Common Carrier

The Oil and Gas Conservation Act (OGCA) gives each owner the opportunity to secure its share of the production of oil or gas from any pool and provides for economic, orderly, and efficient development in the public interest. Accordingly, the AER may issue a declaration of a common carrier of oil, gas, or synthetic crude under section 48 of the OGCA.

The common carrier provisions of the OGCA cannot be used to gain access to an oil battery, as indicated in the AER letter of October 26, 2005, regarding Application No. 1398650.

A typical situation that would warrant the filing of a common carrier application with the AER would be when an owner of a capable well has a market for its gas and has arranged to have the gas processed at a nearby plant. Its analysis shows the existing gathering system to be the only economically feasible way to transport the substance in question, the most practical way, or clearly the environmentally superior way to transport its gas to the processing plant. However, the owner has been unsuccessful in negotiating an agreement on reasonable terms to use the existing pipeline. The well owner has recourse to apply for the declaration of a common carrier in order to secure its share of gas from the pool.

An order under section 48 of the OGCA obliges each common carrier, among other things, to provide equal opportunity to each owner to have its production transported. A common carrier order would allow an owner to share in the existing capacity of the pipeline.

An applicant filing a request for the declaration of a common carrier order has the option to request that the AER direct

  • the point at which the common carrier will take delivery of the production, and
  • the proportion of production to be taken by the common carrier from each producer or owner in the pipeline.

The following outlines the process to follow to get an approval for common carrier applications. It includes links to application submission procedures and guidance documents.

Application Submission

The applicant will submit its common carrier application through electronic applications submission (EAS). Applications are registered using the Integrated Application Registry (IAR), and all material related to an application is stored in this system.

Review Process for Common Carrier Applications

After an application is received, it will be reviewed for completeness under Directive 065 requirements. If the application is determined to be incomplete, it will be closed and returned with an explanation. If it contains minor deficiencies, a letter will be issued itemizing the information required.
In evaluating an application for a common carrier order, the AER considers whether the applicant has demonstrated that

  • producible reserves are available for transportation through an existing pipeline,
  • there is a reasonable expectation of a market for the substance that is proposed to be transported by the common carrier operation,
  • the applicant could not make reasonable arrangements to use the existing pipeline,
  • the proposed common carrier operation is the only economically feasible way to transport the substance in question, the most practical way, or clearly the environmentally superior way, and
  • where application is being made under sections 48(4)(a) or 48(4)(b) of the OGCA for the designation of a delivery point or the proportion of production to be delivered to the pipeline, the applicant could not make reasonable arrangements on these matters.

If the application is determined to be complete, a review will be conducted as follows:

  • Notice of all applications will be published on the Public Notice of Application page on the AER website to encourage public participation throughout the application process.
  • A person who believes they may be directly and adversely affected by an application may file a statement of concern (SOC) with the AER.
  • If an SOC about an application is received, the application is considered “Non-Routine” and must follow the AER’s SOC procedures and will not be subject to the application timeline.
  • Common carrier applications will likely proceed to a public hearing.
  • If clarification or more information is required, you may receive a request for additional information by e-mail.
  • You will receive an e-mail notification when your application has been dispositioned. You can find the disposition by following the link provided in the notification e-mail for 30 days after the date of disposition.

Some decisions on the application can be appealed by eligible persons based on the Responsible Energy Development Act. The filing requirements for a request for regulatory appeal, including form, content, and time limits, are set out in section 30 of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice. The regulatory appeals procedures are set out in sections 30 through 33 of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice.

Application Timelines

The processing time for this application is 120 calendar days.