Access to Land

The OWA is increasing our pace of work to address our growing inventory and protect public safety and the environment. With this increased pace of work, the OWA requires access to sites year-round, and may not be able to delay work because of agricultural activity.

We work with landowners to minimize the impacts of closure work and aim to complete decommissioning and remove equipment so that landscape and environmental reclamation work can begin within three years of receiving a site, although timing may vary depending on the complexity of the project.

The OWA does not take the place of the former operator and has the legal right to access and work on any well, facility or pipeline that has been declared an orphan. We do not hold surface leases or regulatory licenses. Landowners who are owed surface rent from previous operators are required to apply to the Land and Property Rights Tribunal (formerly, the Surface Rights Board).  The OWA is unable to provide any surface rental payments owed to landowners.

We will always do our best to communicate openly and work with landowners and other stakeholders to ensure we understand landowners’ and occupants’ perspectives and concerns about their land.

We make every effort to limit our work to areas covered by the previous surface lease agreement and to minimize impacts outside the lease area. Should we need to use any off-lease area, the OWA will negotiate with landowners regarding additional compensation.