As in most countries and as included in international treaties regarding oil spills, Canadian law is based on the premise that the “polluter pays” for all costs associated with the response to cleaning up oil spills and settling of all relevant damage claims. The Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA) and associated regulations, which are administered by the National Energy Board (NEB), specify the liability requirements which must be met by any applicant which receives approval to carry out oil and gas related activities in Canadian frontier areas. This paper gives a brief history of the development of the liability requirements, outlines the specific requirements under COGOA and describes the process followed by the NEB to administer the liability requirements. All costs referred to in this paper are quoted in Canadian dollars.

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