Common Processor

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. Accordingly, the AER may issue a declaration of a common processor of gas under section 53 of the OGCA.  

A typical situation that would warrant the filing of a common processor application with the AER would be when an owner of a capable well has a market for its gas and this gas requires processing in a plant that it does not own. Normally, this gas has to be processed in a plant to meet certain specifications in order to be transported through pipeline. The owner believes that using the existing plant is the only economically feasible or most practical way to process the gas or is clearly superior environmentally, but the owner has been unsuccessful in negotiations to gain access to the plant on reasonable terms. The owner has recourse to apply for the declaration of a common processor in order to gain access to the plant and to allow the owner to secure its share of gas from the pool.

An order under section 53 of the OGCA obliges each common processor, among other things, to process gas that may be made available for processing in the plant without discrimination in favour of one producer or owner over another in the pool.

An applicant filing a request for the declaration of a common processor has the option of requesting that the AER direct

  • the proportion of production to be processed by the common processor from each producer or owner in the pool, and
  • the total amount of gas to be processed by the common processor from the pool listed in the common processor order.

Application Submission

The applicant will submit its common processor 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 Processor 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 processor order, the AER considers whether the applicant has demonstrated that

  • producible reserves are available for processing and that processing facilities are needed,
  • reasonable arrangements for use of processing capacity in the processing plant could not be agreed on by the parties,
  • the proposed common processor operation is either the only economically feasible or most practical way to process the gas or is clearly superior environmentally, and
  • when an application is being made under sections 53(5)(a) or 53(5)(b) of the OGCA for the allocation of production or the total amount of gas from the pool to be processed at the plant, 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 processor 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 Submission

The processing time for this application is 120 calendar days.