Timeline: 2000 to 2009

Year Event
2000 Alberta establishes retailer licensing and codes of conduct for deregulated electricity markets.
2000 The Alberta government implements the Energy Tax Refund.
2000 Following a major expansion, an ethylene-based petrochemical plant in Joffre becomes the largest co-generation plant in Canada and the second largest in the world. Source: Centre for Energy
2000 Alliance natural gas pipeline begins commercial service after construction is completed from Fort St. John, B.C. to Chicago, Illinois.
2000 Syncrude’s Aurora project is the first remote oil sands plant in Alberta. The project costs about $600 million. Source: Syncrude.
2000 Based on the success of the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority, the government broadens its focus on energy research. It creates the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI) to explore more opportunities and technologies related to energy and greenhouse gas emission research. AERI will eventually grow into Alberta Innovates in 2010.
2001 Alberta Department of Resource Development becomes the Department of Energy.
2001 The Alberta government provides rebates to consumers of natural gas as natural gas prices reach record levels. Later in 2001, the Natural Gas Price Protection Act is implemented to develop a formal structure for the 2003 Natural Gas rebate program.
2001 The electric utility industry is restructured. The Energy Utilities Board no longer regulates wholesale electricity prices and customers can choose their electricity retailer.
2001 Alberta Justice files a statement of claim on behalf of Alberta Energy. The claim is for the Soldier Settlement Board minerals and revenues earned by Canada since October 1, 1930. Returning war veterans were given surface titles in 1917.
2002 Natural gas in coal, or coalbed methane (CBM), is commercially produced in Alberta for the first time. In late 2002, an internal review begins of government rules and regulations related to CBM development. This review also includes the collection of CBM production and geological data.
2002 BioGem Power Systems partners with the Iron Creek Hutterite Colony to build Alberta’s first commercial biogas system. The system uses manure produced at the colony as its feedstock and sells electricity into the provincial grid.
2002 AltaLink assumes control of Alberta’s largest transmission system (previously owned by TransAlta) to become the first independent transmission provider in Canada. Source: AltaLink.
2002 The natural gas royalty framework is revised to be based on in-stream components.
2002 Cenovus Foster Creek becomes the first commercially viable steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project (PDF, 248 KB). This would soon become the key recovery method for extracting in-situ bitumen.
2002 Alberta’s first propylene facility becomes operational in Redwater, processing off-gas from the Suncor Energy Inc. oil sands upgraders.
2002 The Alberta mineral development strategy was developed to enhance the potential development of base and precious metals, gemstones, industrial minerals and other solid minerals.
2003 - 2009 The Natural Gas Rebate Program ran from January 2003 to March 31, 2009 to protect consumers from high natural gas prices.
2003 The Alberta government passes the Electric Utilities Act, to further develop a fair, open and competitive electricity market. Under the act, the Power Pool of Alberta merges with the provincial transmission administrator to form the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). AESO is an independent system operator that manages the competitive electricity wholesale spot market.
2003 - 2009 In September 2003, a pre-consultation is held with a number of coalbed-methane stakeholder groups to identify and prioritize issues. Landowners, agriculture producers, academics, the energy industry and environmental groups participate. This leads to the formation of the Coalbed Methane/Natural Gas in Coal Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee (MAC). A MAC historical document (PDF, 3.0 MB) outlines the terms of reference, preliminary findings and progress into MAC II. MAC provided advice and guidance on the Coalbed Methane consultation process. In 2006, MAC presented its final report, Coalbed Methane/Natural Gas in Coal (PDF, 1.6 MB). One of the recommendations out of MAC was the government should set up a process to facilitate issues around split-title ownership, in 2009, the Freehold oil and gas issues: stakeholder consultation report (PDF, 383 KB) explored options.
2003 - 2004 In December of 2003, Alberta became the first jurisdiction in North America to put a price on carbon by passing the Climate Change and Emissions Management Act. The act outlined mandatory reporting for every person who releases or permits the release of a specified gas into the environment as outlined in Specified Gas Reporting regulation that came into effect in January of 2004.
2004 Changes are introduced to Alberta’s retail electricity and natural gas industries, providing consumers with a choice of utility retailers. A customer choice website is developed to help Albertans select providers. This later becomes the Utilities Consumer Advocate.
2004 The $200-million Innovative Energy Technologies Program (IETP) is announced.
2004 For the first time in Alberta’s history the total annual bitumen production exceeds 1 million barrels per day.
2004 - 2009 An industry/government task force is established to explore competitive opportunities with the refining and petrochemical industries. The Hydrocarbon Upgrading Task Force and related reports are produced in this 5-year span.
2004 - 2014 The Alberta Energy Oil Sands Production Profile: 2004 – 2014 report gives a detailed overview of oil production volumes and extraction technologies.
2005 The Alberta government forms a steering group made up of representatives from environmental organizations, First Nations, industry and government. They produce Alberta’s Mineable Oil Sands Strategy (MOSS). Their draft document is Mineable Oil Sands Strategy: for discussion and their final report is Multistakeholder Committee Final Report.
2005 Genesee Unit 3 is completed. The 450-megawatt unit is Canada’s first generation facility to use supercritical combustion technology for greater fuel efficiency and significantly lower emissions.
2005 Alberta’s Electricity Policy Framework: Competitive-Reliable-Sustainable (2005), examined the regulated rate option (RRO); short and long-term adequacy; and other inter-related market issues.
2005 The executive committees of Alberta Energy, Alberta Environment and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development commit to strengthening the ways they work together. They adopt a sustainable resource and environmental management (SREM) approach. It involves taking joint responsibility to achieve agreed-upon natural resource and environmental outcomes. It builds upon successful models of co-operative integration such as Water for Life. It calls for a change in how the 3 departments conduct their day-to-day business, both within and across departments. It lays a roadmap to align policies and information sharing, and streamline regulatory processes. SREM produces the Land-use Framework (LUF).
2005 - 2006 The second-highest record land sale is recorded. In total, 9,196 parcels are sold for a total bonus of $2,165,464,637.16. The average price per hectare is $693.82. Learn more in tenure statistics.
2006 Alberta’s Nine-Point Bioenergy Plan (PDF, 18 KB) is announced.  It provides $239 million in bioenergy funding to support alternative energy development in the province.
2006 The Alberta government approves an allocation of $200 million over 4 years to create the Energy Innovation Fund (EIF) (PDF, 67 KB). The EIF supports building world-class knowledge, expertise and leadership to responsibly develop our vast energy resources for current and future generations.
2006 The Oil Sands Ministerial Strategy committee is directed by cabinet to develop a co-ordinated short-term action plan to address the social, environmental and economic impacts of oil sands developments. Investing in our Future: Responding to the Rapid Growth of Oil Sands Development Final Report is released in December.
2006 During the first quarter, the highest average price per hectare for petroleum and natural gas sales is $774.57.
2006 Development of regional land-use planning begins. It starts with Albertans asking for a broader land-use management plan, followed by a series of ideas, groups and consultations. The Land Use Secretariat and the first regional advisory councils are created. The Alberta Land Stewardship Act makes it possible to support regional plans.
2006 - 2011 The Incremental Ethane Extraction program (IEEP) under the Incremental Ethane Extraction Regulation is established in 2006, with an approved budget of $350 million. The program provides credits to petrochemical companies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by extracting ethane from the refinery process off-gases. The ethane is upgraded to higher-value petrochemical products such as ethylene and derivatives. The program is amended in 2011. See: Incremental ethane extraction program guidelines and ethane facilities map.
2007 Grants are issued from February 2007 to March 2011 under the Bioenergy Grant Program.
2007 The Alberta government eliminates the Alberta Royalty Tax Credit Program. The decision follows a review and consultation with industry and stakeholders.
2007 The Oil Sands Consultations Multistakeholder Committee Final Report and the Aboriginal Consultation Final Report are released in July. The reports set out a vision and identify principles to guide the future development of Alberta’s oil sands. The creation of the Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat is recommended to address rapid growth issues in the oil sands regions of Alberta.
2007 The Alberta government set up an expert royalty review panel to review royalties and the tax regime for oil sands, conventional oil and gas and coalbed methane.

The panel report is released on September 18th.
2007 Canada’s premiers release A Shared Vision for Energy in Canada. It highlights the importance of energy conservation, supply, demand and infrastructure to Canada’s continued prosperity. In 2012, all premiers except B.C.’s agree to renew this vision.
2007 Drake Landing Solar Community is announced in September. The planned neighbourhood near Okotoks is heated by a district system that gathers solar energy. It stores it underground in the summer, then uses it to heat homes during the winter. Source:  Drake Landing Solar Community.
2007 - 2009 Premier Stelmach announces Alberta’s New Royalty Framework on October 25. The framework increases royalties generated by an internationally competitive energy industry. From the framework: “The government will implement shallow rights reversion (SSR) to maximize extraction of the resource. Under this policy, mineral rights to shallow gas geological formations that are not being developed would revert back to the government and be made available for resale.” SSR means that the rights above the top of the shallowest productive zone in an agreement will be severed from the agreement at continuation. Agreements purchased after January 1, 2009 are subject to SRR. For more information, see Information Letter 2013-13 (PDF, 20 KB).

The Alberta Royalty Tax Credit Program (ARTC) is eliminated.
2007 An Examination of the Alberta Energy and Utilities board Security Measures related to the Alta Link 500 KV hearing is conducted by Justice D.W. Perras.
2007 - 2011 Construction of TranAlta’s Keephills 3 begins in 2007. Its commercial operations begin in September 2011. Canada’s most advanced coal-fired facility uses supercritical boiler technology which features higher boiler temperatures, higher pressures and a high-efficiency steam turbine. The new plant will emit approximately 60 to 80% less sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), mercury (Hg) and 24% less CO2. Yet it will produce the same amount of power as conventional facilities.
2008 The governments of Alberta and Canada release Canada’s Fossil Energy Future: The Way Forward on Carbon Capture and Storage. It provides advice on how governments and industry can work together to facilitate and support the development of carbon capture and storage opportunities in Canada.
2008 Alberta’s Micro-Generation Regulation is introduced, making it easier for individual Albertans to produce their own renewable power. The regulation allows Albertans to generate their own environmentally friendly electricity and receive credit for extra power sent into the electricity grid.
2008 The first successfully reclaimed site is certified in the Alberta Oil Sands, near Fort McMurray.
Source: Syncrude.
2008 On January 1, 2008, the Alberta Utilities Commission Act splits the Alberta Energy and Utility Board (EUB) into 2 new regulatory bodies. It becomes the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). The AUC is responsible for the distribution and sale of electricity and natural gas to Alberta consumers. On June 17, 2013 the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) succeeds the ERCB to provide full-lifecycle regulatory oversight of energy resource development in Alberta.
2008 On June 30, 2008, Alberta Energy announces the Bitumen Valuation Methodology (BVM). The BVM determines a value to calculate oil sands royalty for bitumen produced in oil sands royalty projects where all or a substantial portion of the production is upgraded on site, sold or transferred to affiliates. The Bitumen Valuation Methodology (Ministerial) Regulation is implemented on January 1, 2009. More information is in Information bulletin 2012-07.
2008 The Land-use Framework (LUF) is developed under the Sustainable Resource and Environmental Management initiative.
2008 - 2009 In 2008, the Alberta government appoints a nuclear power expert panel to prepare a report on nuclear energy. In March 2009, the panel releases their report. By April, nuclear power  consultation (PDF, 93 KB) begins. It involves a workbook open for public feedback, randomly enrolled discussion groups, stakeholder discussion groups, and a telephone survey. Participants include 4,832 individual Albertans and a broad range of stakeholder groups. Results (PDF, 90 KB) from the consultation are released on December 14, 2009 and compiled in a report (PDF, 12.1 MB). In Alberta, power generation options are proposed by the private sector in the province. Any nuclear power proposal would be considered on a case-by-case basis, the same as other power generation proposals.
2008 - 2009 In April 2008, the Carbon Capture Development Council is created. In July 2008, Premier Ed Stelmach announces a $2-billion fund to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. The projects should reduce emissions by up to 5 million tonnes annually by 2015. In 2009, 4 project proponents sign letters of intent with the Alberta government.
2008 - 2009 In August, the government releases a request for expressions of interest to determine if bitumen royalty in kind could work in Alberta, requests for proposal followed in 2009.
2008 The Launching Alberta’s Energy Future: Provincial Energy Strategy is released in December 2008 to chart the course of Alberta’s energy future. The strategy is a long-term action plan for Alberta to achieve clean energy production, wise energy use and sustained economic prosperity. The Renewable Fuels Standard is part of the Provincial Energy Strategy.
2009 The Alberta New Royalty Framework announced in 2007 comes into effect January 1, 2009.

The Oil Sands Royalty Regulation 2009, the Natural Gas Royalty Regulation and the Petroleum Royalty Regulation take effect.

The Bitumen Valuation Methodology (Ministerial) Regulation provides a method that is used to determine the value of bitumen in the calculation of royalty for oil sands projects where 40% or more of production is either upgraded on site, or sold or transferred to affiliates.

The province announces a 3-point incentive program for the energy sector. Energy Economics - Understanding Royalty (revised December 2010) explains previous royalties in Alberta. Royalties were also compared in this commissioned report Alberta's royalty system: Jurisdictional comparison.
2009 The Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat releases a 20-year plan, Responsible Actions: A Plan for Alberta’s Oil Sands. The Fort Hills lease substitution agreement is signed to extend the term of two oil sands leases.
2009 Under the Electric Statutes Amendment Act, 2009 (also known as Bill 50), the Alberta government approves the need for 4 critical transmission infrastructure (CTI) projects. It also gives cabinet the authority to designate future transmission facilities as CTI. The Electric Utilities Amendment Act (also known as Bill 8) removes this authority. It now requires all future transmission infrastructure projects to go through a full needs assessment process before the AUC. The Alberta government no longer has the authority to approve the need for future CTI. In the summer a number of electricity transmission information sessions are held around the province. An Alberta Energy poster (PDF, 98 KB) promotes the event. The findings were published in a report, Powering our economy: Critical Transmission Review Committee Report. The government's response report was Investing in the Economy: North-South Corridor Transmission Reinforcement (PDF, 218 KB).
2009 A report was commissioned to produce an Assessment and Analysis of the State-Of-the-Art Electric Transmission Systems with Specific Focus on High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC), Underground or Other New or Developing Technologies then the government responded with the summary of the Electric Transmission Assessment report.
2009 A memorandum of understanding (PDF, 112 KB) is signed with Houston’s Rice University to share nanotech expertise to advance clean energy efforts.
2009 EPCOR announces plans to transfer its power generation business to the newly created Capital Power Corporation, which will operate as a stand-alone public company. Source: Capital Power.
2009 - 2010 In 2009, Alberta Energy’s Tenure Branch begins a business process review (BPR) of its continuation business. (Continuation refers to the system that allows lessees to retain the productive rights in their agreements past the initial term’s expiry date.) The review’s objective is to find efficiencies in continuation operational processes and improve clarity in the business rules. The project includes the creation of a BPR committee in 2010. Members include the Canadian Associations of Petroleum Producers, Petroleum Landmen, Petroleum Land Administration, and the Explorers and Producers of Canada ad Energy Resources Conservation Board (later known as the Alberta Energy Regulator).

Timeline: 2010 to 2019

Year Event
2010 After 9 years of negotiations, Alberta Justice returns mineral titles and revenues earned by Canada since 1930 to Alberta. In 1917, surface land titles were provided to returning war veterans through the Soldier Settlement Board (SSB).
2010 Almost half of the oil sands production (47%) is collected in 2010 through in-situ methods.
2010 In April, the Alberta government releases Retail Market Review (PDF, 706 KB).
2010 - 2011 In May, a Royalty Competitiveness Review is announced (PDF, 101 KB). Industry is informed by webinarNew Well Royalty Regulation is approved in March 2011.
2010 The highest bonus amount collected by Alberta Energy in 1 year for petroleum and natural gas rights is $2.388 billion.
2010 - 2011 Commissioned by Alberta and industry, an advanced metering study measured electricity consumption behaviour.
2010 - 2015 In July 2010, the minister of energy established the Transmission Facilities Cost Monitoring Committee to review transmission facility project records. The committee reported to the Utilities Consumer Advocate the terms of reference are in Ministerial Order 64-20104. Committee reports:
2010 - 2013 In February 2010, the Oil Sands Administrative and Strategic Information System (OASIS) project begins to meet the anticipated growth of oil sands projects. OASIS enables project operators to create and submit oil sands royalty (OSR) project applications online, through the Electronic Transfer System (ETS). OASIS also enhances submission, validation and tracking of royalty and related information. For more information, see oil sands royalties.
2010 -2011 The AUC is directed to gather information and report back to the minister on key initiatives on conservation, green energy sources and the regulatory process. They include reviewing the regulatory approval process for hydroelectric facilities; determining how smart grid technology can be used to modernize the electricity system; advanced metering infrastructure to help consumers make more informed decisions on wise electricity use; and reviewing the rules for the regulation of consumer choices for both natural gas and electricity.
2010 -2011 In April, Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan launch the New West Partnership. This creates an economic powerhouse of 9 million people with a combined GDP of more than $550 billion. In December, these provinces united to improve access to Asian markets (PDF, 113 KB). See the memorandum of understanding (PDF, 113 KB). In December 2011, the western premiers commit to an Ottawa mission.
2010 More than $2.39 billion is netted in a record land sale (PDF, 90 KB). This surpasses every other year and is the first time the province has exceeded $2 billion in sales. The province also establishes a new high for the average price per hectare. The July 7 sale netted an average price of $2,185.03 per hectare, exceeding the previous high of $2,084.86.
2010 Negotiations on Bitumen Royalty in Kind (BRIK) begin in May 2010. By February 2011, an agreement is signed.
2010 -2013 An amendment (Bill 24) to the Carbon Capture and Storage Funding Act is introduced in November 2010. It guides how large-scale CCS projects will proceed in Alberta. In March 2011, the Alberta government announces that international experts will guide commercial-scale deployment of CCS (news release (PDF, 99 KB). In July 2012, the ERCB approves the Quest project with conditions. In February 2013, the funding agreement for the Swan Hills Synfuels project is cancelled.
2010 -2011 The ERCB report more than 2,300 successful oil wells were drilled in 2010, more than double the numbers drilled in 2009. (In 2014, the ERCB becomes the Alberta Energy Regulator.)
2010 -2011 The Regulatory Enhancement Task Force deliver reports from 2010 to 2011 to better integrate oil and gas policy and the regulatory system. In January 2011, the task force makes 6 recommendations to government in their final report Enhancing Assurance:
  • establish a policy management office tasked with developing a public engagement process, risk assessment and management approach;
  • establish a single oil, gas, oil sands and coal regulator;
  • provide a clear public engagement process;
  • establish a common risk assessment and management approach;
  • establish a performance measurement framework and public reporting mechanism; and
  • develop an effective mechanism to address landowner concerns.
2011 Alberta Energy’s online Land Status Automated System originally developed in 1982 for all surface and mineral information in the province is upgraded to 2 new systems. Alberta Mineral Information (AMI) containing Crown mineral dispositions and activities is launched in January. Geographic Land Information Management and Planning System containing Alberta surface public lands is launched in March. The systems contain more than 2.3 million components. Of these, 1.5 million pertain to wells. For more information, see searches.
2011 The 5-year Incremental Ethane Extraction program (IEEP) that was approved in 2006 expands in 2011 to support continued growth of Alberta’s petrochemical sector. Ethane extraction during bitumen upgrading reduces greenhouse gas emissions and boosts value-added production.
2011 The federal government partners with industry to bring new natural gas technology to market. The federal government will contribute $750,000 towards a project facilitated by the not-for-profit industry and stakeholder association, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada. Alberta Energy is contributing $250,000 towards the total project cost. A clean energy centre is established for biomass technologies./td>
2011 Alberta implements a Renewable Fuels Standard on April 1. It requires an annual average of 2% renewable diesel in diesel fuel and 5% renewable alcohol in gasoline sold in Alberta.
2011 In June, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), the province’s electricity system planner, releases a long-term transmission plan.
2011 The Innovative Energy Technologies program (IETP) created in 2004 announces another 6 projects in July, bringing the total number of projects to 37.
2011 In July, Alberta hosts Canada’s energy and mines ministers’ conference in Kananaskis. A Canadian energy strategy is discussed and a national action plan review scheduled for 2012.
2011 In October, the AUC introduces changes to utility disconnection and reconnection practices to protect vulnerable customers. This AUC initiative co-ordinates energy companies, social agencies and the privacy commissioner.
2011 The Oil Sands Information Portal launches in November. It allows easy access to data, making Alberta industry information more transparent. It includes searchable data, highlighting things such as facility-specific water use, greenhouse gas emissions, tailings pond size, and land disturbance and reclamation.
2011 - 2012 The AER commissioned a 2 phase technical factor study to determine Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) potential in Alberta, economic factors like oil prices and future estimates are not addressed in this study. Identification of Enhanced Oil Recovery Potential in Alberta – Phase 1 (PDF, 2.3 MB) created an analyzed an inventory to determine potential success factors then Identification of Enhanced Oil Recovery Potential in Alberta – Phase 2 (PDF, 37 MB) used findings in phase 1 to apply screening criteria to all oil pools in Alberta.
2011 - 2012 In December 2011, the Critical Transmission Review Committee was charged with reviewing timing, technology and forecasts in the AESO’s plan for critical transmission infrastructure between Edmonton and Calgary. CTRC also identified appropriate changes to the Electric Statutes Amendment Act, 2009 in their report, Powering our economy: Critical Transmission Review Committee Report. The government’s response was, Investing in the Economy: North-South Corridor Transmission Reinforcement. In March, the Alberta government appoints the Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC), an independent committee to review the electricity retail market. They are to help address the volatility and costs associated with the variable, or default, rate in Alberta’s competitive market.
2011 - 2014 The RMRC makes recommendations to strengthen the electricity market. The Power for the people (PDF, 5.5 MB) and Highlights (PDF, 281 KB) are released in January 2013 with 41 recommendations. Of those, 33 recommendations are accepted in principle and referred to an MLA implementation team. The team works with consumers, industry, regulators and others to ensure effective, affordable and sensible solutions are in place. Finally in December of 2014, the MLA-RMRC implementation team reports on the recommendations from the RMRC to benefit electricity consumers.
2011 -2012 Electricity planning is on the schedule for the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. In December, the Alberta government announces the Critical Transmission Review Committee. This independent expert panel will examine plans for 2 high-voltage transmission lines between the Edmonton and Calgary regions. Their report is released in February. Ten days later, the government accepts the recommendations, issues a response and agrees to review the variable, regulated retail electricity rate. In March, the Alberta government appoints the Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC), an independent committee to review the electricity retail market. They are to help address the volatility and costs associated with the variable, or default, rate in Alberta’s competitive market.
2012 -2014 The RMRC makes recommendations to strengthen the electricity market. The RMRC Report (PDF, 5.5 MB) and Highlights (PDF, 281 KB) are released in January 2013 with 41 recommendations. Of those, 33 recommendations are accepted in principle and referred to an MLA implementation team. The team works with consumers, industry, regulators and others to ensure effective, affordable and sensible solutions are in place. Finally in December of 2014, the MLA-RMRC implementation team reports on the recommendations from the RMRC to benefit electricity consumers.
2012 The New West Partnership (Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan) announce new rules to streamline registration on July 1, 2012. In September 2012, Premier Redford and other members promote the New West Partnership in China.
2012 The Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat produces Comprehensive Regional Infrastructure Sustainability Plans (CRISP). CRISP is the new long-term and collaborative approach to planning infrastructure in Alberta’s 3 oil sands areas.
2012 Canadian premiers agree to develop a Canadian Energy Strategy. Strategy documents can be found on the Canada’s Premiers site.

On June 7, the Plains Midstream Canada’s Rangeland pipeline has a release into the Red Deer River via Jackson Creek. Premier Redford issues a statement the following day.

2012 On July 9, 2012, rolling electrical outages occur across the province. They are caused by generation outages combined with minimal wind generation and record-high demand for power. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is the independent agency that manages Alberta’s electricity grid. It requests transmission facility operators and distribution companies to curtail power to prevent system failure.
2012 -2015 In July, Minister Hughes requests that the ERCB retain an independent third party to examine elements of the province’s pipeline system. The ERCB issues a Request for Proposal (RFP) on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website. On September 10, the ERCB announces that Group 10 Engineering Ltd. has been awarded the contract. (ERCB becomes the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) during the contract). On August 23, 2013 the Group 10 final report (PDF, 879 KB) and Appendices (PDF, 5.4 MB) are released to the public and feedback is gathered. In March 2015, the Auditor General audits Alberta’s pipeline safety and recommendations. The AER responds with a report (PDF, 145 KB) for the Minister of Energy.
2012 Under the EU pathway study, several reports were commissioned to study the lifecycle of the GHG associated with crude oils used in the European Union.
2012 On August 22, the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan is announced. It is the first regional plan under the Land-use Framework (LUF).
2012 The Responsible Energy Development Act passes. It is a 1-stop approach, making it easier for Albertans and industry to navigate the system.
2012 In November, the Petroleum Registry of Alberta becomes Petrinex (Petroleum. Information. Excellence.).
2012 In-situ bitumen production exceeds mined production in a calendar year for the first time. In-situ production was about 992,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) or 52% and mined production was 930,000 (bb/d) or 48%.
2013 Five new pilot projects are announced in April under the Innovative Energy Technology Program (IETP).
2013 On June 17, the AER succeeds the ERCB and is given more powers through regulatory enhancement. This includes a new registry for surface agreements and the authority to administer the Public Lands Act for energy projects.
2013 On July 25, the Alberta government announces an Urban Development Sub-region of more than 55,000 acres of Crown land for urban expansion in Fort McMurray.
2013 Alberta signs the historic Framework Agreement on Sustainable Energy Development with China to increase energy trade and collaboration between the 2 jurisdictions.
2013 In December, the AER launches the Private Surface Agreements Registry (PSAR) as part of a Phase 2 implementation of the Responsible Energy Development Act. Under PSAR, landowners and occupants can register surface agreements made with energy companies operating on their property. If a landowner feels that a company is not meeting a term or condition of a registered agreement, they can request that the AER intervene. If the AER determines that the company is not meeting the terms of the agreement, it can issue an order to comply.
2013 - 2014 On December 19, the Independent Joint Review Panel recommends approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline. The recommendation, which was sent to the federal cabinet for final approval, marks a critical milestone toward getting Alberta’s oil to new international markets. Ministers respond to the Gateway decision in a news release. Alberta Energy commissions an Arctic Energy Gateway report to examine the technical feasibility of producers transporting bitumen blend from the oil sands north to the Beaufort Sea coastline to access world markets in the Asia-Pacific region and the Atlantic coasts.
2013 The Building New Petroleum Markets Act is passed under the Petroleum Marketing Act (Bill 34). It boosts the government’s ability to respond more quickly to changing market conditions and empowers it to proactively seek out opportunities for Alberta’s energy products. The legislation allows the minister of energy to set the strategic priorities of the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC).
2014 The AER completes its transition under regulatory enhancement to a single regulator for energy development in Alberta on March 31. In June an agreement is signed with Mexico to work collaboratively on regulatory best practices in the development of hydrocarbon resources.
2014 Alberta celebrates 100 years of oil and gas exploration with the centennial of the Dingman #1 well discovering oil in the Turner Valley. The Canadian Association of Petroleum producers (CAPP) produces a video celebrating the anniversary.
2014 In October Premier Prentice issues a statement encouraging the National Energy Board to review TransCanada's Energy East application.
2014 Also in November, Canada’s Gas Tax Fund supports local infrastructure priorities throughout Alberta.
2014 Alberta commissions a report to study detection and monitor methods for wellbore leakage, Toward a Road Map for Mitigating the Rates and Occurrences of Long-Term Wellbore Leakage (PDF, 2.6 MB).
2015 In June, steps towards a climate change strategy and a royalty review chair are announced to set up the 2015 Royalty Review Panel.

On August 28, 2015, the Government of Alberta announced the establishment of the Royalty Review Advisory Panel. The mandate of the Panel was to identify opportunities to optimize Alberta’s royalty framework for crude oil and liquids, natural gas and oil sands.
2014 A report, the Energy Potential and Metrics Study – An Alberta Context was commissioned to explain energy availability, energy density and the environmental impact of a wide range of energy resources and pathways in Alberta.
2015 The energy minister visits the Nexen spill site in July. Premiers adopt the Canadian Energy Strategy (CES) at the 56th Annual Premiers’ Conference.
2015 The Alberta Royalty Review is officially underway in August. Community engagement sessions are announced the following month and telephone town halls with more community sessions in October.
2015 In November, the Climate Leadership Plan looks to transition away from coal and have 30% of the electricity grid supplied by renewable energy by 2030.
2015 Bitumen Quality was reviewed anonymously through aggregated assays in the Bitumen Assay Program (BAP) Aggregate Assay Information.
2016 Premier Notley’s statement on Alberta NEB submission supporting Trans Mountain pipeline  is sent to the National Energy Board on January 12. See Alberta's NEB submission (PDF, 2.0 MB).
2016 Alberta’s New Royalty Framework is released on January 29, forming the Modernized Royalty Framework.
2016 The Petrochemicals Diversification Program is announced in February. It encourages companies to invest in the development of new Alberta petrochemical facilities by providing up to $500 million in incentives through royalty credits. Of 16 applications submitted, 2 approved projects are announced in December.
2016 The investment of more than $5 million is announced in February to help municipalities and farmers harness the power of the sun and support local jobs. This is part of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan.
2016 In March, Premier Notley supports the Canada-U.S. agreement to cut methane emissions and the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Minister McCuaig-Boyd and the British High Commissioner to Canada Howard Drake sign a U.K.-Alberta Low Carbon Innovation and Growth Framework Agreement (PDF, 143 KB). Also under the Climate Leadership Plan, Terry Boston, the retired head of North America’s largest power grid, is hired to lead discussions with coal-fired electricity generation owners as the province transitions from coal to cleaner sources of power.
2016 The National Energy Board announces the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
2016 The minister of Environment and Parks establishes the Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel in June.
2016 July is the last month to submit applications to some bioenergy programs. Look for more information in the future under the Climate leadership plan. An oil sands advisory group is added to the plan.
2016 Royalty programs and an early opt-in option are announced in July under the Modernized Royalty Framework.
2016 Court action is launched in July to protect power consumers from paying costs of unlawful “Enron clause.”
2016 In September, the Alberta government announces that a firm target of 30% of electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030.
2016 In October an Energy Diversification Advisory Committee is created to help diversify the energy sector and explore opportunities for more investment in Alberta’s energy industries. This initiative follows advice of the Royalty Review Advisory Panel. It recommends that Alberta seize opportunities to position the energy industry for long-term success, while building on initiatives such as the Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP), announced in February 2016.
2016 In October, several programs are announced under the Climate Leadership Plan:
2016 In November, 5 electricity news releases are announced:
2016 In November, the Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act is introduced under the Climate Leadership Plan.
2016 Near the end of the year, the Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat closes.
2016 In December, the micro-generation regulation is changed to increase the size limit from 1 to 5 megawatts, allowing for more green electricity.
2017 The Alberta Royalty Review, initiated in 2015, resulted in changes to several petroleum, natural gas and oil sands royalty related regulations that came into effect on January 1, 2017. The updated regulations included:

In addition, the Natural Gas Royalty Regulation and Petroleum Royalty Regulation take effect.


The boundaries of the expanded Castle Wildland Provincial Park and the new Castle Provincial Park under regional planning are set in January. This brings one of the most biologically diverse areas in Alberta under provincial protection. The parks are announced on January 20, 2017. Public input is outlined in a news release on March first. The cancellation and compensation is covered under the Mineral Rights Compensation Regulation.


The Leduc #1 strike was a turning point in Alberta’s history. To celebrate its 70th anniversary, the minister of Energy declares February 13, 2017 Alberta Oil and Gas Celebration Day.


The Renewable Electricity Program is launched in March. It is expected to attract at least $10.5 billion of investment into Alberta’s economy by 2030 and create more than 7,200 jobs for Albertans. In the same month, the province directs the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to conduct a formal study to explore greener community power generation. This would help inform government as it develops policy to meet the demand for more local electricity generation.

2017 A drilling activity news release in April announces an increase in new wells drilled and active rigs in the first quarter of 2017. Alberta operators drilled 1,199 wells during the first 3 months of 2017 compared with 519 a year ago. This is a 131% increase in activity, according to industry figures. This is the largest increase in activity and the highest number of wells drilled overall in Western Canada from January to March.
2017 The province begins working with industry and experts in May to improve policies for managing old oil and gas facilities. This would better protect Albertans and the environment. A couple of weeks later, legislation is introduced that would allow Alberta to lend the Orphan Well Association (OWA) $235 million. This will speed up proper abandonment and reclamation of a growing number of oil and gas well sites that no longer have a responsible owner. Learn more about how Alberta is addressing upstream oil and gas liability and the orphan well inventory.
2017 Alberta is granted intervener status on the Trans Mountain Pipeline in May. The province will be allowed to make both written and oral submissions. The judicial review is advanced by municipalities, First Nations and environmental groups. It challenges the National Energy Board’s report and recommendation as well as the federal Governor in Council’s Order in Council approving expansion.
2017 An Act to Cap Regulated Electricity Rates is proposed in May.
2017 In June the Minister sent a submission (PDF, 2 MB) to the National Energy Board (NEB) requesting that the NEB Act be modified
2017 Electricity Stakeholder consultations begin in August to work towards the Capacity Market Framework.
2017 Premier Notley releases a statement in August to celebrate the start of construction on the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline.
2017 Premier Notley, Japanese representatives and local officials mark a $2-billion expansion of the Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd. (JACOS) Hangingstone project near Fort McMurray in September. This SAGD project is the culmination of the largest investment made in Alberta by JACOS in its 40 years in the province.
2017 The Renewable Electricity Program enters the request for proposals stage in September.
2017 A Calgary startup is revolutionizing pipeline safety and expects to double its workforce over the next 3 years. It will do so with support from the Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative at Alberta Innovates.
2017 -
Premier Notley speaks about pipelines in NovemberFebruary, April and May.
2017 The end of 2017 brings the final investment decision by Calgary-based Inter Pipeline. Two new facilities will be built in the Industrial Heartland, near Fort Saskatchewan. They will process propane into value-added plastics products. At the peak of construction, an estimated 2,300 direct full-time jobs will be created. Once complete, the facilities will employ 180 people full-time. Inter Pipeline is approved to receive royalty credits under Alberta’s Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP). PDP is part of the Alberta Jobs Plan to encourage investment in developing new petrochemicals facilities in Alberta. The PDP is regulated under the Energy Diversification Act.
2017 Regulatory changes occur in December. The Alberta government works with the AER on amending a key requirement, known as Directive 67. Now companies that walk away from wells or other oil and gas infrastructure without cleaning up will be subject to greater scrutiny and AER discretion if they apply to start new companies. Also, Carbon Competitiveness Incentives (CCIs) replace the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation. CCIs attract investment in clean technology, protect and create jobs and diversify Alberta’s economy while reducing carbon pollution.
2017 Three companies are chosen in the opening round of the Renewable Electricity Program. This will result in about $1 billion of private-sector investment in green power generation in Alberta. The successful bids have set a record for the lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada.
2017 Inter Pipeline is approved to receive royalty credits under Alberta’s Petrochemicals Diversification Program. In February, the Energy Diversification Advisory committee releases its final report and recommendations. The Energy Diversification Act is announced in March and passes in June.
2017 The Regulated Rate Option is the default electricity contract for the vast majority of Albertans. But it does not apply to Medicine Hat consumers because the city operates its own power utilities. To ensure Medicine Hat residents receive the same protections as other Albertans, the province works with the municipality to develop a regulation that keeps electricity prices stable and affordable.
2018 In March, an agreement is reached on the Power Purchase Arrangement.
2018 In April, competition opens for the second and third rounds of the Renewable Electricity Program.
2018 An Act to Secure Alberta’s Electricity Future is announced in April to create a capacity market for electricity in Alberta.
2018 The AER releases methane reduction draft directives in April.
2018 In May, 9 Alberta oil sands technologies receive more than $70 million through the Oil Sands Innovation Challenge. This will support economic growth in the oil sands sector.
2018 In August, the AER announces the integrated decision approach to improve approvals. To date, this approach has saved industry more than $140 million, with an expected $600 million in direct savings by 2021. In several pilots, the regulatory review was reduced from an estimated 5 years to just 15 months.
2018 The grand opening of Fort Hills and $400-million investment by Nexen occur in September.
2018 In November and December, Premier Notley announces several initiatives to protect Alberta resources: fighting for more value for Alberta oilprotecting the value of resources; and fighting for full value of natural gas.
2019 The Royalty Guarantee Act announced in June provides certainty that no major changes will be made to the current oil and gas royalty structure for a period of at least 10 years and the production limit is changed for August and September.
2019 The electricity capacity market plans are cancelled in July. In fall 2019, government launched a review to examine concerns from consumer representatives about certain parties gaining too much control of Alberta’s electricity market following the expiry of Power Purchase Arrangements (PPAs). At the same time, electricity suppliers raised concerns about unnecessary market control mitigation strategies.
2019 In August the National Energy Board (NEB) becomes the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER).
2019 The electricity capacity market plans are cancelled in July, then in October the Electricity Statutes (Capacity Market Termination) Amendment Act was introduced to return to an energy-only market.
News release
2019 In August the National Energy Board (NEB) becomes the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER). In September the Associate Minister of Natural Gas agreed with the CER decision to revise natural gas pipeline storage during maintenance periods.
News release
2019-2020 An AER review was announced in September in October the ethics commissioner reported and the minister asked the interim board to implement recommendations.
News release
Ethics commissioner
Minister’s statement
Board appointments
Act holds AER accountable

Timeline: 2020 to 2021

Year Event
2020 The Technology innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) came into effect January 1.
2020 Preliminary agreement with the federal government signed for methane emission reduction.
2020 In April Premier Kenney issued a statement on the federal government’s energy stimulus package.
2020 Review finds protections are in place for the electricity market.
2020 The Site Rehabilitation Program is announced in April it will begin in May.
2020 In May a helium royalty rate is set at 4.25%.
2020 Coal development news:

Updated coal rules
Coal lease cancellation
1976 coal policy reinstated
Coal consultation
Coal Policy Committee
Coal exploration halted on Category 2 lands

2020 The 10-year Petrochemical Incentive grant program is announced in July.
2020 The Carbon Capture and Storage project Shell Quest  reached a milestone, since 2015, 5,000,000 tonnes of emissions have been safely captured.
2020 A mineral advisory council is announced to help unlock the geological potential for lithium, vanadium, uranium, rare earth elements, diamonds, and potash.
2020 The Natural gas vision and strategy is announced in October.
2020 Alberta signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan to support the development of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).
2021 A new agreement for the Sturgeon refinery was announced in July.
2021 Building a future for critical and rare earth minerals, was announced in November, for more information, see the mineral strategy and action plan.
2021 Alberta on the path to a bright hydrogen future, was announced in the same month, for more information see the Hydrogen roadmap.
2021 Also in November a $2.5 billion investment for a major petrochemical facility is announced for northwest Alberta as part of the recovery plan.
2021 The Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program announces through Alberta Innovates that the program's 23 projects are expected to support a total of 1,307 project-related jobs for Albertans while contributing $169 million to the province's GDP.
2021 A MOU is signed to expand market access with Japan also in November.
2021 The year ends with the expiry of the curtailment policy on oil production limits and the delivery of a coal policy report.

See the news search for current energy news releases.


Connect with Alberta Energy reception:

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