NEB and Oil & Gas Commission of B.C. take steps to improve pipeline safety and regulatory efficiency

    CALGARY, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - The National Energy Board (NEB) and the Oil &
Gas Commission (OGC) of British Columbia have signed a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) that improves pipeline safety and provides opportunities
for further regulatory efficiency for energy development.
    The MOU also establishes a protocol for coordinating the training and
technical liaison in areas common to both the NEB and the OGC.
    "The NEB and OGC strive towards regulating energy projects that are safe
and efficient for the benefit of the people in B.C. and all Canadians," said
NEB Chair Gaétan Caron. "Our agreement today builds on our existing
partnership to make further improvements to our processes in terms of pipeline
safety, environmental protection and economic and regulatory efficiency."
    OGC Commissioner Alex Ferguson confirms a key part of the MOU covers
greater cooperation and coordination between the two regulators in the areas
of safety, emergency management, and agency training.
    "Our existing relationship ensures that public and environmental
protection are held in the highest respect regardless of jurisdiction,"
Ferguson said. "What this memorandum does is solidify that relationship and
define the terms of cooperative interaction."
    A key part of the MOU covers greater cooperation and coordination between
the two regulators in the event of a pipeline incident or emergency. For
example, in the event of a pipeline incident or emergency that takes place
within B.C. on an NEB-regulated pipeline, the OGC will provide assistance as
requested by the NEB. This assistance may include monitoring the pipeline
operator's response with respect to managing the emergency, ensuring public
safety and minimizing the impact on the environment. The NEB will be
responsible for the investigation of the incident as well as the clean-up and
rehabilitation operations. If such an incident occurs on a BC-regulated
pipeline, the NEB will provide assistance to the OGC.
    The MOU between the two regulators also covers such matters as notifying
each other when conducting an audit of a pipeline or taking enforcement action
against a pipeline company that is regulated by both federal and provincial

    The NEB is an independent federal agency that regulates several parts of
Canada's energy industry. Its purpose is to promote safety and security,
environmental protection, and efficient energy infrastructure and markets in
the Canadian public interest, within the mandate set by Parliament in the
regulation of pipelines, energy development and trade.

    The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission is an independent, single-window
regulator of oil and gas activities within the Province of British Columbia.
The OGC has regulatory responsibility for industry activity from the
exploration and development phases, through to facilities operation and
decommissioning. It is charged with balancing a broad range of environmental,
economic and social considerations. Among its more specific objectives are
public safety, conservation of petroleum resources, fostering a healthy
environment, and equitable participation in production.

For further information:

For further information: Kristen Higgins (,
Communications Officer, Telephone: (403) 299-3371; Steve Simons, Executive
Director, Corporate Affairs, BC Oil and Gas Commission, Telephone: (250)
356-2577, Cell: (250) 889-6076

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