In Situ Oil Sands Authorizations

 

In Situ Oil Sands Authorizations

In situ oil sands applications submitted to the AER under the Oil Sands Conservation Act are divided into four application types:

  1. Commercial scheme: new
  2. Commercial scheme: amend category 1
  3. Commercial scheme: amend category 2
  4. Commercial scheme: amend category 3

Commercial scheme: new applications are for new projects that may affect resource conservation, may affect mineral rights owners, may result in an adverse and material change to the environment, may have socioeconomic impacts, or may directly and adversely affect stakeholders.

Commercial scheme: amend category 1 applications are amendments that are not expected to adversely and materially affect resource conservation or alter environmental, socioeconomic, or stakeholder impacts assessed in the original application or approved amendments.

Commercial scheme: amend category 2 applications are amendments that may affect resource conservation or involve significant modifications but that are not expected to affect rights of stakeholders or adversely and materially alter the environmental and socioeconomic impacts assessed in the original application or approved amendments.

Commercial scheme: amend category 3 applications are amendments that may affect resource conservation, may affect other mineral rights owners, may result in an adverse and material change to environmental or socioeconomic impacts assessed in the original application or approved amendments, or may directly and adversely affect stakeholders.

Further descriptions of commercial scheme category 1, 2, and 3 application types are outlined in section 3 of Directive 078: Regulatory Application Process for Modifications to Commercial In Situ Oil Sands Projects.

Application Submission

In situ oil sands applications are submitted to the following inbox: InSitu.Applications@aer.ca.

Applications are registered using the Integrated Application Registry (IAR) as nonconfidential and are assigned an application number. All documentation related to the application is saved in this system.

Review Process Summary

After the application is received, a coordinator is assigned, the application is registered in the IAR, and a technical review is conducted. The review includes the following:

  • Following registration in the IAR, a public notice of application (PNoA) is posted on the AER website to enable public participation in the approval process.
  • Anyone who believes they may be directly and adversely affected by an energy resource application can file a statement of concern to ARCTeam@aer.ca.
  • When appropriate, the coordinator sends internal referrals to AER subject-matter experts to review the application.
  • Supplemental information may be requested of the applicant (i.e., supplemental information requests [SIRs]) if the information is required in order to complete the technical review.
  • A recommendation and decision is made.
  • When applicable, the application is referred to the Lieutenant Governor in Council for authorization.
  • When applicable, a joint review including staff from the AER's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Water Act, and/or environmental impact assessment teams is conducted.
  • When applicable, a public hearing may take place before an AER decision is made on the application.

Application Timelines 

Scheme new - 750 business days

Scheme amend category 1 - 21 business days

Scheme amend category 2 - 226 business days

Scheme: amend category 3 - 750 business days