Farmers sue oil company over default in surface rights payments

ECA Review/Terri Huxley
Written by Submitted

A Class Action lawsuit has been filed in Court by Guardian Law Group LLP and FH&P Lawyers LLP against AlphaBow Energy Ltd. for wrongfully refusing to make annual compensation payments to Alberta farmers in accordance with their Alberta Surface Rights leases.

This claim is has been filed subsequent to the recent Alberta Surface Rights Board decision Ember Resources Inc. v Bates, where it was found that “…the legislative scheme [the Surface Rights Act] must be strictly construed in favour of the owner’s right to compensation…” and “[t]he principles of interpretation require the Board to give a broad and purposive interpretation to the Act [the Surface Rights Act]. 

In this case the purpose of the Act is to ensure those who are subject to surface leases and rights of entry orders are compensated and made whole…”

The claim was filed by Wilf Kautz on behalf of all individual’s resident in Alberta who had entered into an Alberta Surface Lease agreement with AlphaBow Energy Ltd. and have not received annual compensation. 

These farmers and ranchers entered into these lease agreements, to receive fair compensation for the damage to their lands that inevitably occurs when you allow an energy company to drill for oil and gas. 

“AlphaBow has caused damage to our lands through their drilling activities, the least they can do is compensate us according to our contract” said Wilf Kautz.

AlphaBow Energy Ltd. is a privately-owned company engaged in the development and production of oil and natural gas in Western Canada and has been operating in Alberta since 2016. 

“Denying payment of the annual compensation is unfair to all of these farmers and ranchers who have allowed AlphaBow access to their lands for all of these years. 

There are many landowners that I know who have trusted these oil companies to deal with them fairly and now have no idea where to turn for help and feel helpless” said Wilf Kautz.

The claim states that despite the fact that the Alberta Surface Leases contain nothing that allows for the termination or reduction annual compensation, AlphaBow Energy Ltd. has continued to deny payments to Alberta farmers and ranchers.

This problem in not an isolated issue and is a systemic problem with many oil and gas companies in Alberta. 

Landowners across the province have been affected by similar non-payment on surface leases by other oil and gas companies and could also be entitled to payment. 

For more information on this claim, please contact Darren Kautz at FH&P Lawyers, or Mathew Farrell at Guardian Law Group,

These allegations have not been proven in court.



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