Article 160 of Law No. 19-13, 2019 states that ALNAFT and the ARH regulate flaring operations and volumes flared. The ARH develops technical regulations for oil and gas activities; ALNAFT is primarily responsible for efficient oil and gas project development. According to Article 22, both regulators are legally independent and financially autonomous. Before 2005, Sonatrach was the regulator despite also being the national oil company.
The MMRPG, created in 1978, oversees petroleum activities. It focuses mainly on coordination and cooperation with other entities. Its statute is provided under Presidential Decree 12/2018 as amended by Presidential Decree 159/2020. Other ministries, such as the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Finance, also have some degree of oversight and regulatory powers. Law 5/2019 created a new regulator, the National Oil, Gas and Biofuel Agency (Agência Nacional de Petróleo, Gás e Biocombustíveis). Presidential Decree 49/2019 provides the organic statute of this regulator, which took over from Sonangol as the exclusive holder of mineral rights for oil and gas exploration and production. Law 5/2019 granted Sonangol preferential acquisition and operational rights in oil and gas concessions and operations.
Gas flaring and venting are regulated at the federal and provincial levels. The federal regulatory authority is the Undersecretariat of Hydrocarbons (Subsecretaría de Hidrocarburos), part of the Federal Energy Secretariat (Secretaría de Gobierno de Energía). The federal regulatory authority for natural gas is the Energy Secretariat. Decree No. 7/2019 created the Ministry of Productive Development and placed the Energy Secretariat under its authority. Each oil- and gas-producing province has its own regulator, governed by the Hydrocarbons Law, 1967, and by provincial legislation and regulations. The regulatory authority is the Undersecretariat of Energy, Mining and Hydrocarbons, under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in Neuquén, the Ministry of Hydrocarbons in Chubut, the Energy Institute in Santa Cruz, and the Energy Secretariat in Rio Negro.
According to Article 7 of the Petroleum Law, 1997, the ANP under the Ministry of Mines and Energy (Ministerio de Minas y Energía [MME]) is responsible for regulating all petroleum industry activities. It is responsible for formulating Brazil’s policies in the energy sector. The council comprises government representatives (including seven ministers), outside energy experts, and nongovernmental organizations. The Energy Research Office (Empresa de Pesquisa Energética [EPE]) was established by Law 10847/2004. It supports the MME’s energy policies with studies and research on energy planning, including for electricity, oil, natural gas, and biofuels. Law 7735/1989 created the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais), the administrative arm of the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment.
The AER is the sole, independent regulator responsible for upstream oil, gas, and oil sands activities in the province, including flaring and venting. The AER’s governance structure is designed to provide both strong corporate oversight and independent adjudication. The AEP regulates the air quality and emissions generated during oil and gas activities.
The BCOGC is the sole provincial regulatory agency responsible for overseeing oil, gas, and geothermal operations as defined by the Oil and Gas Activities Act, 2008. It is governed by a board of directors that sets the strategic direction and establishes accountability and transparency, including corporate risks, as part of the strategic planning process. The board has the power to create regulations concerning oil and gas activities. The BCOGC, in consultation with stakeholders, monitors progress to reduce the volume of solution gas that is flared or vented.
The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) was formed under the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, 2019, replacing the National Energy Board. It regulates the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Sable Island, submarine areas not within a province in the internal waters of Canada, and the territorial sea or continental shelf of Canada, as defined in the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act, 1999. The act provides a clear separation between the operational and adjudicative functions of the regulator. The Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board is an independent agency that regulates petroleum-related offshore activities. The Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources part of the provincial government, regulates onshore petroleum-related activities. The Canada–Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board regulates oil and gas activities in the Canada–Nova Scotia offshore area. The Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board and the Canada–Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board jointly regulate oil production off the coast of the maritime provinces and set limits on the volumes of gas flared in offshore installations in their respective jurisdictions. Canada’s constitution grants exclusive authority to the provinces to regulate mineral development within their boundaries. The major producing provinces have independent oil and gas regulators. Federal and provincial (as well as territorial and indigenous) governments share authority over environmental matters. Each province has its own environmental laws.
The MER is the primary regulatory authority for the oil and gas industry. It develops and implements policies and programs to promote responsible growth and development of the province’s natural resources.
Ecopetrol controlled the development of hydrocarbon resources until Presidential Decree 1760/2003 introduced two essential changes in the Colombian petroleum industry: creation of the ANH as a special entity in charge of administering and regulating hydrocarbons in Colombia (later, Decree 4137/2011 modified the legal status of the ANH and converted it into a state agency) transformation of Ecopetrol into a partially state-owned company (Law 1118/2006) dedicated to upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas activities within and outside of Colombia, governed by the applicable private law. The ANH is under the MME. It has a distinct legal status and enjoys administrative and financial autonomy. Ecopetrol became another company in the market, leaving the sole regulatory and administrative management of hydrocarbons to the ANH. ANH oversees all contractual oil and gas arrangements except for the association contracts Ecopetrol held as of December 31, 2003. Decree 70/2001 grants powers to the MME as the principal governing body responsible for upstream oil and gas operations. Accordingly, MME Resolution 181495/2009 updated by Resolution 40098/2015, establishes that the MME is responsible for issuing any technical rules and administrative decisions associated with the regulation and imposing applicable sanctions for noncompliance. With Resolution 180877/2012, the ANH and MME executed an interadministrative agreement that delegated certain inspection functions and regulatory activities to the ANH. When an environmental license is required, it may be granted only at the national level by the National Environmental Licensing Authority (Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales) in accordance with Decree 1076/2015.
Until mid-2020, the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Hydrocarbons (Agencia de Regulación y Control Hidrocarburifero) regulated the exploration, exploitation, industrialization, refining, transportation, and commercialization of hydrocarbons. In 2020, it merged with the regulators overseeing the mining and electricity sectors to create the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Energy and Nonrenewable Natural Resources (Agencia de Regulación y Control de Energía y Recursos Naturales no Renovables [ARC]). This merger of regulatory agencies aligns with the merger of ministries to create MERNNR. The ARC assumed the responsibilities, obligations, and practices of the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Hydrocarbons. Petroecuador is the only entity authorized to buy and sell oil, gas, and refined products. It is also responsible for most of the oil and gas production in Ecuador. The company is also tasked with negotiating and signing contracts with other companies on behalf of the government. The Ministry of Environment oversees some special provisions under its jurisdiction, in its role of monitoring and auditing the environmental management of all industrial activity. The Undersecretariat of Climate Change serves as the coordinating and facilitating unit for climate finance.