Regulations Respecting Geophysical Operations in Relation to Exploration for Oil and Gas in any Area to which the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act Applies
P.C. 1996-166 1996-02-13
Whereas, pursuant to subsection 15(1) of the Canada Oil and Gas Operations ActFootnote *, a copy of the proposed Regulations respecting geophysical operations in relation to exploration for oil and gas in any area to which the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act applies, substantially in the form set out in the annexed text, was published in the Canada Gazette Part I on June 11, 1994, and a reasonable opportunity was afforded to interested persons to make representations with respect thereto;
Return to footnote *S.C. 1992, c. 35, s. 2
Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, pursuant to section 14Footnote ** of the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act, is pleased hereby to make the annexed Regulations respecting geophysical operations in relation to exploration for oil and gas in any area to which the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act applies.
Return to footnote **S.C. 1994, c. 10, s. 7
1 These Regulations may be cited as the Canada Oil and Gas Geophysical Operations Regulations.
2 In these Regulations,
Act means the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act; (Loi)
complement, in respect of a vessel or platform from which an offshore geophysical operation is conducted, means all persons on the vessel or platform whose primary duties relate to the operation of the vessel or platform; (équipage)
- conservation officer
conservation officer means the person appointed as such pursuant to section 53 of the Act; (agent du contrôle de l’exploitation)
explosive has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Explosives Act; (explosif)
- geophysical crew
geophysical crew means all persons engaged in a geophysical operation, but does not include any member of the complement; (équipe d’étude géophysique)
- geophysical operation
geophysical operation means the measurement or investigation, by indirect methods, of the subsurface of the earth for the purpose of locating oil or gas or of determining the nature of the seabed and subsurface conditions at a proposed drilling site or of a proposed pipeline route, and includes a seismic survey, resistivity survey, gravimetric survey, magnetic survey, electrical survey and geochemical survey and any work preparatory to that measurement or investigation, such as field tests of energy sources, calibration of instruments and cable ballasting, but does not include a velocity survey or a vertical seismic survey that is not a walkaway vertical seismic survey; (étude géophysique)
- geophysical operation authorization
geophysical operation authorization means an authorization issued pursuant to paragraph 5(1)(b) of the Act to conduct a geophysical operation; (autorisation d’étude géophysique)
- gravimetric survey
gravimetric survey means a geophysical operation that measures the properties of the earth’s gravitational field; (étude gravimétrique)
interest has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Canada Petroleum Resources Act; (titre)
- magnetic survey
magnetic survey means a geophysical operation that measures the properties of the earth’s magnetic field; (étude magnétique)
- non-exclusive survey
non-exclusive survey means a geophysical operation that is conducted to acquire data for the purpose of sale, in whole or in part, to the public; (étude non exclusive)
- offshore geophysical operation
offshore geophysical operation means a geophysical operation that is not an onshore geophysical operation; (étude géophysique extracôtière)
- onshore geophysical operation
onshore geophysical operation means a geophysical operation that is conducted on or over land not normally submerged or on or over ice; (étude géophysique sur terre)
operator means a person who holds a geophysical operation authorization; (exploitant)
participant means a person who is a party to an agreement pursuant to which a participation survey is conducted; (participant)
- participation survey
participation survey means a geophysical operation that is conducted by an operator pursuant to an agreement between the operator and one or more participants to acquire data that are to be shared among the participants; (étude en participation)
- seismic energy source
seismic energy source means an energy source that is used to generate acoustic waves in a seismic survey; (source d’énergie sismique)
- seismic survey
seismic survey means a geophysical operation that uses a seismic energy source to generate acoustic waves that propagate through the earth, are reflected from or refracted along subsurface layers of the earth, and are subsequently recorded; (étude sismique)
shotpoint means the surface location of a seismic energy source. (point de tir)
Geophysical Operation Authorization
3 Any person may apply for a geophysical operation authorization by submitting to the Chief Conservation Officer three copies of a completed application form.
4 (1) Subject to section 5, an application in respect of an offshore geophysical operation shall be submitted not less than
(a) 30 days before the planned commencement date of the operation, if chemical explosives are not the proposed seismic energy source; and
(b) 90 days before the planned commencement date of the operation, if chemical explosives are the proposed seismic energy source.
(2) Subject to section 5, an application in respect of an onshore geophysical operation shall be submitted not less than 30 days before the planned commencement date of the operation.
5 (1) An application to extend the duration for which a geophysical operation has been authorized shall be submitted at least 15 days before the end of the period being extended or, where the commencement date is being modified, the planned new commencement date.
(2) An application in respect of any modification of a geophysical operation that has been authorized, other than a modification of its duration, shall be submitted at least 15 days before the commencement of the geophysical operation or, where the geophysical operation has commenced, the start of the geophysical operation as modified.
6 When a geophysical operation is commenced, terminated or cancelled by an operator, the operator shall forthwith notify the Chief Conservation Officer in writing of the date of commencement, termination or cancellation.
7 Every operator shall post a copy of the geophysical operation authorization in a conspicuous location in the vessel, platform or aircraft from which the geophysical operation is conducted or, in the case of an onshore geophysical operation, at the field location of that operation.
Damage to Property
8 Every operator shall take all reasonable safeguards against damage to property as a result of a geophysical operation.
9 Where a fire occurs as a result of a geophysical operation, the operator shall take all safe and reasonable measures to control and extinguish the fire and to minimize any danger to persons, property or the environment that results or may reasonably be expected to result from the fire.
10 Subject to any other applicable law, every operator shall ensure that all refuse produced as a result of a geophysical operation is handled in the following manner:
(a) all fuel, oil, oily material or lubricants are collected in a closed system that is designed for that purpose;
(b) all oil or oily material that is not burned at the field location where the operation is conducted and all non-combustible material is transported in a suitable container to, and disposed of at, a suitable waste disposal facility on land; and
(c) where combustible material is burned on a vessel or platform, precautions are taken to ensure that the fire does not endanger any person or the safety of the vessel or platform.
PART IIOffshore Geophysical Operations
Air Gun System
11 Where an operator who is conducting an offshore geophysical operation uses or intends to use an air gun as a seismic energy source, the operator shall ensure that
(a) all air gun components are maintained in good operating condition and are kept free from dirt, oil and excess grease;
(b) during the operation, the air vessels, air manifolds, air lines, electrical lines and the compressor of the air gun system are regularly inspected for signs of abrasion and wear, and that the compressor, where defective, and any defective air vessels are promptly repaired or replaced and any defective manifolds or lines are promptly replaced;
(c) all fittings, valves, hoses, electrical lines, pipes or other components used for an air gun comply with the manufacturer’s specifications for that air gun;
(d) where there is air pressure in the air gun, the pressure is maintained as low as is practicable but sufficiently high to ensure that the air gun remains seated and that there is no danger of accidental firing;
(e) no maintenance of the air gun is carried out until
(i) the air pressure in the air gun and the air line connected to the air gun has been completely bled off, and
(ii) the shuttle of the air gun can be moved freely by use of a wooden safety tool to confirm that the air gun has been completely depressurized; and
(f) where more than one air gun is used as a seismic energy source, a procedure is established and followed for the connection of each air gun to its air line and pressure control valve.
Air Gun Testing
12 (1) Where an air gun is test-fired on the deck of a vessel or platform during an offshore geophysical operation, the operator shall ensure that the person who is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the air gun is present during the test.
(2) Where a test referred to in subsection (1) is carried out, the responsible person referred to in that subsection shall ensure that
(a) before the test-firing, a siren is sounded to alert all persons aboard the vessel or platform of an impending air gun test-firing operation, in time to allow evacuation of an area within an 8 m radius of the test-firing site;
(b) not more than one air gun is test-fired at one time;
(c) before the test-firing, an inspection is done to ensure that the area within an 8 m radius of the test-firing site is clear of unauthorized persons;
(d) all pipes and hoses connected to the air gun that are subject to high pressure are secured or equipped with safety chains to prevent whipping of the pipes or hoses when air pressure is injected into them;
(e) the air pressure in the air gun is below 500 psi; and
(f) the person in charge of the vessel or platform is advised that the test is being carried out.
(3) During an offshore geophysical operation, no air gun shall be test-fired while the air gun is in the water if there are divers within 1,500 m of the air gun.
(4) During an offshore geophysical operation, no air gun shall be test-fired on a vessel or platform without the approval of the Chief Safety Officer.
13 Where an operator who is conducting an offshore geophysical operation uses or intends to use a gas exploder as a seismic energy source, the operator shall ensure that
(a) no person smokes, welds or brazes in any area that is in close proximity to any gas cylinders or inflammable liquid tanks;
(b) gas storage areas are properly ventilated;
(c) all valves and fittings used on a gas cylinder are approved by the manufacturer of the cylinder for use on the cylinder;
(d) all equipment used for handling explosives is approved by the manufacturer of the equipment for the handling of explosives;
(e) every gas cylinder and inflammable liquid tank is stored in an area set aside for that purpose and signs warning of the hazard of explosion are posted in conspicuous locations in that area;
(f) every propane or butane cylinder is stored at the greatest possible distance from any oxygen cylinder or inflammable liquid tank; and
(g) every gas cylinder is protected from overheating.
Electrical Seismic Energy Sources
14 Where an operator who is conducting an offshore geophysical operation uses or intends to use an electrical seismic energy source, the operator shall ensure that
(a) the charging and discharging circuits of the electrical seismic energy source are equipped with circuit breakers;
(b) the electrical cables of the electrical seismic energy source are protected from damage and are adequately insulated and grounded to prevent current leakage and electrical shock; and
(c) the electrical seismic energy source, when tested, is fully immersed in water.
15 Where a helicopter is used in an offshore geophysical operation, the operator shall ensure that
(a) the helicopter deck on the vessel or platform from which the operation is conducted is designed, constructed and operated in accordance with the Guidelines Respecting Helicopter Facilities on Ships, TP 4414, published in December 1986 by the Canadian Coast Guard, as amended from time to time; and
(b) an immersion suit that complies with the Canadian General Standards Board Standard CAN/CGSB-65.17-M88, Helicopter Passenger Transportation Suit System, published in January 1988, as amended from time to time, is worn by every member of the geophysical crew who is on a flight to or from the vessel or platform from which the operation is conducted.
PART IIIOnshore Geophysical Operations
16 Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall
(a) determine the location of survey monuments in the vicinity of the field location of the operation and along any access roads or trails;
(b) before the movement of any equipment, ensure that all survey monuments are clearly flagged; and
(c) ensure that no work that is related to the operation is conducted within 2 m of a survey monument.
Seismic Energy Sources
17 (1) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall, when determining the location for a seismic energy source, ensure that the seismic energy source
(a) is located so that, when the energy source is activated, no damage is caused to any wells, mines, pipelines, buried utilities, buildings or dams;
(b) is placed at least 2 m from any driveway, gateway or buried telephone or other communication line;
(c) where the energy source is a charge comprised of explosives, is placed
(i) where the quantity of explosives being used for the charge is set out in column I of an item of Schedule I, at least the distance set out in column II of that item from any oil or gas well or the centre line of any oil or gas pipeline, and
(ii) where the quantity of explosives being used for the charge is set out in column I of an item of Schedule I, at least twice the distance set out in column II of that item from any dam, residence, area of public congregation or water well; and
(d) where the energy source is other than a charge referred to in paragraph (c), is placed at least
(i) 100 m from any dam,
(ii) 15 m from any oil or gas well or the centre line of any oil or gas pipeline,
(iii) 50 m from any residence, structure with a concrete base or area of public congregation, and
(iv) 100 m from any water well if the energy source is vibroseis, or 50 m from such a well if the energy source is not vibroseis.
(2) An operator shall not allow more than 500 kg of explosives to be detonated in any shot hole or array of shot holes.
(3) Every operator who is conducting an onshore geophysical operation shall ensure that
(a) magazines that contain a quantity of explosives set out in column I of an item of Schedule II are located at least
(i) the distance set out in column II of that item from any highway or road accessible to the public, any railway, airfield, bank of a navigable or recreational waterway, park or other recreational area, or the work area for the operation, and
(ii) twice the distance set out in column II of that item from any building or storage area for inflammable substances in bulk; and
(b) magazines are located or protected so that they will not be damaged by accidental impact.
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