Government of New Brunswick

No person shall drill a well for the exploration or development of oil and natural gas unless he/she has a well licence, or drills the well on behalf of a person who has a well licence. The person is also required to obtain an approval to construct and operate a a variety of authorizations, approvals, licences and/or permits from several agencies within government.

Well Licence
A well licence (or well drilling authorization), valid from the date of issuance until the well has been properly abandoned, is required to drill a well to the licensed total depth. For the purpose of public information, non-confidential data issued to date for wells licensed for oil and natural gas and bituminous shale imay be requested from geoscience@gnb.ca or (506) 453-3826.

A well licence application will contain the general and technical information necessary to review and approve the drilling of a well and will also address any environmental or land use concerns. It is recommended that applicants submit their applications 30 to 45 days prior to the desired spud date to allow sufficient time to complete the application approval process. For a summary of well application requirements, see link at right.

A well licence may be transferred by submitting a Transfer of Well Licence application along with a $50 application fee.

An application to change the well name or the name of the licensee on a well licence shall be in the form of an Application to Amend a Well Licence accompanied by a $50 application fee.

Additional Operational Approvals
A well licensee shall not depart from an approved drilling program without written or verbal approval by the Minister. A request to alter an approved drilling program requires submission of an Application to Amend a Well Licence, which outlines and details the requested amendments. No fees apply.

A well licensee shall not suspend or resume drilling, recondition, plug back, or abandon a well, or suspend production without the written approval of the Minister. There is no required fee to apply.

Other juristicional approvals may be required by the Department of Environment and Local Government and/or the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.