Oil and Gas Transportation: Is Contract a Viable Alternative to Traditional Regulation?


  • J. David Brett Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Calgary.
  • Nadine E. Berge Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Calgary.




The article reviews both the provincial and federal legislative frameworks governing access to oil and gas pipelines, with emphasis on dispute resolution options in the case of access and toll disputes. These codified resolution 

obligations are compared with the traditional common law common carrier obligations, and it is demonstrated that the latter still play an important role in today's regulatory environment. Key regulatory decisions of both the National Energy Board and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board are examined to demonstrate both the approaches of these bodies in encouraging settlement of outstanding issues and their attitudes toward yielding regulatory jurisdiction when parties' affairs have been arranged by contract. It is demonstrated that these regulatory bodies still maintain jurisdiction over some aspects of oil and gas transportation even where parties have agreed to privately drawn oil or gas pipeline contracts and will not hesitate to interfere given the right public policy concerns.