Published On: Friday, 11 March 2016

Province Reinforces Oil and Gas Safety

Province Reinforces Oil and Gas Safety

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BC - Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman, has introduced amendments that will streamline safety oversight over oil and gas facilities, including liquefied natural gas facilities.

“These amendments are about having the best safety standards in place, while clarifying the regulatory environment for industry," he says. "As our province sees larger-scale projects move forward, this legislation will ensure all equipment used in oil and gas settings will be subject to the highest standards.”

Bill 13, the Safety Standards Amendment Act, 2016, will clarify regulatory oversight at oil and gas facilities to ensure equipment is covered by the highest safety standards. The amendments will eliminate overlaps and potential gaps as large-scale projects move forward.

There are two agencies responsible – the act outlines the duties of each. The BC Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) is responsible for safety of oil and gas operations under the Oil and Gas Activities Act (OGAA). The BC Safety Authority (BCSA) provides oversight of technical equipment in industries throughout the province under the Safety Standards Act (SSA).

In the context of oil and gas, the SSA and OGAA clarify responsibilities for the two agencies. For example, the BCSA maintains responsibility for refrigeration units such as ice arenas and cold storage facilities under the SSA. The OGC takes responsibility for refrigeration required for liquefaction in LNG plants under the OGAA, with technical support from the BCSA as required. In addition to providing certainty for industry, the amendments will:

Ensure complex refrigeration associated with LNG is governed by the best-suited regulations;
Eliminate overlap where both regulators apply the same technical standards for pressure piping; and,
Ensure safety oversight of elevators and ropeways, which may be present in large facilities.
The OGC and BCSA have worked together with the provincial government and support these changes. The amendments have no impact to technical equipment outside of the oil and gas sector.