Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada


Canada Oil and Gas Drilling and Production Regulations (SOR/2009-315)

Regulations are current to 2021-06-28 and last amended on 2009-12-31. Previous Versions

PART 2Management System, Application for Authorization and Well Approvals (continued)

Well Approval

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), an operator who intends to drill, re-enter, work over, complete or recomplete a well or suspend or abandon a well or part of a well shall obtain a well approval.

  • (2) A well approval is not necessary to conduct a wire line, slick line or coiled tubing operation through a Christmas tree located above sea level if

    • (a) the work does not alter the completion interval or is not expected to adversely affect recovery; and

    • (b) the equipment, operating procedures and qualified persons exist to conduct the wire line, slick line or coiled tubing operations as set out in the authorization.

 If the well approval sought is to drill a well, the application shall contain

  • (a) a comprehensive description of the drilling program; and

  • (b) a well data acquisition program that allows for the collection of sufficient cutting and fluid samples, logs, conventional cores, sidewall cores, pressure measurements and formation flow tests, analyses and surveys to enable a comprehensive geological and reservoir evaluation to be made.

 The application shall contain

  • (a) if the well approval sought is to re-enter, work over, complete or recomplete a well or suspend or abandon a well or part of it, a detailed description of that well, the proposed work or activity and the rationale for conducting it;

  • (b) if the well approval sought is to complete a well, in addition to the information required under paragraph (a), information that demonstrates that section 46 will be complied with; and

  • (c) if the well approval sought is to suspend a well or part of it, in addition to the information required under paragraph (a), an indication of the period within which the suspended well or part of it will be abandoned or completed.

 The Board shall grant the well approval if the operator demonstrates that the work or activity will be conducted safely, without waste and without pollution, in compliance with these Regulations.

Suspension and Revocation of a Well Approval

  •  (1) The Board may suspend the well approval if

    • (a) the operator fails to comply with the approval and the work or activity cannot be conducted safely, without waste or without pollution;

    • (b) the safety of the work or activity becomes uncertain because

      • (i) the level of performance of the installation or service equipment, any ancillary equipment or any support craft is demonstrably less than the level of performance indicated in the application, or

      • (ii) the physical environmental conditions encountered in the area of the activity for which the well approval was granted are more severe than the equipment’s operating limits as specified by the manufacturer; or

    • (c) the operator fails to comply with the approvals issued under subsection 7(2), 52(4) or 66(2).

  • (2) The Board may revoke the well approval if the operator fails to remedy the situation causing the suspension within 120 days after the date of that suspension.

Development Plans

 For the purpose of subsection 5.1(1) of the Act, the well approval relating to a production project is prescribed.

 For the purpose of paragraph 5.1(3)(b) of the Act, Part II of the development plan relating to a proposed development of a pool or field shall contain a resource management plan.

PART 3Operator’s Duties

Availability of Documents

  •  (1) The operator shall keep a copy of the authorization, the well approval and all other approvals and plans required under these Regulations, the Act and the regulations made under the Act at each installation and shall make them available for examination at the request of any person at each installation.

  • (2) The operator shall ensure that a copy of all operating manuals and other procedures and documents necessary to execute the work or activity and to operate the installation safely without pollution are readily accessible at each installation.

Management System

 The operator shall ensure compliance with the management system referred to in section 5.

Safety and Environmental Protection

 The operator shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure safety and environmental protection, including ensuring that

  • (a) any operation necessary for the safety of persons at an installation or on a support craft has priority, at all times, over any work or activity at that installation or on that support craft;

  • (b) safe work methods are followed during all drilling, well or production operations;

  • (c) there is a shift handover system to effectively communicate any conditions, mechanical or procedural deficiencies or other problems that might have an impact on safety or environmental protection;

  • (d) differences in language or other barriers to effective communication do not jeopardize safety or environmental protection;

  • (e) all persons at an installation, or in transit to or from an installation, receive instruction in and are familiar with safety and evacuation procedures and with their roles and responsibilities in the contingency plans, including emergency response procedures;

  • (f) any drilling or well operation is conducted in a manner that maintains full control of the well at all times;

  • (g) if there is loss of control of a well at an installation, all other wells at that installation are shut in until the well that is out of control is secured;

  • (h) plans are in place to deal with potential hazards;

  • (i) all equipment required for safety and environmental protection is available and in an operable condition;

  • (j) the inventory of all equipment identified in the safety plan and the environmental protection plan is updated after the completion of any significant modification or repair to any major component of the equipment;

  • (k) the administrative and logistical support that is provided for drilling, well or production operations includes accommodation, transportation, first aid and storage, repair facilities and communication systems suitable for the area of operations;

  • (l) a sufficient number of trained and competent individuals are available to complete the authorized work or activities and to carry out any work or activity safely and without pollution; and

  • (m) any operational procedure that is a hazard to safety or the environment is corrected and all affected persons are informed of the alteration.

  •  (1) No person shall tamper with, activate without cause, or misuse any safety or environmental protection equipment.

  • (2) A passenger on a helicopter, supply vessel or any other support craft engaged in a drilling program or production project shall comply with all applicable safety instructions.

  •  (1) No person shall smoke on an installation except in those areas set aside by the operator for that use.

  • (2) The operator shall ensure compliance with subsection (1).

Storing and Handling of Consumables

 The operator shall ensure that fuel, potable water, spill containment products, safety-related chemicals, drilling fluids, cement and other consumables are

  • (a) readily available and stored on an installation in quantities sufficient for any normal and reasonably foreseeable emergency condition; and

  • (b) stored and handled in a manner that minimizes their deterioration, ensures safety and prevents pollution.

Handling of Chemical Substances, Waste Material and Oil

 The operator shall ensure that all chemical substances, including process fluids and diesel fuel, waste material, drilling fluid and drill cuttings generated at an installation, are handled in a way that does not create a hazard to safety or the environment.

Cessation of a Work or Activity

  •  (1) The operator shall ensure that any work or activity ceases without delay if that work or activity

    • (a) endangers or is likely to endanger the safety of persons;

    • (b) endangers or is likely to endanger the safety or integrity of the well or the installation; or

    • (c) causes or is likely to cause pollution.

  • (2) If the work or activity ceases, the operator shall ensure that it does not resume until it can do so safely and without pollution.

PART 4Equipment and Operations

Wells, Installations, Equipment, Facilities and Support Craft

 The operator shall ensure that

  • (a) all wells, installations, equipment and facilities are designed, constructed, tested, maintained and operated to prevent incidents and waste under the maximum load conditions that may be reasonably anticipated during any operation;

  • (b) a comprehensive inspection that includes a non-destructive examination of critical joints and structural members of an installation and any critical drilling or production equipment is made at an interval to ensure continued safe operation of the installation or equipment and in any case, at least once in every five-year period; and

  • (c) records of maintenance, tests and inspections are kept.

Date modified: