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AER issues Peace River area directive

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Calgary, Alberta (Feb 23, 2017)…

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has released new requirements for heavy oil and bitumen operators in the Peace River area to control emissions of gas that contribute to offensive odours. The requirements are set out in Directive 084: Requirements for Hydrocarbon Emission Controls and Gas Conservation in the Peace River area.

Directive 084 bans routine venting during the production of heavy oil, places strict limits on flaring, ensures that gas leaks are detected and repaired quickly, and prevents odours and emissions when heavy oil is transferred from tanks to trucks.

Directive 084 was developed in response to the Report of Recommendations on Odours and Emissions in the Peace River Area, which followed a three-week inquiry in early 2014 that examined odours and emissions from heavy oil operations in the Peace River area. This inquiry resulted in 20 recommendations to the energy regulator and Government of Alberta.

Over the past two years, the AER has made significant changes in the Peace River area, with more frequent inspections and more interaction with the community.

The Alberta Energy Regulator ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.


The Alberta Energy Regulator has brought in strict requirements for heavy oil producers in the Peace River area. The new directive was developed in response to a 2014 inquiry held in the community to address odours and emissions. The new rules give the AER enforcement tools to ensure that operators conserve at least 95 per cent of gas that would normally be vented, flared, or incinerated.

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