Alberta’s landscape is rich in many ways: unparalleled scenery, towering mountains, vast prairies, boreal forests, and bountiful oil and gas resources. The geological strata of Alberta contain oil sands, oil, natural gas, and coal deposits.
Long before wells are drilled, coal is mined, or oil sands’ bitumen is extracted, the first step is determining what’s in the ground and whether it can be developed. Interested parties must explore the surface and subsurface through geophysical exploration, which may include drilling, building trenches, removing vegetation, or cutting grids.
This exploration is regulated and governed by part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act. Under the Responsible Energy and Development Act, the AER has assumed responsibility for this part of the act. The rest of the Mines and Minerals Act will remain under the jurisdiction of Alberta Energy and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
Effective November 30, 2013, the AER will approve seismic exploration programs related to oil and gas within Alberta under the following legislation:
Because this transition represents a significant shift for affected stakeholders, the AER has developed a frequently asked questions document to help answer anticipated questions.
Applications already submitted
The AER is committed to making the transition of part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act as seamless as possible for impacted parties and will continue to work closely with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) to ensure that the province’s commitment to responsible development is upheld. As such, applications that were submitted before November 30, 2013, will continue to completion with the AER.
If you have questions about the transition of part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act to the AER, please call 1 855 297 8311, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.