Petroleum & Natural Gas Tenure
The majority of subsurface petroleum and natural gas resources in British Columbia are owned by the Province. By entering into a tenure agreement with the Province, private industry can develop these resources.
Tenure agreements with the Province give private developers rights to petroleum and natural gas resources. Typically, agreements are for three to ten years and can be renewed or extended, require exploration or development, and call for payment of rents and royalties to the Province. Rights are provided to specific areas and may include rights to all depths, or may be restricted to certain geological formations.
Before tenures are issued, the Province conducts a pre-tenure review. This may include gathering information from provincial agencies, local governments and First Nations. The purpose of this review is to determine whether a requested parcel should be made available for disposition.
The Province holds monthly petroleum and natural gas tenure dispositions. Interested parties submit sealed bids and each tenure is awarded to the party that submits the highest bid, provided the bid offers fair value.
- See sales notices with disposition dates, organized by year
- See historical information and statistics about past dispositions
- Find out more about the bidding process
Tenure Policies & Administration
Legislation and regulations govern the disposition, administration and management of petroleum and natural gas.
- See the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act
- See the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act Regulations
- See petroleum and natural gas tenure policy guides
BC Oil and Gas Commission
Although provincial tenure agreements confer rights to explore for or produce petroleum and natural gas resources, approval to carry out work is not included. Each oil and gas activity, such as a geophysical survey or drilling a well, must have specific approval from the BC Oil and Gas Commission. The BC Oil and Gas Commission in an independent, single-window regulatory agency with responsibilities for overseeing oil and gas operations in British Columbia, including exploration, development, pipeline transportation and reclamation.