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The Gas Storage and Allocation Act
This is an unofficial archived version of The Gas Storage and Allocation Act
as enacted by SM 1987-88, c. 9 on July 17, 1987.

R.S.M. 1987, c. G52

The Gas Storage and Allocation Act

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions.

1

In this Act,

"board" where used in Part I, means The Oil and Natural Gas Conservation Board established under The Mines Act and, where used in Part II, means The Public Utilities Board established under The Public Utilities Board Act; ("Commission" ou "Régie")

"designated area" means an area designated under Part I as an area set aside for the purpose of reservoir explorations or gas storage; ("région désignée")

"distributor" means a person engaged in the business of selling and distributing gas to consumers; ("distributeur")

"exploration permit" means a permit under Part I authorizing the holder thereof to engage in explorations within a designated area specified in the permit, for the purpose of determining the existence and location of any reservoir within the area; ("permis d'exploration")

"gas" means natural or manufactured gas in a gaseous state; ("gaz")

"gas storage service" means the service of storing gas within a reservoir; ("service d'entreposage de gaz")

"permit" means, as the context may require, an exploration permit or a storage permit; ("permis")

"reservoir" means a sub-surface geological formation suitable for use as a gas storage reservoir; ("réservoir")

"storage permit" means a permit under Part I, exercisable with respect to a reservoir specified in the permit and authorizing the holder thereof to engage in the business of providing a gas storage service and providing such other services and conducting such operations as are ancillary to the gas storage service but not amounting to the services or operations of a distributor. ("permis d'entreposage")

PART I

GAS STORAGE

Exploration permits.

2(1)

Subject to section 8, the board may grant an exploration permit to any person who applies therefor.

Gas storage permits.

2(2)

Where the existence and location of a reservoir within a designated area

(a) is determined through explorations carried out pursuant to an exploration permit; or

(b) is otherwise known;

the board may subject to section 8, grant a storage permit, exercisable with respect to that reservoir, to any person who applies therefor.

Terms and conditions.

2(3)

A permit granted under this section is granted subject to the provisions of this Act and any regulation made thereunder and such terms and conditions including the duration of the permit as the board may prescribe.

Designated areas.

3(1)

For the purposes of section 2, the Lieutenant Governor in Council upon the application of any person applying or proposing to apply for a permit may, by regulation, declare any area to be a designated area.

Duration of designation.

3(2)

An area designated under subsection (1) remains a designated area until the Lieutenant Governor in Council, by regulation, declares that it is no longer a designated area.

Effect of permit

3(3)

No regulation shall be made under subsection (2) with respect to any designated area while a permit is in effect with respect to the area.

Prohibition generally.

4(1)

No person shall, anywhere in the province, engage in

(a) explorations for the purpose of determining the existence or location of a reservoir, where the reservoir is proposed or likely to be used for the storage of gas; or

(b) the business of providing a gas storage service or a gas storage service and ancillary services;

except pursuant to and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a valid and subsisting permit.

Prohibition as to designated areas.

4(2)

Subject to section 2, no person shall, within a designated area perform or engage in any sub-surface operation or any undertaking involving a sub-surface operation, except with the approval of the board.

Exception.

4(3)

Subsection (2) does not apply in the case of a sub-surface operation that is not likely to affect

(a) any reservoir used or proposed or likely to be used for the storage of gas; or

(b) any sub-surface access to a reservoir of the kind described in clause (a).

Exclusiveness of exploration permit.

5(1)

An exploration permit is an exclusive permit with respect to the designated area specified in the permit.

Exclusiveness of storage permit

5(2)

A storage permit is an exclusive permit with respect to the reservoir specified in the permit.

Undertaking of board.

5(3)

An exploration permit shall include an undertaking by the board to subsequently grant to the holder of the permit, if he applies therefor and in such further circumstances as the board may specify in the undertaking, a storage permit with respect to any reservoir that may be located in the course of carrying out explorations under the exploration permit.

Permits non-assignable.

5(4)

A permit is not assignable or transferable in whole or in part without the approval of the board.

Rights of access and usage.

6(1)

Where the board grants or proposes to grant a permit and is satisfied that, as between the holder or proposed holder of the permit and any other person affected or likely to be affected by the exercise of the permit, the determining of any right of surface or sub-surface access or usage or a term or condition thereof including the payment of compensation or the amount thereof

(a) is necessary for the due exercise of the permit; and

(b) was not effected by agreement between the holder or proposed holder and that other person;

the board, upon the application of the holder or proposed holder or that other person or on its own initiative but subject to sections 7 and 8 and the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may determine that right, term or condition.

Effect of terms determined by board.

6(2)

Any right, term or condition determined by the board under subsection (1) has the same force and effect and shall be observed to all intents and purposes as if it had been determined by agreement between the persons affected.

Delay in determining terms.

6(3)

Where the board foresees delay in determining any right, term or condition under subsection (1) and is of the opinion that the delay is likely to prejudice the due exercise of any permit or proposed permit, the board may subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council authorize the permit or proposed permit to be exercised forthwith or forthwith upon being granted but subject to such terms and conditions as the board with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council may impose for the interim protection of the interests of any person affected or likely to be affected by the exercise of the permit or proposed permit and the interests of the holder or proposed holder of the permit.

Mines Act procedures.

6(4)

In determining any right, term or condition under subsection (1), the board shall, as nearly as possible, employ the principles and procedures, with such modifications as the circumstances require, prescribed by regulation under The Mines Act for use in discharging any similar function of the board under that Act.

Application to Crown lands, etc.

7(1)

Section 6 does not apply where the Crown or an agency of the Crown is the other person to whom reference is made in subsection 6(1).

Where reservoir in use.

7(2)

Nothing in section 6 empowers the board to determine any right, term or condition as between the holder or proposed holder of a storage permit and any other person with respect to a reservoir, where the reservoir is in use at the date this Act comes into force, except with the consent of that other person.

Public hearings.

8

The board shall not grant any permit under this Part, or exercise any power under section 6, unless and until it holds a public hearing with respect thereto; and any person whose interests are in the opinion of the board likely to be affected by the granting or refusal of the permit or exercise of the power may at the hearing submit argument for or against the granting of the permit or exercise of the power.

Appeals.

9(1)

An appeal, limited however to the issue of the payment of compensation and the amount thereof, lies to the Court of Appeal from any decision of the board under subsection 6(1).

Leave to appeal.

9(2)

No appeal shall be taken under subsection (1), except by leave of a judge of the Court of Appeal.

Questions of law and fact.

9(3)

An appeal under subsection (1) may be taken on any question of law or fact or both.

Form of permits.

10(1)

The board may prescribe the form of any permit granted.

Form of applications.

10(2)

Any application submitted under this Part shall be in a form prescribed by the board, and shall contain such information and be accompanied by such supporting documents or other material as the board may require.

Additional material.

10(3)

The board, at any time after receiving an application under this Part, may require the applicant to submit such further information, documents or other material as the board deems necessary.

Returns of information.

11

Every holder of a permit shall, whenever required by the board, submit to the board such information, particulars, documents, reports or returns of information as the board may require with respect to the exercise of the permit or the operations of the holder or any thing that in the opinion of the board is likely to affect the exercise of the permit or the operations of the holder.

Fees.

12

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, prescribe application fees or permit fees or both, and the amounts thereof, to be paid by applicants under this Part.

Public utility.

13(1)

Any undertaking carried on pursuant to a storage permit is, with respect to charges for storage services and such ancillary services as may be provided by the undertaking pursuant to the permit, deemed to be a public utility within the meaning of section 1 of The Public Utilities Board Act and subject to the provisions of sections 24, 25, 57, 61, 64 to 66, 74 to 79, 82, 84, 89, 91, 93 and 95 to 100 of that Act, with such modifications as the circumstances require.

Prohibition.

13(2)

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Part, no person shall engage in the business of providing gas storage or gas storage and ancillary services, except in accordance with the requirements of subsection (1).

Suspension of permits.

14(1)

The board may suspend the permit of any person who is in breach of any provision of this Act and who fails upon notice to remedy the breach within the time specified in the notice.

Cancellation of permits.

14(2)

As soon as practicable after the suspension of any permit under subsection (1), the board shall hold a public hearing with respect thereto, and upon the hearing the board may

(a) revoke the suspension, conditionally or unconditionally; or

(b) confirm the suspension and set an expiry date for the suspension; or

(c) cancel the permit.

Powers of board generally.

15

For the purpose of performing the functions and discharging the duties assigned to it under this Act, the board has the powers conferred upon it under The Mines Act.

PART II

GAS ALLOCATION

Allocation of gas supplies.

16(1)

Where the board is satisfied that the supplies of gas available to a distributor under its existing contracts with suppliers are insufficient for its present or foreseeable requirements, the board may, on the application of the distributor or any other person or on its own initiative, order the distributor to allocate and distribute its existing and prospective supplies of gas in accordance with a plan designed generally to give the highest priority to residential requirements, with any surplus going first to commercial requirements and thereafter to large-scale industrial requirements.

Modification of allocation plan.

16(2)

For the purposes of any order it proposes to make under subsection (1), the board may authorize such exceptions from or modifications to the general scheme of priority required by the plan to which reference is made in subsection (1) as the public interest may in the opinion of the board require.

Reduction of certain supply commitments.

17(1)

Notwithstanding the provisions of any contract for the supply of gas between a distributor and any commercial or industrial consumer, but subject to subsection (2), where the board is of the opinion that, because of the use to which the gas is being put by that consumer, its continued consumption in the quantities contracted for may not be in the public interest having regard for the desirability of ensuring so far as possible the availability of adequate supplies of gas for future residential use or for purposes involving more efficient or productive utilization of the gas, the board on the application of the distributor or any other person or on its own initiative may order the distributor, on such terms and conditions as the board deems proper,

(a) to reduce, to such extent as the order may specify, the quantity of gas required to be supplied under the contract; or

(b) to cease supplying gas to the consumer.

Factors to be considered.

17(2)

Before making an order under subsection (1) with respect to any consumer, the board shall consider any factor that in its opinion may be relevant, including

(a) the purposes for which the consumer is using or proposing to use the gas;

(b) the present or prospective availability of alternative sources of energy for the purposes of the consumer, and the adequacy of the sources for those purposes; and

(c) the adequacy of gas supplies for present or prospective residential and other requirements.

Public hearings.

18

Before making any order under this Part, the board shall hold a public hearing with respect to the subject matter of the order.

Determination of questions.

19

Any question that arises with respect to the interpretation, performance or effect of an order made under this Part shall be determined by the board in such manner as in the opinion of the board the public interest requires, and the determination of the board is final and binding.

Form of applications.

20(1)

Any application submitted under this Part shall be in a form prescribed by the board, and shall contain such information and be accompanied by such supporting documents or other material as the board may require.

Additional material.

20(2)

The board, at any time after receiving an application under this Part, may require the applicant to submit such further information, documents or other material as the board deems necessary.

Compliance.

21

Every distributor affected by an order made under this Part shall comply with the provisions thereof.

Liability of distributors.

22

No distributor is liable for any failure to supply gas or sufficient gas to a consumer that results from complying with the provisions of an order made under this Part.

Powers of board generally.

23

For the purpose of performing the functions and discharging the duties assigned to it under this Act, the board has the powers conferred upon it under The Public Utilities Board Act.

PART III

GENERAL

Crown bound.

24

Subject to subsection 7(1), the Crown is bound by this Act.

Crown liability.

25(1)

The Crown is not liable for any loss, damage or injury suffered by any person as a result of any thing done under this Act.

Exception.

25(2)

Subsection (1) does not apply where the Crown or an agency of the Crown or a corporation of which the Crown is a shareholder is

(a) the holder or one of a number of holders of a permit; or

(b) a participant in the exercise of a permit.

Regulations.

26

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act according to their intent, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make such regulations and orders as are ancillary thereto and are not inconsistent therewith; and every regulation or order made under, and in accordance with the authority granted by, this section has the force of law; and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations and orders,

(a) declaring that specified areas are designated areas;

(b) declaring that specified designated areas are no longer designated areas;

(c) prescribing any fees payable under this Act.

Offence and penalty.

27

Any person who contravenes or fails to observe any provision of this Act or a regulation made thereunder is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction, for each day that the offence continues, in the case of a first offence to a fine of not less than $100. or more than $1,000., and in the case of a second or subsequent offence to a fine of not less than $500. or more than $5,000.