Coal and Oil Sands Exploration Programs


Coal and Oil Sands Exploration Programs

Requirements for Coal and Oil Sands Exploration Programs
The Code of Practice for Exploration Operations has been developed to replace previous approval requirements.

Operators affected by any code must meet all of its requirements to ensure that their activities comply with Alberta's environmental laws.

Oil Sands Exploration (OSE) and Coal Exploration Program (CEP) Annual Report Requirements
The holder of an approved OSE program or CEP on public lands must submit reports in accordance with the approval. These reports must be submitted to

  • The authorization holder must provide an annual report as outlined within the notice of decision to the AER within 60 days of March 31 each year of the program until a reclamation certificate is issued.
  • The annual report must include the following information:
    • requirements consistent with section 7.1.5 of the Code of Practice for Exploration Operations made under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act;
    • the area of new disturbance cleared or used as approved under the program;
    • any sites added to the program, including the authorization issued by the regulator;
    • the total area of intensely used (i.e., disturbed) lands included in the program;
    • a listing of all core hole sites or accesses converted to disposition under the Public Lands Act;
    • the total area of lands within the program cleared but not explored to date and intent for completion; and
    • any other pertinent information relevant to the program.
  • Annual and final reports for exploration on private land must be submitted in accordance with the Code of Practice for Exploration Operations to

OSE and CEP Reclamation Timelines
The OSE and CEP authorization is approved for a maximum of five years—two years for operations and three years for reclamation. More information on reclamation of OSE and CEP sites is at Reclamation Criteria & Process.