Saskatchewan launches electronic pipeline registry

Flowlines will now be more stringently licensed under the new Saskatchewan regulation rules. Image: Brian Zinchuk

Saskatchewan has modernized its regulatory oversight of oil and gas infrastructure with a new electronic online pipeline registry.

The province said this is the first system of its kind in Canada to adopt an entirely electronic registry of pipeline licensing and administration.

The recently proclaimed Pipelines Amendment Act, 2019 establishes a new module in the Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS) for an online licence registry, similar to the Saskatchewan Land Titles Registry, which will issue and administer licences for the oil, gas and mining sectors.

Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said the introduction of substantial enhancements to Saskatchewan’s pipeline licensing system will a provide more efficiency and regulatory certainty for the oil and gas sector.

The new regulations will expand regulatory oversight to include retroactive licensing of 80,000 flowlines across the province over the next four years and more stringent scrutiny of applications at higher-risk locations, such as waterways.

“In developing the pipeline regulatory framework, the Government of Saskatchewan worked to ensure both regulatory efficiency and predictability for operators,” said Brad Herald, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) vice-president of Western Canada operations. “The new pipeline module, with its online licensing registry, highlights the province’s commitment to monitoring and upholding the highest standards of safety for the public and the environment; standards that are also continuing priorities for industry.”

The new system will also streamline the review of applications and reduce the time required for routine approvals. In addition, the introduction of administrative penalties will complete the overall compliance framework tied to pipeline regulation, the ministry said.

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