How it works

Natural gas wells are holes drilled into the bedrock to reach sources of natural gas. Private gas wells are meant for personal use.

You will need a licence if you operate an existing private natural gas well in Ontario. Licensing promotes safer operation, improves public safety and protects the environment.

Who needs a licence

Apply for a licence if you operate an unlicensed natural gas well drilled before June 27, 1997 and the gas produced from the well is:

  • for your private use
  • not sold to anyone else
  • not used for a business or commercial enterprise that sells, supplies or distributes gas

To find out if the natural gas well you operate is unlicensed and was drilled before June 27, 1997, you can research your well’s record through the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Library.

The operator of the well should apply for the licence, not the landowner of where the well is located, if they are not the same person.

If the well is located on land not owned by the operator, the operator needs to:

  • include any contracts or agreements that exist with the landowner whose land the well is located on.

See policy: Licensing private gas wells

How to apply

Step 1

Have your wellhead and its location evaluated by a Qualified Person (QP) (an examiner qualified to complete an evaluation). Contact the Ontario Petroleum Institute or the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Library for assistance finding a QP.

The QP will provide you with:

  • a well evaluation report. The QP will complete a Well Evaluation Form documenting the details related to the well, including a well location sketch, which will be provided to you.
  • 4 photos of the well, 1 from each of its 4 sides in its current state

The QP may also be able to provide advice on filling out the:

Step 2

Gather all completed documents for your application package:

  • Private gas well licence application form
  • Well location sketch
  • 4 photographs of the well, 1 from each of its 4 sides in its current state
  • proof of legal interest in the well (copy of deed, tax bill or other legal documentation)
  • engineer’s report (if applicable)

Step 3

Submit your package in person or by mail to:

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Petroleum Operations Section
659 Exeter Road
London ON N6E 1L3

Step 4

We will review your application and notify you in writing of the decision by mail and/or email.

Application forms

Access to private property

Under authority of the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry petroleum inspectors may enter private property to carry out their duties.

See the Oil, Gas and Salt Resource Act

Well condition

Your licence does not guarantee the condition of a private gas well. It only lets us know that the well met the minimum requirements for licensing.

Private Gas Well Incentive Program

The Private Gas Well Incentive Program ended on March 31, 2017.


For more information on licensing your private gas well, please contact us:

Telephone: 519-873-4634 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m)