The Alberta Energy Regulator
The AER should ensure that energy development occurs in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner. We must preserve Alberta’s reputation as a world leader in developing resources responsibly – but we must also restore our reputation with investors as a leader in predictable and efficient regulation.
Under the NDP, the performance of the AER has declined despite hiring more staff. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers now estimates that getting wells approved in Alberta can take up to twice as long as in
Saskatchewan and four times longer than in Texas. It is no surprise that our U.S. competitors are enjoying an oil boom while our industry languishes.
- Appoint a new Board of Directors to the AER that will focus on improving approval times and cutting red tape.
- Establish clear benchmarks for approval times, and ensure the public has access to the AER’s performance.
- Streamline and expedite the AER’s review process to bring greater certainty and stability to our investment climate which will welcome green power and the jobs that renewable energy producers will create.
Revitalizing Alberta’s Natural Gas Industry
Canada is the fourth largest natural gas producer in the world, and more than half of our production comes from Alberta. Tens of thousands of Albertans work in natural gas and many more work in related industries like our petrochemical sector. Western Canada now has a large resource base in the Deep Basin and Montney areas of western Alberta and northeast B.C.
The lack of pipeline access is forcing natural gas producers to sell their product at a massive discount. In 2018 American producers sold for roughly $3.00/
GJ, while Alberta’s spot price averaged just under $1.00/GJ (US) – nearly 70% less. We are practically giving away this valuable resource that belongs to all Albertans.
- Increasing regulatory efficiency and streamlining project approvals to increase the pace of
- Working with producers, the National Energy Board, and TransCanada to evaluate changes to regulations and policies pertaining to the system, including tolls and tariffs, and interconnection to the TransCanada Pipeline System through to the export points in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
- Working with producers, TransCanada, and regulators to increase throughput, reduce price volatility, and lower shipper tolls on major natural gas pipeline
Oil and Gas Well and Facility Environment Reclamation
There are a large number of suspended or inactive oil and gas wells and associated facilities in Alberta that have reached the end of their economic lives. Under the current climate of reduced oil and natural gas prices, this inventory of suspended wells and facilities has grown substantially.
- Streamline the process for well and facility abandonment and environmental reclamation to reduce costs and increase the rate at which wells that will not be used again are officially “abandoned”
- Work jointly with the Alberta Energy Regulator and industry to overhaul the liability management framework in Alberta, ensuring liabilities are covered without unduly discouraging new investment
- Propose that the federal government provide tax incentives and financial support such as “green” flow-through shares for the abandonment and environmental reclamation of oil and gas wells and associated surface facilities
- Urge the federal government to establish alternative financial vehicles that focus on environmental reclamation in the oil and gas industry, such as adapting Qualifying Environmental Trusts to include well decommissioning costs