Private surface agreements between landowners and energy companies operating on their property can now be registered with the Alberta Energy Regulator’s new Private Surface Agreements Registry (PSAR). Created as part of the AER’s mandate for to oversee energy development in the province, PSAR allows landowners to request AER intervention if they feel a company is not meeting a term or condition of a registered agreement. Following investigation, if the AER determines that the company is not in compliance with the registered agreement, it can issue an order to comply.
Only written agreements entered into between parties after November 30, 2013, will be accepted for filing with the registry. All agreements between the landowner (as defined by the Land Titles Act) or occupant of land (as defined by the Surface Rights Act) and the operator of energy activities (or proposed energy activities) on that land are eligible to be registered with PSAR.
A request under Section 64 of the Responsible Energy Development Act (REDA) must be made to the AER within one year of the date of the alleged breach of the agreement.
Resources for registering a private agreement, or for making a request for review under section 64 can be found on the following documents on the AER website:
Other tools for landowners
PSAR is one of many tools the AER offers to landowners who may have a disagreement with an oil and gas operator on their land. Landowners may also file a general complaint with the AER, to which field centre staff will respond. Landowners may also request alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which the AER uses to resolve disputes between the public and industry, and sometimes between companies themselves. The ADR process may include negotiation, AER-led mediation, or independent third-party mediation.
The AER strives to help Albertans understand the regulatory system. We’re here to answer questions and respond to concerns Albertans may have about energy activity in the province. Affected parties are asked to call 1-800-222-6514 for all concerns regarding energy development. AER staff, who are technical experts in their fields, will investigate every complaint.