Oil & Natural Gas Glossary

The information provided here is explanatory.  Where there is a conflict between this information and the Act, the Act shall prevail.

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Administrator: The Administrator is the person appointed at the Ministry of Natural Gas Development as the royalty administrator. The administrator establishes the method to determine producer prices for natural gas.

B

Base 9: Base 9 is a classification of non-conservation gas that is produced from wells spudded on Crown land after May 31, 1998, where oil and natural gas rights were issued after May 31, 1998 and which were completed within 60 months of the date that the rights were issued. Base 9 classification doesn’t include revenue sharing gas or gas produced from freehold land.

Base 12: Base 12 is a classification of non-conservation gas that is produced from wells spudded on Crown land after May 31, 1998, unless they meet the criteria for Base 9 or Base 15. Base 12 classification doesn’t include revenue sharing gas or gas produced from freehold land.

Base 15: Base 15 is a classification of non-conservation gas that is produced from wells spudded on Crown land or freehold land before June 1, 1998, or is revenue sharing gas.

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Collector: The Collector is the person appointed at the Ministry of Finance as the royalty collector and oversees the reporting and collecting of oil and natural gas royalties and taxes.

Conservation Gas: Conservation gas is natural gas produced from an oil well where the gas is being conserved or marketed, rather than flared or vented into the atmosphere. Conservation gas doesn’t include concurrent gas.

Concurrent Gas: Concurrent gas is natural gas produced from an oil well that is part of an approved concurrent production scheme under section 65 of the Drilling and Production Regulation per section 75 of the Oil and Gas Activities Act.

Crown Land: Crown land is land on which the surface rights are publically owned, but the underlying oil and natural gas is owned and managed by the Province on behalf of B.C. citizens. Most of the land in B.C. is Crown land. The Province frequently enters into agreements to rent land for specific purposes over set periods of time.

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Development Well: A well is classified as a development well if, at the time the permit is issued, the well is to be located in a spacing area that is in or connected to a designated oil or natural gas pool and the target formation is not a deeper geological formation than the designated oil or natural gas pool.

Discovery Oil: Oil discovered in a new pool discovery well completed after June 30, 1974.

Discovery Well: A well or portion of a well may be designated by the Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) as a discovery well if it is the first well to demonstrate or prove the existence of a new oil or natural gas pool using data obtained from the well.

Direct Operating Costs: For the purpose of the Gas Cost Allowance (GCA), direct operating costs are expenses incurred during the year that are related specifically to operations and include an overhead allowance of 10% of total direct operating costs, but not actual overhead or indirect charges. See Schedule III of the BC-23 guidelines (PDF) for a complete list of allowable direct operating costs and Schedule IV for a list of costs not allowed.

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Exploration Well: An exploration well may be an exploratory outpost well or an exploratory wildcat well.

Exploratory Outpost Well: A well is classified as an exploratory outpost well if it is to be located 7 km from an oil or natural gas pool at the time the permit was issued and it is not a development well.

Exploratory Wildcat Well: A well is be classified as an exploratory wildcat well if, at the time the permit is issued, it is to be located more than 7km from an oil or natural gas pool or if the well has been designated as a discovery well.

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Facility: A facility is a system of vessels and equipment that accommodates the production, disposition or processing of petroleum and natural gas products.

Field: When an area has, or appears to have, one or more pools below the surface, the surface area is referred to as a field.

Formation: A geological formation is a distinctive rock unit that can be classified and mapped. The formation must be distinctive enough that a geologic mapper can tell it apart from surrounding rock layers, and it must also be thick and extensive enough to plot on a map.

Freehold Land: Freehold land is land where petroleum and natural gas rights are not owned by the Province.

Freehold Oil: Freehold oil is oil produced from a well or allocated to a tract in a unitized operation if the well or tract is located on freehold land. Freehold oil is subject to a freehold production tax, which producers are responsible for reporting and paying.

Freehold Production Tax: When oil, natural gas or natural gas by-products are produced from freehold land, the producer will pay Freehold Production Tax.

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Gas Royalty Rate: See Royalty Rate.

Gas Royalty Share: See Royalty Share.

Gas Well Event: A gas well event means all completions in a zone for a well with a primary product of natural gas. See the Oil and Gas Activities Act for a complete explanation.

Gross Royalty: See Royalty (Gross).

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Heavy Oil: Heavy oil is oil with a density of at least 890 kilograms per cubic meter.

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Location: Location refers to the land described in a permit, licence or lease.

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Marketable Gas: Marketable gas is natural gas that is available for sale for direct consumption as domestic, commercial or industrial fuel, or as industrial raw material, whether it occurs naturally or results from the processing of natural gas. Raw gas that is sold in the field falls within this definition.

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Natural Gas: Natural gas is gas that is produced from an oil or gas well and is classified for royalty purposes as conservation gas, non-conservation gas or concurrent gas.

New Oil: New oil is mainly oil, other than oil that qualifies as heavy oil or third tier oil, that is produced from a pool that had no completed well on October 31, 1975. New oil is also incremental oil that does not qualify as third tier oil. See the royalty regulation or a complete description.

Non-Conservation Gas: Non-conservation gas is all natural gas not classified as conservation gas or concurrent gas. Non-conservation gas makes up the majority of natural gas production in B.C. There are three royalty categories of non-conservation gas (base 15, base 12 and base 9), which depend on the date the title was acquired from the Province and the date the well was spudded and completed.

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Oil (heavy): See Heavy Oil.

Oil (new): See New Oil.

Oil (old): See Old Oil.

Oil (third tier): See Third Tier Oil.

Oil Well Event: An oil well event means all completions in a zone for a well with a primary product of oil.

Old Oil: Old oil is oil produced from an oil well event other than new oil, third tier oil or heavy oil.

Operator: An operator is a person or company that is responsible for the drilling, completion, production and abandonment of a well, or for the construction, operation and reclamation of a production facility, processing plant, pipeline or storage facility.

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Pipeline: A pipeline in B.C. carries petroleum, natural gas or water for use in the drilling or production of petroleum or natural gas. It doesn't include pipelines used to distribute natural gas to a community or consumers.

Plant: A plant is a facility where natural gas is processed or reprocessed.

Pool: A pool means an underground reservoir containing an accumulation of oil, natural gas or both, that is separate from, or appears to be separate from, another such accumulation.

Producer: A producer is a person or company that takes ownership of oil or natural gas production as it is produced. Producers are direct recipients of proceeds from the first sale of the oil or natural gas and are responsible for paying royalties on oil or natural gas production.

Producing Month: Producing month refers to a calendar month where any quantity of oil, natural gas or water is produced from a well event.

Production Entity (PE): Production entity refers to a unitized operation where there is a royalty agreement between the Province and the producers. Royalty rates are based on volumes of oil allocated to each tract, rather than volumes produced from wells. See the Oil and Gas Royalty Handbook (PDF) for a complete description.

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Raw Gas: Raw gas is natural gas as it first releases from a well. Raw gas may contain methane, other paraffinic hydrocarbons, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, helium or minor impurities that is recovered or is recoverable at a well from an underground reservoir and is gaseous at the conditions under which its volume is measured or estimated.

Reclamation Costs: Reclamation costs are a levy on production used to cover the cost of abandonment and reclamation of sites for unviable operators.

Reporting Facility: A reporting facility is determined by the Oil and Gas Commission (OGC). It must have certain equipment installed to adequately separate and measure all of the product streams. Typically, this is a facility where there is dehydration equipment. A reporting facility may sometimes be referred to as a battery.

Residue Gas: Residue gas is marketable gas that results from the processing of natural gas.

Revenue Sharing Gas: Revenue sharing gas is natural gas produced from a gas well event where royalties are to be shared under the terms of a revenue sharing agreement applicable to that gas. See the Oil & Gas Royalty Handbook (PDF) for a complete description.

Revenue Sharing Oil: Revenue sharing oil is oil produced from an oil well event where royalties are to be shared under the terms of a revenue sharing agreement applicable to that oil. See the Oil & Gas Royalty Handbook (PDF) for a complete description.

Royalty: In the case of resources, a royalty is a portion of the resulting resource profits earned by a producer and paid to the Province. Most land in B.C. is Crown land, which is owned and managed by the Province and the Province collects royalties from oil and natural gas production on those lands. Producers who develop resources on freehold land pay freehold production tax.

Royalty (Gross): The Province's gross royalty is equal to the marketable gas or by-product royalty share multiplied by the reference price prior to the deduction of any allowances or the value of exempt volumes.

Royalty Rate: The marketable gas royalty rate is a ratio used in determining the Province’s royalty share and its valuation.  See section 6 of the royalty regulation for detailed formulas for royalty rates.

Royalty Share: The royalty share is the share of production of oil, natural gas or natural gas by-products from Crown lands for which the Province has the right to receive compensation. The royalty share is equal to the sales volume multiplied by the royalty rate. The value of the royalty share is calculated by multiplying the royalty rate by the gas reference price.

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Sales Line: A sales line is a pipeline that transports marketable gas products such as natural gas, natural gas liquids or oil to the marketplace for the purpose of being sold.

Select Price: The select price is a price for natural gas established for each calendar year by order of the administrator. The select price is also used to determine when the reference price can be adjusted for inflation.

Spudding: Spudding means the very start of drilling on a new well. The spud date is the day when the drill bit penetrates the surface using a drilling rig capable of drilling the well to the authorized depth.

Storage Facility: A storage facility is a storage system to move natural gas volumes into and out of storage reservoirs.

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Third Tier Oil: Third tier oil is mainly oil produced from a pool that had no completed well on June 1, 1998, with the exception of revenue sharing oil and heavy oil.  

Throughput: Throughput is the volume of raw gas received at the inlet of each gas processing facility.

Tract: A tract is a parcel of land in a unitized operation to which production of petroleum is allocated in accordance with the terms of a unit agreement.

True Vertical Depth: True vertical depth means, for any point on the wellbore of a well, the distance between the wellbore point and the point directly above the wellbore point that is the same elevation as the kelly bushing used in drilling that well. The kelly is connected to the top most joint of the drill pipe.

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Unit Agreement: A unit agreement is an agreement between the Province and all holders of locations in an area for unitized operation. A unit agreement specifies how production and costs of development and operations will be allocated to holders of locations.

Unitized Operation: Unitized operation refers to management, development, production and conservation of oil and natural gas in an area by all owners of interests in an area.

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Weighted Average Royalty Rate: The weighted average royalty rate is the average of all marketable gas and by-product royalty rates weighted in accordance with their sales values. It is equal to the combined gross royalties for all marketable natural gas and natural gas by-products, divided by the combined reference price values for those products.

Well Event: A well event can be an oil well event or a gas well event.

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Zone: A zone is a stratum or strata designated by the Minister as a zone generally or for a designated area of a specific well.