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Oil and gas well sites: a guide for property owners

Oil and gas well sites: a guide for property owners

​​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:

  • Raw land
  • The cost of clearing and grubbing
  • The 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 Oil and Gas Commission work together?

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

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 Oil and Gas Commission.

Abandoned wells

Wells that are officially abandoned with an approved Certificate of Restoration (COR) by the Oil and Gas Commission are deleted from the assessment roll.
BC Assessment (Peace River Office) is notified by the Oil and Gas Commission when a Certificate of Restoration 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 company, the oil company is responsible for returning your land to original or better-than-original condition.

For more information on the negotiation of surface lease agreements, contact the Oil and Gas Commission.

Reclamation and restoration of site

Under legislation administered by the OGC, when a well site is no longer required, the tenured petroleum company which operates the well site must reclaim the site in order for a Certificate of Restoration to be issued.  Before the Certificate of Restoration (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 OGC staff may be conducted prior to the issuance of a COR.

For assessment information pertaining to petroleum industry production, processing and pipeline facilities, please contact:

BC Assessment
Peace River Area Office
1112-103 Avenue
Dawson Creek, BC V1G 2G7
Telephone: 1 866-825-8322
Fax: 250 782-9647

For technical information concerning well sites, please contact:
Oil & Gas Commission
100-10003 110 Avenue
Fort St. John, BC V1J 6M7
Telephone: 1 800-663-7867


Updated 12/2015
Disclaimer: Where information presented is different from legislation, legislation shall prevail.