Managing Costs from Spills and Debris

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Office of the Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations (OROGO) seeks input from stakeholders on managing potential costs from spills and debris associated with oil and gas activities or infrastructure.

To start the conversation, OROGO has prepared a discussion paper which:

  • Provides background information on the law and the land tenure system in the area OROGO regulates;
  • Suggests some basic principles for discussion with stakeholders; and
  • Asks a series of questions about how OROGO should manage possible costs from spills and debris.

OROGO is contacting Aboriginal and public governments, other regulators and companies active in its jurisdiction to offer in-person meetings on this topic. OROGO also welcomes written comments on the principles and questions raised in discussion paper.

The engagement period closes on February 28, 2019.


“OROGO recognizes Northerners’ interest in responsibly managing the costs that can result from oil and gas activity. Public response to the discussion paper, along with research into practices in other jurisdictions, will form the basis for OROGO’s policy approach on this important issue.”

James Fulford, Executive Director, OROGO

Quick Facts:

  • The Regulator cannot approve a work or activity unless the operator provides Proof of Financial Responsibility (PFR).
  • The Regulator can use PFR to pay compensation to someone who experienced loss or damage from the spill or debris or paid to help clean up the spills or debris.
  • The operator is responsible for all loss or damage or clean-up costs that result from spills or debris that are the operator’s fault, even if the costs are greater than the PFR.
  • PFR is separate from amounts collected by land and water boards to address the costs of reclamation at oil and gas sites.