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Rules and Directives

Relief for Industry During COVID-19 Pandemic Response

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Release Date: Apr 09, 2020

Physical distancing and other safety protocols that have been put in place to support the COVID-19 response may impact the availability of industry staff and limit capacity to comply with reporting requirements.

Alberta Environment and Parks and Alberta Energy have temporarily suspended a number of reporting requirements that affect Alberta’s energy industry. This direction does not affect monitoring requirements, which must continue to be met.

Industry must continue to report as directed in compliance and enforcement orders. They must also continue to report emergencies, including incidents, notifications, contraventions, and releases that have or may have the potential to impact the environment or public safety to the Energy and Environmental Emergency 24-Hour Response Line at 1-800-222-6514 or 780-422-4505.

Alberta Energy Ministerial Order

Alberta Energy has suspended the following:

  • All of the following requirements to report information pursuant to provisions in the Coal Conservation Rules and approvals:
    • Annual reporting under section 65(2)(a) and (b)
    • Exploration reporting under section 40
    • All plans specified within approval conditions under the Coal Conservation Act except conditions related to geotechnical reporting
  • The following requirements to report information pursuant to provisions in the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules, directives, approvals, licences:
    • All deliverability, annual, and initial reservoir pressure surveys for resource conservation (including enhanced oil recovery, disposal, oil and gas production depletion strategy) and pool delineation required under Directive 040: Pressure and Deliverability Testing Oil and Gas Wells and section 11.102 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules
    • All annual progress reports and performance presentations for scheme approvals required under section 2.1.4.1 of Directive 065: Resources Applications for Oil and Gas Reservoirs and section 39 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act
    • Submission of well logs and summary reports required under section 7.2 of Directive 080: Well Logging and sections 11.005 and 11.140 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules
  • The following requirements under Directive 013: Suspension Requirements for Wells and section 3.020 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules:
    • Inactive wells not part of the Inactive Well Compliance Program
      • initial suspension requirements in Directive 013 for all wells considered low and medium risk type 6
      • on-going inspection requirements in Directive 013 for all wells considered low and medium risk
    • Inactive wells in the Inactive Well Compliance Program
      • compliance deadline for the final year of the program
  • All of the following requirements to report information pursuant to provisions in the Oil Sands Conservation Rules and approvals for both oil sands mining and in situ:
    • Annual mine plans under section 30
    • Report of mining operations under section 31
    • Report of operations under section 58
    • Annual geotechnical report under section 32
    • All plans specified within approval conditions under the Oil Sands Conservation Act except conditions related to geotechnical reporting requirements.

Alberta Environment and Parks Ministerial Order

As it relates to Alberta Energy Regulator requirements, with some exceptions, Alberta Environment and Parks has suspended the following:

  • All requirements to report information pursuant to provisions in approvals or registrations authorized under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
  • All requirements to report information pursuant to provisions in licences or approvals authorized under the Water Act.
  • All requirements to report as required under a formal disposition under the Public Lands Act.

While these reporting requirements have been suspended, the following exceptions apply (meaning the following reports must still be submitted).

Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act

  • Bird protection plans for oil sands sector
  • Annual Mine Financial Security Program submissions for oil sands and coal sectors
  • Research program for Base Mine Lake and Miwasin Lake

Water Act

  • Final reclamation summary reports for all sectors
  • Dam safety submissions for all high-, very-high-, and extreme-consequence dams.
  • Baseline studies at the McClelland Lake Wetland Complex

Public Lands Act

  • Annual aggregate management plan update for oil sands and coal sectors
  • Annual disclosure of area cleared for oil sands and coal sectors

During the period of temporary suspensions, parties must continue to record and retain complete documentation and make it available upon request.

We cannot list all requirements contained within approvals issued under each piece of legislation. If you have questions not answered in this bulletin, please contact Industry.Relief@aer.ca.

We will continue to work with the Government of Alberta and industry to ensure the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of Alberta’s energy resources. These are exceptional times, and we will remain flexible and responsive to the changing circumstances.