Title Problems Concerning Unregistered and Unregisterable Interests in Oil and Gas Properties


  • Peter G. Schmidt
  • William H. Bonney




Energy Law, Petroleum Law


Sir Robert Torrens in developing the Torrens System of Land Titles sought to devise title registration system which would be reliable, simple, cheap, speedy and suited to the needs of the community. In general, the Land Titles Acts of the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan achieve these objectives with respect to ordinary conveyancing matters, but the defects of the said Acts are manifest with respect to problems involved in conveying oil and gas properties and interests therein. One aspect of the problem is the fact that Crown mines and minerals are not under the Land Titles Acts, and as such, an operator must look to the common law and to the legislation under which he acquired the interests to resolve title problems with respect to such oil and gas interests. The first part of this article deals with title problems with respect to Crown mines and minerals; the second part deals with title pro blems with respect to freehold mines and minerals under the Land Titles Acts. For the oil and gas lawyer who is of the opinion that the common law concept of bona fide purchaser of the legal estate for value and without 'notice defeating all equities and the shadowy equities of fraud and fear are proper subjects for the student of legal history, this article points out that these rules are very much alive with respect to Crown mines and min erals, and further points out that if the Supreme Court of Canada follows the Crystallization as opposed to the Registration Theory, as to the effect of caveat, the said rules will be very much alive with respect to freehold mines and minerals.