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Joint Technical Committee One (JTC1) – Modernization to the Indian Oil and Gas Regulations

Update - IRC Board of Directors support work of JTC1 Committee

Update - The Sub-surface Module at a Glance

Update - New Approach to Regulation Development

The passing of the Indian Oil and Gas Act 2009, which has not come into force, enables the development of a regulatory framework that allows Indian Oil and Gas Canada (IOGC) to regulate the development of oil and gas activity on First Nation lands in a more effective, efficient and transparent manner. First Nation input is key to the development of these regulations and this is being achieved through a Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1). The JTC1 consists of First Nation Oil and Gas “Subject Matter Experts” (SMEs) from some of the major oil and gas producing First Nations, members of the Indian Resource Council (IRC), IOGC staff and staff from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).

Their mandate is as follows;

  • The JTC1 will continue to assist IOGC and AANDC in modernizing First Nation Reserve lands oil and gas regime by reviewing draft regulatory content, providing guidance and ensuring First Nation perspectives are fully considered during the development of new Indian Oil and Gas Regulations.

The objectives of the new Regulations are the following;

  • Provide modern tools that enable IOGC to protect First Nation interests in the performance of its role as fiduciary, regulator, and manager towards First Nations’ oil and gas resources pursuant to the Indian Oil and Gas Act;
  • Modernize the oil and gas regulatory regime on First Nation reserve lands by: 1) streamlining administration, processes and reducing red tape; and 2) providing clear and transparent rules and eliminating regulatory gaps in the current regulations;
  • Regularize certain practices unique to operations on First Nation reserve lands while also reflecting a measure of consistency with modern industry practices;
  • Make First Nation reserve lands more attractive to industry by creating investment-ready communities which facilitates economic development and investment from the private sector while understanding that industry investment is both market and prospect driven;
  • Ensuring First Nation’s benefit in the following areas, but is not limited to; legal certainty around the governing of oil and gas exploration and development, optimizing leasehold benefits, fair royalties, new auditing powers, environmental protection, protection of cultural significance areas and protection from drainage.

The regulatory review process ensures full participation from our First Nation members on the JTC1. There are several opportunities to review the development of these regulations. The first being the drafting instructions, which includes a description of the policy intent or direction and then the committee will review the actual draft regulations.

The work has been dividend into modules to assist in the completion of this project. The modules are as follows;

  • Drainage and Compensatory Royalty
  • Administration
  • Conservation
  • Enforcement
  • Environment
  • Moneys Management
  • Royalty (Formula & Administration)
  • Tenure (Subsurface)
  • Tenure (Surface)
  • Exploration

The JTC1 has completed their review and have submitted comments to IOGC on the following modules;

  • Drainage and Compensatory Royalty
  • Tenure (Surface)
  • Exploration
  • Conservation

The remaining modules will be reviewed and comments will be submitted to IOGC and AANDC as per the approved work plan.

Although First Nation members on the JTC1 shall report back to their respective Chief and Councils or appointing bodies, it is the responsibility IOGC/AANDC to consult with individual First Nations on the development and implementation of these new regulations.

For more information, please contact the Project Manager, David Shade at Davids@irccanada.ca