Surface Rights Board of British Columbia


The Surface Rights Board (formerly the Mediation and Arbitration Board) resolves conflicts between land owners (holders of surface rights) and companies or individuals (holders of sub-surface rights) seeking access to land to explore for, and develop, sub-surface resources including oil and natural gas, minerals, coal, and geothermal resources. The Surface Rights Board assists with disputes about:

  • Terms of entry onto land: the board may authorize entry to private land to explore for, produce or develop subsurface resources.
  • Compensation: the amount to be paid to the landowner for a company’s entry, occupation and use of private land.
  • Damages: the compensation that should be paid for damage to the land or adjacent land, or loss caused by an entry.
  • Rent renegotiation: new rental provisions in a surface lease.
  • Compliance: whether the terms of a surface lease or right of entry have been complied with or whether the proposed oil and gas activity in a surface lease is different from what was approved.


Surface Rights Board of British Columbia
Suite 10, 10551 Shellbridge Way
Richmond, BC  V6X 2W9

Telephone: 604-775-1740
Toll Free: 1-888-775-1740
Fax: 604-775-1742; Toll free fax: 1-888-775-1742

Justice Education Society Resources

Early Resolution

The Surface Rights Board uses mediation and arbitration to resolve disputes.  For specific information about the board’s process, read their Information Sheets. For general information about resolving disputes, take a look at the following videos and PDFs.

Negotiating a Solution

You’ve prepared for your tough talk, now you’re ready for the next step: negotiation.
Read the PDF.

Understanding Disputes

Here’s what’s really going on behind most disputes.
Read the PDF.

Preparing for a Tough Talk

Find out how to prepare for a difficult conversation to settle a dispute.
Read the PDF.

Choosing a Dispute Resolution Option

Find out about mediation and other ways to resolve disputes.
Read the PDF.

Preparing for a Hearing

To help you prepare your case for arbitration, use this Tribunal Hearing Preparation checklist and the following videos and PDFs.

Written Hearings

This video describes the process for submitting your case in writing and what your submission must contain.
Read the PDF.

Telephone hearings

Find out how to prepare to make an effective presentation for a hearing over the phone.
Read the PDF.

In-person Hearings

Watch a dramatization of what it’s like to make a case at an in-person hearing.
Read the PDF.