The Surface Rights Board is a quasi-judicial tribunal that grants right of entry and assists landowners/occupants and operators resolve disputes about compensation when operators require access to private land or occupied crown land to develop subsurface resources such as oil, gas, and coal or to build and operate pipelines and power transmission lines.

What's New

The Board is pleased to announce the following:    

July 2016

In the event of a postal service disruption it is important to find other ways to facilitate communication with the Surface Rights Board. Please click here for available options.

April 2016

Message of the Chair in response to announcement of consolidation of Boards

February 2016

The Surface Rights Board is pleased to announce that it has recently streamlined its procedures for recurring applications for recovery of annual compensation under section 36 of the Surface Rights Act. These new procedures apply when the Minister has previously made payment under section 36 to the same applicant(s), for the same site, licenced to the same Operator, under the same surface lease or compensation order. Applicants may now establish their entitlement to compensation by completing the new application form and signing it in the presence of a witness; they will no longer have to complete a Statutory Declaration sworn by a Commissioner for Oaths. Please click here for the new application form. If you have questions about this new streamlined process, you may contact Board administration by email at srb.lcb@gov.ab.ca or by phone @ 780-427-2444.

The Board is please to announce that the 2015 annual report is now available, please click here to view a copy.          

 December 2015

Throughout the autumn of 2015 the Board issued 40 decisions for applications where landowners sought to recover compensation from operators which had recently undergone receivership proceedings or proceedings under the federal Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. In each of these 40 decisions the Board found that any stay of proceedings issued by courts had been lifted. The Board also found that the amount owing was not affected by the insolvency proceedings, either because that the compensation became due after the end of the insolvency proceedings, or because there was no plan of arrangement and the landowner had filed a statutory declaration stating that they had not been paid. (Click here for a summary of the Board decisions involving the receivership of Tallgrass Energy Corp. and Sedna Oil and Gas Ltd. Click here for a summary of the Board decisions involving the CCAA proceedings of FairWest Energy Corporation.)        

October 2015

The Surface Rights Board has issued key decisions directing the Minister to make payments to landowners for unpaid rentals owing from a bankrupt operator:  

  • In Portas v PetroGlobe Inc, 2015 ABSRB 708 (Portas), the Surface Rights Board decided that it has the authority to proceed with claims for unpaid rentals that become due and payable after the Operator’s assignment into bankruptcy and prior to a discharge. In result, the Board decided to direct the Minister to make payment of the amount claimed for rental arrears once the Operator’s rights have been terminated and if the compensation due has still not been paid. (Click here for a summary of the Portas decision and click here for the complete Portas decision).
  • In Rodin v PetroGlobe Inc, 2015 ABSRB 737 (Rodin), the Surface Rights Board decided that it has authority to proceed with claims for unpaid rentals that became due and payable before the assignment if the Operator’s rights have been terminated for failure to pay rent that became due after the assignment. The Board also confirmed its decision in Portas that it has the authority to proceed with claims for unpaid rentals that become due and payable after the Operator’s assignment into bankruptcy and prior to a discharge. In result, the Board decided to direct the Minister to make payment of the amount claimed for rental arrears once the Operator’s rights have been terminated and if the compensation due has still not been paid. (Click here for a summary of the Rodin decision and click here for the complete Rodin decision).

Please Note: On October 6, 2015, the Alberta Surface Rights Board issued its decision in Lemke v Petroglobe Inc, 2015 ABSRB 740 (Lemke) pursuant to section 29 of the Surface Rights Act deciding that it did not have authority to proceed with claims for unpaid rentals that accrued solely before the date that the operator was assigned into bankruptcy. The Board distinguished the facts in Lemke from its two recent decisions in Portas and Rodin (see above) “…in which the Board determined it had authority to terminate the operator’s rights under the surface leases based on unpaid compensation that accrued after the assignment in bankruptcy. (Click here for the complete Lemke decision).

September 2015

On September 28, 2015 the 'Frequently Asked Questions' on the Recovery of Rentals was updated to include the operator’s obligations.

In 2015-09-18 Portas v PetroGlobe Inc, 2015 ABSRB 708 the Board found 'that the stay of proceedings under Section 69.3 of the BIA does not apply to the Applicants’ Section 36 application as the claimed rentals constitute debts accruing after the effective date of the bankruptcy and are not therefore a claim provable in bankruptcy.  The Board is able to exercise its authority under Section 36 of the Act...' to read the entire decision click here

August 2015

July 2015

  • The Schedule 1 instruction was updated July 15, 2015 for the most current Schedule 1 instructions please click here.
  • Approval of the Mailing Address Guidelines of the Surface Rights Board; to view the mailing guidelines please click here or visit the Resources page to view the mailing guidelines and other guidelines.
  • Request to opt-out of mailings form pursuant to Part III of the Mailing Address Guidelines of the Surface Rights Board is now available on the Forms page

IMPORTANT NOTICES:

  1. As part of our commitment to ongoing improvement, Board administration is currently reviewing its administrative processing of applications to amend the Operator named on Right of Entry Orders. This may result in delays in processing your application. We apologize for any inconvenience in this regard. If you are requesting administration to consider your application on a priority basis you may provide detail reasons in support of same. Please do not hesitate to contact board administration should you have questions or concerns.
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