and the BCER registry.

Who is responsible for paying taxes on the well and associated structures?

The company which has been tenured to drill and produce oil and gas on your land is responsible for paying the taxes on the well site and improvements associated with the well site. The Property Owner is responsible for paying property taxes on the remaining land and improvements.

How can the well on my land be taken off the assessment roll?

Wells can be removed from the assessment roll only when they have been officially abandoned in compliance with standards established by the BCER.

Abandoned wells

Wells that are officially abandoned with an approved Certificate of Restoration (COR) by the BCER are removed from the assessment roll.

BC Assessment is notified by the BCER when a COR is approved on an abandoned well site.

Who is responsible for reclaiming and restoring the well site on my land?

In accordance with your surface lease agreement with the tenured oil or gas company, it is the responsibility of the company to return your land to original, or better-than-original condition.

For more information on the negotiation of surface lease agreements, contact the BCER.

Reclamation and restoration of site

Under legislation administered by the BC Energy Regulator (BCER), when a well site is no longer required, the tenured oil or gas company which operates the well site must reclaim the site in order for a Certificate of Restoration (COR) to be issued. Before the COR is issued on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve, a post-site assessment must be approved by the provincial Agricultural Land Commission. This assessment determines if the soil, topography, and vegetation are restored to their original, or better-than-original condition.

As part of the application for a COR, a Landowner Release form, signed by the landowner, must be submitted. Site inspection by BCER staff may be conducted prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Restoration.

Contact information

For more information, please contact:

BC Assessment - petroleum@bcassessment.ca

BC Energy Regulator

General Inquiries: 1-250-794-5200

#203 - 1500 Hardy Street, Kelowna BC, V1Y 8H2

bc-er.ca‚Äč 


Updated 04/2024
Disclaimer: Where information presented is different from legislation, legislation shall prevail.