The Surface Rights Board is a quasi-judicial tribunal that grants right of entry and assists landowners/occupants and operators resolve disputes about compensation when operators require access to private land or occupied crown land to develop subsurface resources such as oil, gas, and coal or to build and operate pipelines and power transmission lines.

Resolving Disputes
Settlement Agreement

In a majority of cases, the operator and the landowner (or occupant) will reach an agreement on their own without using the Board’s dispute resolution services. Settlement by agreement is the Board’s preferred outcome, as it saves each side time and often results in both sides being more content with the outcome. When the parties reach an agreement, they may sometimes sign their agreement without ever coming to the Board. They also have the option of asking the Board to adopt their agreement as a Board Order.

Settlement agreements for a new operation

For a new operation, if the parties reach an agreement they may enter into a surface lease or if the parties have reached an agreement as to compensation with respect to a right of entry order they may request that the Board adopt their agreement as an Order of the Board. This can be done by requesting a Board Order without an oral hearing pursuant to Rule 27 of the Surface Rights Board Rules. For instructions on how to do this, see How to Apply for a Board Compensation Order.

If the parties reach an agreement and sign a surface lease there is no need for Board involvement.

If the parties want to enter a surface lease agreement but the operator has already applied for a Right of Entry Order, it should cancel its request with Board Administration (for how to do this, see Withdrawing an application for a Right of Entry Order).

If the Board has already issued a Right of Entry Order for the new operation, and the parties then come to an agreement and has signed a surface lease agreement, the operator may then apply to have the Board’s Right of Entry Order terminated pursuant to section 28 of the Act. This termination may be done without a reclamation certificate. For more information, see Termination of a Right of Entry Order.

Settlement agreements (5-year review)

Parties may also reach an agreement for an existing operation undergoing its 5-year review of the annual compensation. If you have a Surface lease you have two options: a. the parties shall amend the lease or b. enter into a new lease. If oyu have a right of entry order the parties shall complete the Review the Rate of Compensation form and provide a copy of the written agreement.

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