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AER Statement Regarding Globe and Mail’s Article, October 11

On October 11, the Globe and Mail released an article in relation to a 123-page report provided by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

The Globe and Mail did not provide AER access to documentation referenced in the article nor was the AER provided fair opportunity to respond to accusations laid within the article.

In the interest of transparency and to ensure the delivery of information critical to the article, the AER is releasing its full response, which it provided to the Globe and Mail. 

The AER is evaluating whether further response to the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy report is warranted.

"The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) today provided information on how much the conventional oil and gas sector spent on closure activity in 2022. Direct spending by industry in 2022 was $685 million, exceeding the spend requirement of $422 million by almost 60 per cent. Additional funding was also made available from the Government of Alberta’s Site Rehabilitation Program (SRP). Altogether, over $1 billion was spent on closure activities in 2022. 

 "Other closure highlights in 2022 include:

  • 35 078 licenses with reported spend for remediation and reclamation activities
  • 11 746 licenses were abandoned 
  • 4 461 licenses received reclamation certificates, an increase of one third on 2021

"In 2022, the AER introduced the Inventory Reduction Program which includes an industry-wide spend requirement and mandatory closure spend quotas for licensees (the licensee’s portion of the industry-wide spend requirement), as part of the implementation of the new Liability Management Framework (LMF). Mandatory closure spend quotas specify the minimum amount of money that licensees are required to spend on closure work each year. In 2022, the industry-wide spend requirement was $422 million. The 2023 and 2024 industry closure spend requirement has been set at $700 million."