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BC Government: Province launches comprehensive royalty review, releases independent assessment

Press Release

Oct. 7, 2021

VICTORIA – The Province is launching a comprehensive review of B.C.’s decades-old oil and gas royalty system to ensure it is modernized, aligned with the government’s climate goals and provides a fair return for British Columbians.

“B.C.’s royalty system was set up decades ago, and a comprehensive review is long overdue to make sure it is serving the interests of British Columbians,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “The review process we are launching will allow the public to have their say on a new, modernized royalty system that meets our goals for sustainable economic development.”

In his mandate letter from the Premier, Ralston was tasked with undertaking a review of B.C.’s oil and gas royalty credits to ensure they meet the Province’s goals for economic development, a fair return on our resources and environmental protection.

As part of the review, the Province is releasing an independent assessment of B.C.’s current royalty system, completed by Nancy Olewiler, director and professor in the school of public policy at Simon Fraser University, and Jennifer Winter, associate professor of economics and scientific director of the energy and environmental policy research division in the school of public policy, University of Calgary.

“I want to thank Dr. Olewiler and Dr. Winter for their independent, thorough and fact-based assessment of B.C.’s current royalty system,” Ralston said. “Government takes this situation very seriously and will work toward an overhaul of the current system that eliminates outdated, inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies and ensures British Columbians get a fair return on our resources.”

The independent assessment provides an expert review of B.C.’s royalty system, which will support the development of a discussion paper on options to establish a new, modernized system that meets B.C.’s objectives. The discussion paper will be released in November, followed by a public consultation process to seek feedback from industry, stakeholders, First Nations and interested British Columbians. The findings of the engagement will be made available in a What We Heard report. The outcomes of the royalty review will be released in February 2022.

Quick Facts:

  • B.C.’s royalty system was set up nearly 30 years ago in the 1992 Petroleum and Natural Gas Royalty and Freehold Production Tax Regulation. The way natural gas is produced has changed significantly since then, as have market conditions, drilling technology and costs, and global concerns on the need to address climate change.
  • The Deep Well Royalty Credit Program was created in 2003 and initially was intended to offset higher drilling and completion costs incurred by wells that are considered particularly deep. Royalty credits reduce royalties payable to the Crown when production occurs.

Learn More:

To read the independent assessment, visit:

Learn more about the Province’s Royalty Review here:

A backgrounder follows.


Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
Media Relations
250 952-0622


Authors of the independent assessment

Nancy Olewiler

An economist, Olewiler is director and professor in the school of public policy at Simon Fraser University (SFU). Her PhD is in economics from the University of British Columbia. Prior to coming to SFU’s economics department in 1990, Olewiler was in the economics department at Queen’s University.

Olewiler’s areas of research focus on public policy, including natural resource, energy and climate policy, and regulation and risk. She has published in academic journals, edited books, provided reports for government and has written two widely used textbooks. She teaches graduate courses in policy analysis, economics and regulation.

Olewiler has served on a number of boards of directors, including BC Hydro, Powertech and TransLink. She is a member of the Climate Solutions Council for BC, chairs the mitigation panel for the Canadian Institute of Climate Choices and also serves of the board of directors for the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Technical Safety BC and Genome BC. Olewiler also chairs the Macroeconomic Accounts Advisory Committee for Statistics Canada.

Jennifer Winter

Jennifer Winter (PhD, Calgary) is an associate professor of economics and scientific director of the energy and environmental policy research division at the school of public policy, University of Calgary. Her research evaluates climate policies and examines the effects of government regulation and policy on energy development and the associated consequences and trade-offs.

Her research interests include emissions pricing, environmental and energy policy, innovation and energy transitions, and Canadian economic history.

Winter is engaged in increasing public understanding of energy and environmental policy issues. Recognition of her efforts include a 2014 Young Women in Energy Award, being named one of Alberta Oil Magazine’s Top 35 Under 35 in 2016, one of Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2017 and one of Canada’s 2019 Clean50 and Clean16 by Delta Management.

She has advised multiple governments in Canada in several capacities. Winter serves on the board of directors for the Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources, the City of Calgary’s Climate Panel, is a member of the Mitigation Expert Panel at the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, and is a member of Global Affairs Canada’s Environmental Assessment Advisory Group. Prior to joining the University of Calgary, Winter worked at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, researching Canadian labour markets.


Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
Media Relations
250 952-0622

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


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