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Directive 056: Energy Development Applications and Schedules

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Release Date: May 18, 2021

Effective Date: May 18, 2021
Replaces previous edition issued March 25, 2021

Purpose of this Directive

This directive contains the technical requirements for applying to construct or operate facilities, pipelines, or wells. Procedural instructions and forms can be found in Manual 012: Energy Development Applications; Procedures and Schedules.

While Directive 056 encompasses the legal requirements of all licensees under the OGCR, the Pipeline Rules, and other regulations stipulated by the AER, additional approvals or licences from other government agencies may be required.

This directive is incorporated by reference into the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules (OGCR). If a situation arises that is not covered in this directive, contact the AER's Customer Contact Centre for further direction.

What's New
March 25, 2021 Well licence applications, amendments, cancellations, and information updates are now done within OneStop. Applicants can also apply to cancel approvals through OneStop. It is now possible to amend certain licence details before or immediately after drilling occurs and to correct certain licence details after a well is drilled (see sections 7.5.1 and 7.5.2). Resumption approvals, requests to deepen wells, and extensions to licence terms have been simplified (section 7.6).
February 4, 2021 As part of its contributions towards the Government of Alberta's Red Tape Reduction Act, the AER made the administrative changes outlined in the directive's "What's New" section. Additionally, requirements 16(g)(i) and 18 in section 7 involving survey plans were rescinded as a result of changes to the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules
October 3, 2019 The Lahee classification has been replaced with a new system that distinguishes between exploration and exploitation activity while taking into account other unique well types drilled in Alberta. Also, the applicability of the "confidential below" designation will now only be assessed after a well is drilled.
October 18, 2018 The directive has been restructured. Procedural instructions and forms have been extracted and published in Manual 012: Energy Development Applications; Procedures and Schedules. The directive now only contains the technical requirements. In addition, the participant involvement requirements and audit requirements were consolidated into their own sections. This directive is formatted with electronic links to assist users in moving quickly from one section to another, as well as linking to applicable regulations, websites, and publications recommended in the directive.
October 24, 2017 Addition of an Emissions section and update to the Pop Tank section of the FAQs - Facilities Technical
June 8, 2016 The following three documents have been removed from the Directive 056 webpage under Supplemental Information > Directive 056 Tools: (1) Process Clarification for Surface Facility Licensing Issues, (2) Reference Tool for Directive 056: Instructions for Increasing H2S Partial Pressure of Existing Oil Effluent Pipelines, and (3) Process Clarification for Licensing Pipeline Amendments.
June 8, 2016 To align Directive 056 with the Integrated Compliance Assurance Framework, references to Directive 019, voluntary self-disclosure, and records correction have been removed from the directive. These changes include the removal of the "self-disclosure" check box on the Directive 56 application forms. Voluntary self-disclosures should be directed to the appropriate contact using the Voluntary Self-Disclosure Form. For more information, see Bulletin 2016-01 and the Directive 056FAQs on compliance assurance. Questions can be directed to Directive
March 10, 2016 New FAQs on Application Audit Submissions added to Facilities Technical, Pipelines Technical, Wells Technical, and Participation Involvement
January 19, 2016 New FAQ on licence extension added to Facilities Technical, Pipelines Technical, and Wells Technical FAQs.
March 13, 2015 New FAQ, "When applying for the installation of a free-standing liner and filling out Schedule 3.1, do I identify the pipe specifications of the existing pipeline or the proposed liner?", added to Pipelines Technical FAQs
January 29, 2015 New FAQ's have been added regarding ABSA, Pop Tank, Spacing, and Tank Heater.
May 1, 2014 Requirements for the Peace River area have been added to section 8.
June 17, 2013 All documents have been, or are in the process of being, rebranded under the Alberta Energy Regulator.
March 26, 2013 New Tool – Energy Development Category Type Calculator for Surface Equipment 
Helps identify which category type should be used when applying for a Facility application based on surface equipment and inlet information.

Participant Involvement information requirements, and other related documents that are linked below have been issued in conjunction with Directive 056 (formerly Guide 56). These links will be updated as more documents become available.

I. Directive 056 Tools

H2S Conversion Calculator [XLS] 
This simple Excel spreadsheet allows the user to convert H2S concentrations between units of percentage (%), parts per million (ppm) and moles per kilomole (mol/kmol).

Energy Development Category Type Calculator for Surface Equipment [XLS] 
This simple Excel spreadsheet helps identify which category type should be used when applying for a Facility application based on surface equipment and inlet information.


Reference Tool for Interpreting Pipeline Pressure Control and Overpressure Protection Requirements 
(March 2007) Clarifies the requirements of Canadian Standards Association Z662-03: Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems, Clause 4.14.1

Process for Pipeline Applications of Fiberspar, Flexpipe, Flexcord or Flexsteel Composite Pipes 
Updated April 2016, to reflect CSA Z662-15 and Pipeline Rules AR 91/2005.

II. Participant Involvement Information

EnerFAQs: A series of documents dealing with topics about the energy industry

AER Brochure: Understanding Oil and Gas Development in Alberta 

Letter from the CEO of the AER

III. Other Supporting Documents

Integrated Application Registry (IAR) 
Access this system to check the status of applications.

Compliance Assurance
Licence Extension

Facility Applications
Facilities Technical

  • Pop Tank
  • Tank Heater
  • Spacing

Wells Technical​​​​​

Participant Involvement
Participant Involvement Technical​​​​​

Pipeline Applications
Pipeline Technical

  • Submitting a Licence Amendment Application to Install a Free-Standing Liner
  • Surface Pipelines
  • Permanent Bi-Directional Flow Pipeline
  • Environmental Requirements
  • Thermal Production Pipelines

The table below sets out the designated information submission system to use when submitting applications under Directive 056.

Applications Designated information submission system
All pipeline licence applications OneStop
All well licence applications, amendments, information updates, and cancellations OneStop
All facility licence applications DDS system