A new agreement signed between the Province, the Halfway River First Nation (HRFN) and the BC Oil and Gas Commission (Commission) will support economic development and provide greater land use certainty in northeast British Columbia.
The Oil and Gas Consultation Agreement defines the process and timelines for engagement activities between the HRFN - a member of the Treaty 8 First Nations - and the Commission for proposed oil and gas activities, as well as the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas for pre-tenure related engagement.
The agreement benefits the region by establishing a collaborative approach to oil and gas development. Industry has the confidence to invest and conduct business in the area knowing a formal process is in place to assess proposed activities.
During the life of the agreement, HRFN will receive funding to support the review of tenure and oil and gas activity referrals. The entire cost of the agreement is provided through industry application fees to the Commission.
Negotiating new consultation agreements with Treaty 8 First Nations was a commitment made in British Columbia's Natural Gas Strategy: Fuelling B.C.'s Economy for the Next Decade and Beyond. Interim agreements are in place with other Treaty 8 members while negotiations advance on new agreements.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas -
"British Columbia and First Nations are working together to create economic opportunity and a prosperous future for Aboriginal citizens. This agreement is a commitment to work together to further environmentally responsible oil and gas activities that create jobs and support families."
Paul Jeakins, commissioner and CEO, BC Oil and Gas Commission -
"The BC Oil and Gas Commission is very pleased to have reached this agreement with the Halfway River First Nation. A strong working relationship built on mutual trust and respect is key to ensuring any potential impacts can be addressed and benefits flow to the community."
Chief Russell Lilly, Halfway River First Nation -
"These negotiations have improved the relationship between Halfway River First Nation, the Commission and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, resulting in a better consultation process for oil and gas activities and pre-tenure sale applications that addresses key issues for our community."
Pat Pimm, Peace River North MLA -
"Agreements such as this one are beneficial to all of the parties involved. They set out clear guidelines and encourage a collaborative approach that will bring economic rewards for the Halfway River First Nation, for industry, and for our province."
- The Halfway River First Nation's main community is 120 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John.
- The BC Oil and Gas Commission is the Province's regulatory agency responsible for overseeing oil and gas operations in British Columbia, including exploration, development, pipeline transportation and reclamation.
To learn more see British Columbia's Natural Gas Strategy: Fuelling B.C.'s Economy for the Next Decade and Beyond, which guides and supports important development with a total of 50 action items to help grow and diversify B.C.'s natural gas sector. This report can be found at: http://www.empr.gov.bc.ca/OG/NGS/Pages/default.aspx
For more information on the Halfway River First Nation, visit: http://www.treaty8.bc.ca/communities/halfway.php
For more information about the BC Oil and Gas Commission, visit: www.bcogc.ca
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas