GFM Network News


Producers don’t have a lot of cards to play in negotiations with energy companies, says expert.

Be prepared when negotiating with oil and gas companies

Understand the process and gather all the evidence you can to support your claim, says expert

In the game of getting compensation for surface rights, oil and gas companies hold most of the cards. “I would liken it to a good poker game where you only get the low cards,” said Graham Gilchrist, owner of Gilchrist Consulting in Leduc. “Sure, you could get a straight with a whole bunch of aces […] Read more

Alberta farmers warned against oil well tampering

Advocate warns off 'reckless advice'

Alberta’s Farmers’ Advocate Office (FAO) is warning any farmers and ranchers in dispute with resource companies over compensation for well sites not to go in and tamper with the taps. The FAO last week issued a statement reminding the public that “interfering with any oil and gas infrastructure or that of an electrical distribution utility […] Read more


Alberta landowner backed by Surface Rights Board

A recent Surface Rights Board decision has ruled against a unilateral reduction of surface lease rentals in Alberta. In the case, an energy company argued, “We only pay for leases with active wells on them.” The panel disagreed, saying, “Payment of compensation is not at the discretion of the operator.” Under surface lease agreements, lessors […] Read more

Oil rig and cattle in field

Keep on eye on costs when pursuing unpaid rent

The Surface Rights Board carefully reviews the bills of lawyers and agents who help landowners file their application

The Farmers’ Advocate Office (FAO) is advising landowners to take care when hiring advisers to help them prepare their Surface Rights Board case. “Landowners will often recruit professional assistance in filing their applications to the SRB,” FAO spokesperson Jeana Les said in a release. “While the board has the power to require the industry operator […] Read more


A record number of oil companies aren’t paying their rent to landowners, nor the taxes they owe to municipalities.

Oil lease defaults hit new record

Landowner compensation claims more than doubled last year and have already doubled again this year

For the second year in a row, the number of claims against oil companies defaulting on rental agreements has smashed records. Under Section 36 of the Surface Rights Act, landowners can apply for compensation from the provincial government if an oil company hasn’t paid their surface rental lease. From 2003 to 2014, the board has […] Read more

Alberta to shut livestock, grain agencies in budget

Alberta’s farmers will be spared the new fuel levy planned for next year in the province’s latest budget, but can expect a number of farm agencies to close in the meantime as the province moves to curb spending. Provincial Finance Minister Joe Ceci on Thursday announced a 2016-17 budget with projected revenue of $41.38 billion, […] Read more


In the last year, the Surface Rights Board has received more than 750 new applications from producers who haven’t been paid for their oil leases.

Oil companies bucking their commitments

Farmers are struggling to get oil companies to pay their leases and complete reclamation work on abandoned wells

There’s a wet spot originating from an oil well in Anthony Bruder’s pasture that his cows won’t drink from. “I’ve seen cows walk up to it, sniff it, and then walk a half-mile to the other end of the field to drink from the lake,” said Bruder, who farms near Twin Butte. “If the cows […] Read more