Memorandum of Understanding between Oil and Gas Commission and BCSA

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MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
BETWEEN: The Oil and Gas Commission of British Columbia (hereinafter referred to as “OGC”)
AND The British Columbia Safety Authority (hereinafter referred to as “BCSA”)
RESPECTING UNFIRED PRESSURE VESSELS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT WITH SHARED JURISDICTION IN OIL AND GAS INSTALLATIONS
1 Definitions
1.1 For the purpose of this memorandum of understanding: “Authorized Representative” means an authorized officer of OGC or BCSA. “Incident” means an event occurring as a result of regulated work, or the testing, use or operation of a regulated product, that (a) causes death, personal injury or damage to property, or (b) creates a risk of personal injury or damage to property. “Integrity Management Plan” or “IMP” is an operating company’s procedure to keep its pipeline systems safe for continued service, including procedures for (a) assessing current potential risks; (b) identifying risk reduction approaches and corrective actions; (c) implementing the integrity management program; and (d) monitoring results. "MOU" means this memorandum of understanding. “Non-compliance” means a failure to comply with any requirement of the Safety Standards Act or the Oil and Gas Acts as defined in this MOU. “Oil and Gas Acts” means the Oil and Gas Commission Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 39, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act, R.S.B.C. 1996 c. 361, the Pipeline Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 364 and the Oil and Gas Activities Act, S.B.C. 2008 and associated regulations, insofar as they define and establish the discretion, functions and duties of the OGC. “Parties” means OGC and BCSA. “Safety Standards Act” means the Safety Standards Act, S.B.C. 2003 c. 39 and associated regulations. “Unfired Pressure Vessel” means a vessel and its fittings, other than a boiler, (a) that is capable of being used to contain, store, distribute, transfer, distil, process or otherwise handle gas, vapour or liquids under pressure, and (b) with no direct connection to a heat source provided by the combustion of fuel, and includes any other associated equipment at oil and gas installations that are subject to the Safety Standards Act. .
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2 Background
The BCSA is an independent statutory agency with jurisdiction under the Safety Standards Act to carry out safety inspections, investigations and enforcement regarding the manufacture, disposal, construction, installation, operation, maintenance and use of equipment and systems named in the Safety Standards Act, including Unfired Pressure Vessels. The OGC is an independent statutory agency with jurisdiction under the Oil and Gas Acts to regulate oil and gas activities and to carry out inspections, investigations and enforcement at oil and gas installations including those in which Unfired Pressure Vessels are located. The inclusion of provisions in IMPs intended to ensure the safety of Unfired Pressure Vessels is deemed to be advantageous to both Parties in carrying out their respective mandates and managing risks to public safety. The Parties may from time to time require records and information from each other to assist in investigations and for other purposes related to their respective statutory mandates, and are authorized under their respective statutes to compel records and information. The Parties acknowledge that they are both subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 165 (“FOIPPA”) and are engaged in law enforcement activities as defined in FOIPPA. Unless otherwise stated, all requests for information between the parties are intended for purposes of specific investigations and in any event personal information will only be disclosed between the parties in accord with the provisions of FOIPPA. OGC and BCSA have entered into this MOU to enable both Parties to carry out their responsibilities in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, without compromising the independence of either Party and within the provisions of applicable legislative authorities including those governing privacy and access to information. The procedures stipulated in this MOU are expected to: a) assist BCSA to identify the locations of Unfired Pressure Vessels and to exercise its duties respecting these vessels; b) assist OGC in verifying the safety of Unfired Pressure Vessels operating within installations over which it has jurisdiction; and c) make the regulatory process more efficient for participants in the oil and gas industry by coordinating activities between the two regulatory agencies.
3
Jurisdiction
In exercising their statutory responsibilities and powers in situations where their jurisdiction overlaps the Parties will, to the extent possible, operate co-operatively and in a coordinated manner in fulfilling their mandates.
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3-1
Joint Regulation of Unfired Pressure Vessels
3-1.1 OGC and BCSA agree on the following framework for the joint regulation of Unfired Pressure Vessels: a) OGC will require any regulated entity to include, within its IMP, detailed plans to ensure the safety of all Unfired Pressure Vessels operated or intended to be operated as part of the system. b) OGC will advise BCSA of any deficiencies noted with respect to Unfired Pressure Vessels, including the apparent absence of appropriate registration with BCSA. c) OGC will notify the operating company that: i) BCSA has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over Unfired Pressure Vessels; ii) the company is solely responsible for obtaining the approval of BCSA and all necessary permits prior to installation or use of any Unfired Pressure Vessel; and iii) OGC’s role is to consider Unfired Pressure Vessels in its assessment of the IMP and to notify BCSA of any apparent or possible regulatory issues in respect of Unfired Pressure Vessels. 3-1.2 To implement the foregoing, the Parties will, in consultation with each other, work towards developing the following as soon as practicable: a) a procedure to notify oil and gas installation operators of the content and impact of this MOU, including the need for companies to obtain BCSA permits for the installation and operation of Unfired Pressure Vessels in oil and gas installations; b) a system of reporting between the Parties which classifies Incidents and Non-compliances by severity and establishes reporting protocols between the parties with respect to Unfired Pressure Vessels in oil and gas installations; c) a system whereby OGC notifies BCSA of all new and existing but previously unreported Unfired Pressure Vessels of which it becomes aware in the course of its regulatory activities; and d) a system whereby requests for information under this MOU are identified and expedited, to the extent the Parties’ respective resources allow and in accordance with legislative requirements.
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4-1 4-2
Inspections or other oil and gas installation visits
Each Party acknowledges that the other has the authority to undertake inspections and other visits of oil and gas installations. The Parties will, when reasonably practicable, coordinate inspections and other oil and gas installation visit activities where it may be beneficial to safety or the performance of the Parties’ respective mandates. During an inspection or other oil and gas installation visit: a) An Authorized Representative of one Party encountering an Authorized Representative of the other Party will cooperate in exchanging information relevant to the purposes of their visits and assist each other to the extent consistent with their authority. b) As soon as practicable, an Authorized Representative will notify the other Party of any observation that he or she believes may be a significant violation of a statute or regulation administered by the other Party.
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Where an OGC Authorized Representative identifies a condition of immediate danger or undue hazard at an oil and gas installation and believes it to be a possible violation of the Safety Standards Act, the OGC Authorized Representative will contact BCSA promptly. The OGC Authorized Representative may also take action to minimize the danger to the public in accordance with and to the extent authorized by the Oil and Gas Acts. Where a BCSA Authorized Representative identifies a condition of immediate danger or undue hazard at an oil and gas installation and believes it to be a possible violation of the Oil and Gas Acts, the BCSA Authorized Representative will contact OGC promptly. The BCSA Authorized Representative may also take action to minimize the danger to the public in accordance with and to the extent authorized by the Safety Standards Act.
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Incident investigations
Each Party acknowledges that the other Party also has the authority to access and investigate Incidents occurring at oil and gas installations. Where a Party becomes aware of an Incident for which the other Party may have a discretion, function or duty, the first Party will notify the other Party as soon as possible. Where either OGC or BCSA is the first Party to attend an Incident, that Party will inform the other promptly. Each Party will have regard for the mandate of the other Party in the conduct of remedial, recovery or investigatory activities. Where both Parties investigate an Incident, each Party will cooperate in exchanging information relevant to the purpose of the investigations of the other Party and assist each other to the extent that is consistent with their authority.
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5-5
The Parties acknowledge that their respective agencies maintain a power to seize evidence in the course of an investigation of an Incident at an oil and gas installation. In order to respect the legal responsibilities of each Party and to make reasonable efforts to ensure that neither Party’s discharge of its legal responsibilities is impaired, the OGC and BCSA agree to consult and cooperate with each other prior to seizing any evidence to the extent reasonable and practicable. Where either OGC or BCSA seizes scene evidence in the course of an investigation and intends to submit such evidence to testing or analysis, each Party will a) consult the other Party and make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the type and extent of testing or analysis respects the legal responsibilities of each Party and does not adversely effect either Party’s ability to discharge its legal responsibilities to the extent reasonable and practicable, and b) notify the other Party of the time, place and location of testing or analysis with sufficient advance notice to enable representatives of the other Party to attend such testing or analysis should they wish to do so.
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Each Party will consult with the other Party before it finalizes its recommendations resulting from an investigation on a matter that may fall under the mandate of the other Party.
6
6-1
Exchange and release of information
Each Party will provide timely notification to and appropriate consultation with the other Party whenever the activities and responsibilities of one Party directly affect or may affect the activities and responsibilities of the other Party. Each Party will respond to a request for information in a timely manner. Where OGC or BCSA request statistical information and analysis from the other, no reasonable request for information will be refused where, in the opinion of the Party receiving the information request, resources allow. Subject to applicable legislation, upon request, the Parties will exchange information regarding inspections, investigations, witness statements and other reports and material produced by their respective Authorized Representatives in relation to an oil and gas installation inspection or Incident investigation. Where a Party is in possession of information or records received from the other Party and receives notice that this information is, or may become, subject to a court order, summons or subpoena requiring the disclosure of exchanged information or records, the Party will make every reasonable effort to consult with the originating Party before disclosing the records or information. The Parties may not further disclose information and records, exchanged pursuant to this MOU, without the permission of the originating Party, unless the
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disclosure is for the purpose of, and limited to, complying with the legal standard of disclosure in a judicial or administrative law proceeding or as required by law. 6-7 Notwithstanding clause 6-6, if either OGC or BCSA, for the purpose of complying with the legal standard of disclosure in a judicial or administrative law proceeding, is required to disclose information or records obtained from the other, every reasonable effort will be made to notify the originating Party prior to any such disclosure.
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7-1
Policy, regulation development and publications
The Parties will consult with each other in advance, where practicable, regarding proposed policies, regulations or public communications which may affect the other Party. The Parties may, where appropriate, cooperate in the development and implementation of compliance promotion, information and education activities. The Parties may individually or jointly issue public communications on hazardous items, circumstances and the general causes of accidents. Neither Party will release to the media information obtained from the other Party without the written consent of the other Party except as required by law.
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Dispute Resolution
Disputes arising out of this MOU will be resolved jointly by the Parties. Depending on the nature of a dispute, an appropriate combination of the following representatives from the two Parties will resolve the dispute: a) Commissioner, OGC, or delegate b) Deputy Commissioner, OGC, or delegate c) Chief Operating Officer, BCSA, or delegate d) Vice President, Education, Communications and Outreach, BCSA, or delegate.
8-2
Any disputes arising out of this MOU that cannot be resolved as stated in clause 8-1 will be referred to the Commissioner of OGC and the President and Chief Executive Officer of BCSA, or their respective delegates, for resolution.
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Amendments and Termination
Amendments to the MOU must be made in writing and signed by the Commissioner of OGC and the President and Chief Executive Officer of BCSA. Notwithstanding section 9-1, appendices, addenda, schedules or like documents intended to implement the MOU and form part of it can be made in writing and signed by the Commissioner, OGC and the Chief Operating Officer, BCSA or
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their respective delegates. Without limiting the generality of this clause 9-2, this includes the documents referred to in clause 3-1.2 of the MOU. 9-3 This MOU shall remain in force until the Commissioner of OGC or the President and Chief Executive Officer for BCSA gives written notice to the other Party of its intention to terminate the MOU and 60 days elapse after the date of the notice. The Parties will review this MOU within 60 days after every third anniversary of the date on which this MOU is signed.
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Entire agreement
10-1 The MOU constitutes the entire MOU between the Parties and supersedes all previous agreements relating to the subject matter of this MOU unless the previous agreements are incorporated by reference in this MOU. 10-2 This MOU reflects the good faith and spirit of cooperation of the Parties, but is not legally binding on any of the Parties and is not to be used in legal proceedings or any other proceeding except those outlined in article 7-1.
Original signed by: Alex Ferguson Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner
September 14, 2009 Date
Original signed by: Harry Diemer President and Chief Executive Officer
September 14, 2009 Date
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