2003 Legislative Session: 4th Session, 37th Parliament
The following electronic version is for informational
The printed version remains the official version.
Certified correct as passed Third Reading on the 10th day of
Ian D. Izard, Law Clerk
HONOURABLE RICHARD NEUFELD
MINISTER OF ENERGY AND MINES
|2||Natural gas is a mineral|
|3||Coalbed gas is natural gas|
|4||Natural gas tenure includes coalbed gas|
|5||Minister may issue natural gas tenure of coalbed gas rights|
|6||No compensation or right of action|
|7||Exception for safety reasons|
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:
1 In this Act:
"coal" means a combustible sedimentary rock, other than peat, composed of altered and hardened carbonized vegetable matter, but does not include coalbed gas;
"coal disposition" means a disposition of coal;
"coal owner" means a person who holds a coal tenure or a coal disposition;
"coal tenure" means any lease or licence under the Coal Act;
"coalbed gas" means all substances
(a) that can be recovered to the surface through a wellbore from subsurface coal deposits and any reservoirs in communication with the coal deposits, and
(b) the volume of which, if measured at the surface immediately following that recovery, would be measured as a gas;
"disposition" means any patent, title, deed, notification, conveyance, agreement, transfer, surrender or other documents granting or reserving any right, title, estate or interest in fee simple to a parcel;
"natural gas" means natural gas as defined in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act;
"natural gas disposition" means a disposition of natural gas;
"natural gas owner" means a person who holds a natural gas tenure or natural gas disposition;
"natural gas tenure" means any lease, licence or permit under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act or other rights acquired under section 72 (2) of that Act in respect of petroleum and natural gas, or of natural gas only;
"parcel" means the area of land specified in
(a) a coal tenure,
(b) a natural gas tenure, or
(c) a disposition from the Crown;
"surface owner", in respect of a parcel, means a person who is the registered owner of the land surface.
2 Natural gas must be considered to be and to have always been a mineral.
3 (1) Coalbed gas must be considered to be and to have always been natural gas.
(2) This section does not affect a provision contained in any disposition subsequent to the original disposition from the Crown by which a natural gas owner of a parcel specifically grants coalbed gas rights to
(a) the coal owner in that parcel, or
(b) any person holding coal rights in that parcel through the coal owner.
4 (1) A natural gas tenure, whether made before or after the coming into force of this Act, includes any coalbed gas rights.
(2) A coal tenure, whether made before or after the coming into force of this Act, does not include any coalbed gas rights.
5 Under section 72 (2) of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act, the minister may issue a natural gas tenure of coalbed gas rights to any person with respect to specified coal deposits underlying a parcel.
6 (1) A person has no right of action and must not commence or maintain proceedings, as a result of the enactment of this Act or the exercise by the minister of powers referred to in section 5 or 7,
(a) to claim damages or compensation of any kind from the government, or
(b) to obtain a declaration that damages or compensation are payable by the government.
(2) For all purposes, including for the purposes of the Expropriation Act, no expropriation or injurious affection occurs as a result of the enactment of this Act or the exercise by the minister of powers referred to in section 5 or 7.
(3) The natural gas owner or a person who has acquired coalbed gas rights from the natural gas owner has no right of action and must not commence or maintain proceedings against the government, the surface owner or the coal owner for damages or compensation because of extraction, production or removal of coalbed gas if that extraction, production or removal occurred before the coming into force of this Act.
7 If the minister is satisfied that it is necessary to do so for safety reasons, the minister may, by regulation, authorize coal owners or the holders of Crown coal dispositions to vent or dispose of coal bed gas as directed.
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