Core Business Areas

Oil and Gas

The Crown owns most of the Province's petroleum and natural gas resources. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources is responsible for the management of these resources and is mandated to ensure protection of the environment in oil and gas development as well as ensure that benefits from these resources are maximized for British Columbians. In 2005/06, provincial government revenue generated directly from the production of oil and gas in British Columbia was approximately $2.45 billion, which is about ten per cent of the Province's annual revenue. Following rapid expansion in recent years, exploration growth in British Columbia is expected to lessen in 2007/08. However, with abundant oil and gas deposits throughout the Province, oil and gas revenue will continue to play an important role in the provincial economy and the public services that revenue supports.

The Oil and Gas Division strives to create a vibrant and sustainable oil and gas industry over the long-term by providing a vehicle for the orderly and timely development of British Columbia's available oil and gas resources. The Division is planning for the future by reviewing its policies and programs to enhance the oil and gas regulatory regime. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Improvement Initiative being developed by the Ministry in cooperation with Oil and Gas Commission is one such program. Its objectives are to further the government's results-based approach to regulation and environmental management and enhance efficiency for all oil and gas permitting, compliance and enforcement.

The Division also strives to maximize the benefits from the Province's oil and gas resources, including increasing revenue and private sector business opportunities, implementing innovative oil and gas infrastructure and royalty programs, promoting geological potential, and enhancing the competitive business climate for oil and gas service companies.

While most of the current oil and gas investment is for conventional oil and gas in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, increasingly the Division is focussing on supporting activity in underdeveloped areas and unconventional gas. Working with industry and stakeholders, the Division supports collecting baseline data and geoscience research. In particular, the Nechako Initiative will facilitate pursuing oil and gas development in the Interior Basins, including a comprehensive Environmental Information Program to identify baseline information needs in the area.

Titles and Offshore

In November 2006 the former Titles Division was merged with the former Offshore Oil and Gas Division to form a new Titles and Offshore Division. The new division is responsible for tenure issuance, administration and compliance, land use coordination, and works to enable offshore oil and gas development to occur in British Columbia.

The Oil and Gas Titles Branch in the Titles and Offshore Division issues and administers tenures for Crown-owned petroleum and natural gas, geothermal and underground gas storage rights, and collects associated revenues. The monthly disposition process for oil and gas rights generates over $400 million in revenue annually, while the administration of tenures provides a further $60 million each year.

The Mineral Titles Branch in the Titles and Offshore Division issues and administers tenures for Crown-owned mineral, placer and coal rights. Mineral Titles Online, an award winning, state-of-the-art, internet-based mineral tenure acquisition and maintenance system, provides enhanced service delivery to clients.

The Compliance and Administration Branch delivers accounting, revenue forecasting and financial control over all B.C. subsurface tenure revenues; develops and manages the division budget, financial administration, infrastructure requirements, and human resources activities; coordinates and leads policy activities related to title issuance and community issues; and leads Business Plan development and reporting.

The Land Use Coordination Branch leads the development of land use strategies, concepts and policies for the Ministry; represents the interests of the Ministry in a wide range of land use initiatives throughout the Province; provides the Ministry with information and advice regarding current and emerging land use decisions; and coordinates land use issues within the Ministry to ensure the overall goals and objectives of the organization are consistent and properly represented.

The Offshore Oil and Gas Branch will continue to identify potential benefits and risks of offshore development, develop a comprehensive fiscal and regulatory regime, and advance scientific knowledge of offshore energy development. The Province of British Columbia believes that the potential opportunities provided by offshore oil and gas development are of significant public value. The Province is taking a principled approach to researching management and regulatory regimes in other jurisdictions in order to identify best practices for west coast offshore development.

The Offshore Oil and Gas Branch is investing in research and partnering with British Columbia's universities to establish environmental baseline data that will facilitate responsible exploration and development of offshore oil and gas. The Branch has concluded a Protocol Agreement with the Nisga'a Nation to work collaboratively on offshore issues, and has provided financial support for a project to collect and disseminate information to Nisga'a Citizens on the risks and benefits of offshore oil and gas development. Plans are underway to bring coastal community and First Nations leaders together to work on a number of matters related to offshore development, including regulatory frameworks, benefits, risks and opportunities. The Branch also participates in federal and provincial ocean planning initiatives to ensure offshore oil and gas development is factored into marine management decision-making.

Mining and Minerals

British Columbia is rich in mineralization and is ranked high by companies with respect to mineral resource potential including coal, aggregate, industrial minerals and metal resources. Mining revenues and jobs are increasing as government policies and commodity prices fuel investor confidence and attract the mining industry to develop these rich resources. The provincial government is committed to attracting exploration investment and building the mining industry in order to ensure benefits for all British Columbians.

The Mining and Minerals Division develops and implements policies and programs to enhance British Columbia's competitiveness world-wide in order to attract new investment in mineral exploration and development. The Division fosters the economic efficiency of the mineral sector in a manner that is socially and environmentally responsible.

British Columbia is a leader in innovation and high technology research and education. The Mining and Minerals Division is advancing a number of technology initiatives to enhance service and attractiveness to industry, such as an online permitting system for mineral exploration, continuing with state of the art mineral resource and geoscience databases, and an interactive mapping website,

The Division is responsible for health, safety and environmental regulations at mine sites, which are part of the framework that establishes British Columbia's mines as among the most environmentally responsible, technologically advanced, and the safest in the world. It manages the exploration and development of mineral resources while ensuring the involvement of communities, environmental organizations and First Nations, and is responsible for the development and implementation of the BC Mining Plan.

Electricity and Alternative Energy

The Electricity and Alternative Energy Division develops and implements policies and programs to support all forms of electrical power generation, alternative energy sources, energy efficiency measures, and leading edge and evolving technologies. The Division focuses on facilitating thriving, competitive, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible electricity and alternative energy sectors for the benefit of British Columbians.

As British Columbia's economy strengthens, it continues to rely on reliable, low-cost electricity. The government is dedicated to striking a balance between the responsible development of conventional sources of electricity, and developing policies that will encourage the use of new and alternative sources. The Division is responsible for developing and implementing provincial policy with respect to BC Hydro, the BC Transmission Corporation, Columbia Power Corporation and other electricity utilities, and for ensuring that British Columbia's energy interests in inter-jurisdictional relations are met. One of B.C.'s competitive advantages is its historical investment in hydro-electric dams. This investment ensures ratepayers continue to receive the benefits of low cost electricity. The Division will endeavor to maintain this competitive advantage in the context of challenging public expectations of the public for low air emissions and often more expensive unconventional electricity production.

Marketing, Aboriginal and Community Relations

The Marketing, Aboriginal and Community Relations Division provides a unified, corporate approach to other divisions by leading or supporting the Ministry's First Nations consultation processes and advancing the New Relationship; leading the community engagement and marketing strategies; providing strategic planning, corporate policy advice, and ensuring reporting requirements are met; leading cross ministry and intergovernmental initiatives; and overseeing legislative and regulation development.

The Division is also responsible for providing administrative support services to the Mediation and Arbitration Board.

Executive and Support Services

Financial and administrative support services, payroll, human resources and budgeting, are provided by the Management Services Division in a shared service arrangement with the Ministry of Economic Development.

An overview of the Ministry's Information Resource Management Plan can be found at:

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