Questerre Energy Corp. has reported that Quebec’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has published the proposed regulations to govern oil and gas activities in the province. A copy of the draft regulations can be found online here.
The draft regulations are required for the implementation of the Petroleum Resources Act, which was enacted as a result of the adoption of Bill 106, An Act to Implement the 2030 Energy Policy and to Amend Various Legislative Provisions in December 2016.
The purpose of the Petroleum Resources Act is (i) to replace the current oil and gas statutory framework set by the Quebec Mining Act and (ii) to govern the development of petroleum resources while ensuring the safety of persons and property, environmental protection and optimal recovery of the resource, in compliance with the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set by the Quebec Government.
The Petroleum Resources Act will come into force on a date that will be set by the Quebec Government. This is expected to be on or about the same time as the adoption of the final version of the draft regulations.
The draft regulations provide further detail on the legal principles established by the Petroleum Resources Act and cover four main categories: licenses (exploration, production, storage, etc.) and pipeline construction, activities on land environments, activities on water environments (excluding marine environment) and the repeal of the existing Regulation respecting Petroleum, Natural Gas and Underground Reservoirs, which was adopted under the Quebec Mining Act.
Michael Binnion, President and CEO of Questerre, commented: “Questerre Energy’s step-by-step approach to engaging with the government and other stakeholders is working. Consistent with its timeline, the Ministry published the draft regulations on schedule.”
He added, “A preliminary review suggests these regulations reflect some of the highest standards in North America for oil and gas activity. They incorporate the results of over a hundred studies conducted in Quebec and best practices in other jurisdictions. They are designed to facilitate development while recognising the importance of protecting the environment and securing local acceptability. Along with other license holders in Quebec, we will be studying these regulations in detail and providing feedback to the Ministry. Questerre Energy is looking forward to the implementation of the final regulations by year-end.”