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Updated December 2022

This EnerFAQs provides information about private surface agreement between a landowner and companies operating on their property. This EnerFAQ addresses all aspects of registering a private surface agreement.


What is a private surface agreement?
A private surface agreement (PSA) is a signed and dated written agreement between a company and a landowner or occupant. A PSA concerns a company’s access to or use of the land specified in the agreement for the purposes of an energy resource activity, but excludes an order granted by the Land and Property Rights Tribunal where the Surface Rights Act applies. The Surface Rights Act does not apply to geothermal resource development in Alberta. 

Private surface agreements between landowners and energy companies operating on their property can be registered with the Alberta Energy Regulator’s (AER) Private Surface Agreements Registry (PSAR). If a landowner feels a company is not meeting a term or condition of the registered agreement, they can ask us to determine whether the company has met the term or condition of the agreement.

Who may register a PSA?
Any landowner or occupant with an executed PSA may register it with the AER. Groups may also register PSAs.

How do I register my PSA with the AER?
Complete the PSA registration form found on the Private Surface Agreements Registry webpage. Once completed, submit the form and an electronic copy of your PSA  to @email.

What happens after a PSA is registered?
Registering a PSA does not necessarily mean it is valid or enforceable, as we take the applicant’s word they own the land in question. We will review the form and PSA to verify its validity so that it can be registered. Once validated, we will send a confirmation letter with a reference number.  Use the reference number when making further submissions related to your PSA. We will send a copy of the registered PSA to the company at the time of registration.

I have a new version of a PSA I previously registered. Can I replace the old one?
Yes. If you want to replace your PSA, complete a new form and indicate in the comments field that you want to replace a previously registered PSA. You must provide the original PSA registration number included in the AER confirmation letter you received after registering your PSA.

Who will be able to see my PSA if I register it?
All documents we receive are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This means that anyone may request a copy of the registered PSA. When submitting a PSA, you will be asked to confirm that you understand that the PSA may be available to the public.

What can I do if I feel a company isn’t meeting a term or condition of the PSA?
You have several options. You can submit a request under section 64 of the Responsible Energy Development Act. By submitting a section 64 request, you are asking us to determine whether a company has complied with a term or condition of your PSA. Before taking such action, we encourage you to contact the company directly to try to resolve the issue. You may also contact staff at your local field centre for assistance.

How do I submit a section 64 request, and what happens afterwards?
If you have not done so, register the PSA with us. Once the PSA is registered, you must complete the section 64 request form found on the Private Surface Agreements Registry webpage. Once completed, send the form and an electronic copy of any supporting documents to @email

Once submitted, we will review the section 64 request to ensure it can be registered and send you a confirmation letter. A copy of the request will also be sent to the company, and they will be asked to respond. You may then be asked for additional information, documents, or materials to help us fully understand the alleged noncompliance. We will then review your request, the PSA, and the information provided and decide.

Can I use your alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process with a company to try to resolve my section 64 request?
Yes, you may engage in ADR at any point before or during a section 64 request. The AER will encourage you to engage in ADR once it receives a section 64 request. See our EnerFAQ All About Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for more information about the ADR process.

Who will be able to see my section 64 request if I register it?
All documents related to the section 64 request, including the PSA, will be placed on the public record.

What are the possible results of a section 64 request?
If we determine that a company has failed to comply with a term or condition of the PSA, we can issue an order to comply. If we decide that the company has complied with the PSA, we will not issue an order.

Can I withdraw a section 64 request?
Yes. Send an email to @email indicating which section 64 request you would like to withdraw.

More information on the Private Surface Agreement Registry can be found in Part 3 of the Responsible Energy Development Act and the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice.

Additional Information
For more information on the AER and its processes or if you wish to speak with your local field centre or have questions about energy project in Alberta, contact our Customer Contact Centre, Monday to Friday (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at 1-855-297-8311 (toll free).

This document is part of the EnerFAQs series, which explains the AER’s regulations and processes relating to specific energy issues.

Each year we collect, compile, and publish a large amount of technical and regulatory information and data about Alberta’s energy development and resources for use by industry and the public. This includes raw data, statistics, application and hearing materials, and information on regulations, policies, and decisions.

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