When energy companies receive a licence to operate, they are required to decommission, remediate, and reclaim their energy infrastructure when development ends.
To encourage companies to close their infrastructure, the AER introduced the area-based closure program (ABC) program in 2019. This voluntary program enabled companies to work collaboratively to complete closure work more efficiently, limiting the amount of inactive infrastructure across the province and its impact on the environment. The program’s 2020 highlight report provides additional information.
With the launch of Directive 088: Licensee Life-Cycle Management, the AER phased out the ABC program and introduced the Inventory Reduction Program, which puts in place industry-wide mandatory and voluntary closure spend targets. As of January 1, 2022, all licensees with inactive inventory are required to meet an individual annual mandatory target set by the AER.
The graph below reflects the closure spend as reported by participants in the voluntary ABC program; it does not reflect all closure work conducted in a given year. In 2023, when we have data from the implementation of the Inventory Reduction Program, the below graph will change to reflect closure spend under the new targets.
Amount voluntarily spent in each stage of the closure process by companies participating in ABC
Data is released annually in June.