Oil Sands

The AER oil sands development regulations and requirements exist to maintain public safety during the mining, extraction, and upgrading processes. In addition to emergency response plans and worker training, industry abides by these requirements by adhering to set standards and practices.

Oil sands/In situ area and Maps

  • Order No. OSA 1 – An order declaring the Athabasca oil sands area (includes map)
  • Order No. OSA 2 – An order declaring the Peace River oil sands area  (includes map)
  • Order No. OSA 3 – An order declaring the Cold Lake oil sands area (includes map)


  • Directive 023 (Draft) Oil Sands Project Applications
  • Directive 042 Measurement, Accounting, and Reporting Plan (MARP) Requirements for Thermal Bitumen Schemes
  • Directive 054 Performance Presentations, Auditing, and Surveillance of In Situ Oil Sands Schemes
  • Directive 073 Requirements for Inspection and Compliance of Oil Sands Mining and Processing Plant Operations in the Oil Sands Mining Area
  • Directive 078 Regulatory Application Process for Modifications to Commercial In Situ Oil Sands Projects
  • Directive 081 Water Disposal Limits and Reporting Requirements for Thermal In Situ Oil Sands Schemes
  • Directive 082 Operating Criteria: Resource Recovery Requirements for Oil Sands Mine and Processing Plant Operations
  • ID 99-01 Gas/Bitumen Production in Oil Sands Areas – Application, Notification and Drilling Requirements [includes all 4 amendments]

Informational Letters

  • IL 85-12 Oil Sands Primary Production: Well Spacing Primary Recovery Scheme Approvals
  • IL 92-11 Experimental Schemes - Release of Information

Statistical Reports

  • ST39 Alberta Mineable Oil Sands Plant Statistics Monthly Supplement
  • ST44 Active Oil Sands Schemes Quarterly Edition
  • ST53 Alberta In Situ Oil Sands Production Summary


  • EnerFAQs Oil Sands The oil sands have played an important role in Alberta’s economy for more than four decades, but the last 10 years have seen a dramatic increase in interest from both industry and the public. This EnerFAQs provides an overview of Alberta’s oil sands, discusses both mining and in situ production methods, and explains how the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) regulates the resource.