Visitors from outside Québec/
Ban on Petroleum Exploration and Production
Since August 23, 2022, the Act ending exploration for petroleum and underground reservoirs and production of petroleum and brine (AEE) has prohibited, throughout Québec:
- petroleum exploration and production;
- brine production;
- exploration for underground reservoirs if it is intended for exploring for, storing, or producing petroleum or brine.
With the AEE, all exploration and production licences related to these activities are revoked. Given the foregoing, all wells drilled under such licences must permanently be closed and the sites must be restored. Activities relating to natural gas storage and natural gas and oil pipelines are not covered by the AEE.
In addition to ensuring conformity with the requirements of the Act respecting natural gas storage and natural gas and oil pipelines (formerly known as the Petroleum Resources Act), the AEE:
- provides for a compensation program for licence holders whose licence was revoked;
- allows pilot projects aimed at acquiring geoscientific knowledge;
- maintains the regulatory scheme for activities relating to natural gas storage and natural gas and oil pipelines.
With this act, Québec is the first state in North America to ban petroleum exploration and production on its territory, thus showing commitment to the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance (BOGA), an alliance of governments working together to facilitate the managed phase-out of oil and gas production.
For more information on various AEE-related measures (most resources in French only)
- Public register of real and immovable rights related to natural gas storage and natural gas and oil pipelines
Information on licences, surrendered licences, issued authorizations, assigned/revoked/renewed licences, as well as plans to permanently close a well or reservoir and restore a site.
- Compensation program – Ban on petroleum exploration and production
Information on the program’s objectives, compensation, eligible expenses, and how to file a claim.
- Inactive wells
General information on inactive petroleum wells in Québec.
- Assessment of inspections carried out on inactive wells
Assessment of inspections carried out on inactive petroleum wells from 2018 to 2021.
- Action plan for locating, inspecting, and securing inactive petroleum wells
Information on efforts to identify and secure inactive petroleum wells in Québec.
- Mandatory well closure and site restoration
Information on the obligations of holders of a revoked licence regarding well closure and site restoration.
- Acquiring geoscientific knowledge – pilot projects
Information on pilot projects aimed at innovative solutions to achieve carbon neutrality and develop a green economy.
- Natural gas storage and natural gas and oil pipelines
Information on the regulation of activities related to natural gas storage and natural gas and oil pipelines, as well as the public register.
- Progress report on permanent well closure and site restoration work, and inspections carried out
Information on the results of well closure, site restoration, and inspection work carried out, as well as the process and steps involved.
- Hydrogeological studies
Information on the hydrogeological studies required by the Act to put an end to the exploration for petroleum or underground reservoirs.
- Well inspections
Information on petroleum well inspection, closure work, and site restoration.