Timeline: 1715 to 1899

Year Event


The first known reference to the Athabasca oil sands is made by Captain Swan. He was a Cree chief acting as a middleman between the native hunters of the west and the fur factories of Hudson Bay. Swan tells Governor James Knight in council at York Fort in 1715 about a river feeding the Churchill River where he found “Gum or pitch.” In 1719 Swan returns to York Fort, where Henry Kelsey has replaced Knight as governor. He gives Kelsey a sample of “that Gum or pitch that flows out of the Banks of that River.”


Alexander Mackenzie writes of bituminous seeps among Alberta’s Athabasca oil sands into which a 6-metre pole can be inserted "without the least resistance."


The first published record of coal in Alberta is attributed to Peter Fidler. He is a surveyor, explorer, mapmaker and fur trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company. According to his journal, Fidler first observes coal near the Red Deer River at Kneehills Creek. This is a short distance from present-day Drumheller.


Coal gas is first used to light streetlamps in London, England.


Natural gas is piped through hollow logs to Fredonia, New York.


Coal gas is first used in streetlamps in Montreal.


Coal gas is first used in streetlamps in Toronto.


Geological Survey of Canada is established to explore for coal and other minerals.


Abraham Gesner of Halifax, Nova Scotia opens a plant in New York to convert coal into kerosene. This is a new synthetic lamp oil (replacing whale oil). The plant uses Gesner’s  patented process of fractional distillation.


American chemist Benjamin Silliman applies fractional distillation to Pennsylvania rock oil (crude oil) and discovers it produces high-quality lamp oil (kerosene).


Natural gas is discovered in New Brunswick.


Entrepreneurs establish small, primitive oil refineries in Ontario, eastern Europe and the U.S.


James Miller Williams of Hamilton, Ontario creates the world’s first vertically integrated oil company. It combines all aspects of the business from exploration to retail sales into 1 company.


Natural gas is discovered in southwestern Ontario.


Chemical engineer Herman Frasch invents a process to extract sulphur compounds from oil using copper oxide powder. Until then, the foul smell of sulphur had prevented oil from being widely used as a fuel.


The first coal-powered electricity generators are developed near present-day Lethbridge.


The Geological Survey of Canada investigates Athabasca oil sands.


Sixteen Ontario producing and refining companies merge to form the Imperial Oil Company.

1882- 1883

The first coal mine in Alberta opens in Lethbridge (originally called Coalbanks) in 1882. The first mine in Edmonton opens in 1883. The Lethbridge area has more than a dozen underground coal mines with each mine in excess of 100,000 tonnes. The last of these closed in the mid-1960s.


A Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) crew drilling for water near Medicine Hat, Alberta accidentally discovers natural gas 55 kilometres northwest of Medicine Hat. The name of the site at the time is Langevin Siding. By 1910 it is called Carlstadt. After the First World War, the name is changed again to Alderson.


The first CPR locomotive arrives in Medicine Hat, signalling great changes in the coal industry of the future province. The first branch line built from CPR’s main Alberta line is the North Western Coal and Navigation Company’s 174-km narrow-gauge line. It runs from Dunmore to Lethbridge in the southwest. It is constructed to carry coal from Lethbridge to sell to the CPR as fuel for its locomotives. The line contributes to greater employment in the area through coal mining, railway development, increased flow of goods and crop exports.


Canada’s first single-phase AC generators are commissioned in Calgary by the Bow River Lumber Company and in Ottawa at Chaudière Electric.


A second well is drilled just a few metres from the Langevin Siding site. This one produces enough gas to light and heat several buildings.


The Geological Survey of Canada collects natural gas information and presents a paper to the Royal Society of Canada. The paper was called On Certain Borings in Manitoba and the Northwest Territory. Of course, there is no reference to Alberta, since Alberta did not become a province until 1905.


The Canadian government establishes Banff National Park, the first national park in Canada and the second in North America. The Banff Hot Springs represent the most famous example of direct-use geothermal energy in Alberta’s history.


The No. 1 Mine begins coal production in Canmore, Alberta. Mining at Canmore continues until 1979.


Drilling for natural gas begins in southwestern Ontario.


A natural gas well drilled at Niagara Falls, Ontario begins exporting gas to Buffalo, New York.


Several more natural gas wells are drilled in the Medicine Hat area, producing gas for homes and factories.


The Canadian Electrical Association is formed to represent the industry.


Edmonton Electric Lighting and Power Company is founded. It receives approval to build a coal-fired generating plant on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Source: Edmonton Power Historical Foundation 


Parliament passes a bill authorizing funds for the Geological Survey of Canada to investigate the Athabasca oil sands as a source of petroleum.


The first hydro-generator in Alberta is built on the Bow River. Source: Centre for Energy


Drilling begins at the Athabasca oil sands. Crews strike a reservoir of natural gas which blows wild for 21 years.


Natural gas from Ontario is piped to Windsor, Ontario and across the river to Detroit, Michigan.


Imperial Oil’s refinery operations are consolidated at Sarnia, Ontario.

Timeline: 1900s

Year Event


Prior to 1900, most of Alberta’s population lived along the main CPR railway line or along branch lines under CPR control. In the early 1900s, this trend shifts somewhat. Various railways and branch lines lay tracks farther north away from CPR’s main southern rail line. Northern rail routes are responsible for establishing early coal communities, such as Drumheller, Forestburg and Nordegg, north of CPR’s main line.


As known natural gas supplies dwindle, the Ontario government bans exports to the U.S.


Medicine Hat develops its own gas utility.


Edmonton Electric Lighting and Power Company is purchased by Edmonton, becoming the first municipally owned electric utility in Canada. Source: Edmonton Power Historical Foundation


Alberta is proclaimed a province on September 1, 1905. The province is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.  The inauguration ceremony features an address by Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier. Approximately 12,000 Albertans are in attendance to witness the ceremony.


Old Glory is the name of the first major gas discovery. Development of the Bow Island gas field leads to the first pipelines delivering natural gas to Alberta communities.


Calgary Power is formed. Later renamed TransAlta, the company develops into Canada’s largest investor-owned utility.

Timeline: 1910s

Year Event


Following the British decision to convert Royal Navy ships from coal to bunker oil, the Canadian government urges industry to find and develop domestic oil supplies.


Martin Nordegg opens the largest mine in Alberta and creates a model town that bears his name to this day. By 1923, Nordegg was producing the largest amount of coal of all the mines in Alberta.


Calgary Power builds the first large-scale hydro plant in Alberta, the run-of-river Horseshoe  plant. Source: TransAlta


A 270-km pipeline begins carrying natural gas from Bow Island, Alberta to Calgary. This will allow natural gas to replace coal gas as a heating, lighting and cooking fuel. The 40-centimetre pipeline is completed in just 86 days.


The First World War establishes oil as a key strategic commodity.


May 14 is a victorious day for Arthur W. Dingman. He and his associates savour the fruits of their risk-taking with a natural gas discovery at Turner Valley on the edge of Kananaskis Country. Learn more about the Turner Valley Gas plant here.


Sydney Ells demonstrates the first commercial use of oil sands. In 1915, he ships several tonnes of Athabasca oil sands by water, sleigh and rail to Edmonton for a road-paving experiment.


The Public Utilities Board (PUB) becomes Alberta’s first regulatory agency with the primary responsibility of regulating utility rates and service. Since utility service is limited at the time, the PUB has extended jurisdiction over other matters. This includes the cancellation of subdivision plans, approval of utility franchise agreements, regulation of the sale of shares and securities within the province, approval of tariffs for provincial railways and approval of highway crossings by railway branch lines. Alberta Government Telephones, Alberta’s only telecommunications company at the time, also applies to the PUB for its rates.


The Soldier Settlement Board (SSB) comes into being with the mandate to provide land for returning war veterans. The veteran would acquire title to the surface, but the minerals were reserved in the SSB name and administered by the Government of Canada.

Timeline: 1920s

Year Event


Oil is discovered at Norman Wells, Northwest Territories.


Edmonton switches to natural gas for heating, lighting and cooking following completion of a 130-km pipeline from Viking, Alberta.


The discovery of a decade earlier leads the way to a deeper zone find just a few kilometres away. Royalite No. 4 puts Turner Valley on the oil and gas map.


Karl Clark, chemist and oil sands researcher, perfects a hot water separation process while working for the Research Council of Alberta and the University of Alberta. It is the basis of today’s thermal extraction process. Learn more at the Bitumount heritage site.


R. C. Fitzsimmons forms the International Bitumen Company and builds a small-scale pilot plant near Bitumount, 80 km north of Fort McMurray.

Timeline: 1930s

Year Event


Under the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement, the Dominion of Canada transfers mineral rights to the province of Alberta. It grants the province rights to all minerals, oil and natural gas. Approximately 81% of the sub-surface mineral rights are owned by the province.

Alberta’s first royalty regulation follows a royalty system similar to the United States with a fixed flat percentage royalty rate such as 5%, 12.5%, or 16.67%.


Alberta Department of Lands and Mines is established.


First Alberta Royalty Regulation.


The Turner Valley Conservation Board is established.


The falling price of milk affects the profitability and viability of milk producers in Alberta. To provide price stability, the Government of Alberta declares milk a public utility. The Public Utilities Commission (renamed the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) in 2008) begins setting the minimum price that milk producers receive (the wholesale price). The commission is also put in charge of licensing and regulating milk producers and distributors. In 1969, the Government of Alberta creates the Alberta Milk Control Board. While the AUC’s jurisdiction over the regulation of milk production is surrendered to the board, it continues to set minimum wholesale prices. In 1991 the Government of Alberta deregulates the minimum retail price of milk.


The first natural gas export licence is issued by the federal Department of Trade and Commerce.


After more than 50 years of production, the second oil well to be discovered in Alberta is closed off (abandoned) with a few wheelbarrows of cement. The closing-off process is still in its infancy and abandonment operations continue until 1954.


Alberta’s flat royalty rate on oil and gas is increased to 10%, with flexible treatment of low-value natural gas liquids.


Nylon, the first plastic made from petroleum products, is invented.


Under the Fuel Oil Licencing Act, Alberta’s 1,000 fuel dealers are required to obtain a licence from the Public Utilities Board.


Oil leg is discovered in the Mississippian zone at Turner Valley.


Rotary drilling rigs indicate oil exists at greater depths than oil found in earlier discoveries.


The Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board becomes the Energy Utilities Board (EUB), then the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB). On June 17, 2013, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) takes over to provide full-lifecycle regulatory oversight of energy resource development in Alberta.

Timeline: 1940s

Year Event


Alberta shifts the royalty rates on oil from a flat rate of 10% to a choice of a 12.5% flat rate or a 5-to-15% royalty based on production levels.


Pipeline is built from Portland, Maine to refineries in Montreal to overcome wartime danger to East Coast tanker traffic.


Canada’s first offshore oil well is drilled from an artificial island off Prince Edward Island to a depth of 4,500 metres, at a cost of $1.25 million. No commercial qualities of oil or gas are found.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes the Canol Pipeline. It is an expensive but short-lived pipeline system carrying crude oil from Norman Wells to a new refinery at Whitehorse, Yukon. It also carries refined oil products to Fairbanks and Skagway, Alaska.


After drilling 133 dry holes across Western Canada, Imperial Oil strikes oil at Leduc, Alberta, on February 13. This transforms Canada into an oil-rich nation. Learn more at the Leduc #1 Discovery Centre.

1947 - 1954

This historical document about oil and natural gas production describes average daily production, footage drilled and money spent on exploration. It also includes a listing of leases and royalties paid for this time frame.


Imperial Leduc No. 2 finds oil in the Devonian reef, which formed during the Devonian period, the Age of Fishes (395 to 345 million years ago). Until this discovery, oil experts believed oil could not be found from that time period. The town of Devon, Alberta is named after this.


The Alberta royalty rate is capped at 16⅔%.


Alberta Department of Lands and Mines is succeeded by two new departments: Lands and Forests, and Mines and Minerals.

Timeline: 1950s

Year Event


Oil replaces coal as Canada’s largest single source of energy. Pipelines are established to transport natural gas to Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.


Detonation of an underground atomic explosive device is proposed to melt Athabasca oil sands bitumen to aid commercial development. Federal government denies approval.


A sliding scale is established in Alberta Royalty Regulations.


First section of the Interprovincial Pipe Line Inc. (now Enbridge Pipelines Inc.) oil pipeline is laid from Edmonton to Superior, Wisconsin. It is extended to Sarnia, Ontario in 1953.


First sulphur recovery plant is built in Alberta for sour gas (natural gas).


Trans Mountain Pipeline Company line is completed from Edmonton to Vancouver.


The Alberta Gas Trunk Line Company Limited (AGTL) (now called NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.) is created to build and operate a provincewide natural gas transportation system. In 1957, Alberta gas begins to flow through the AGTL (NOVA) system.


Edmonton Electric Lighting and Power Company’s Rossdale plant switches from coal to natural gas.


First gas is exported by the Westcoast Energy Inc. pipeline system through Vancouver to U.S. markets.


Construction of the TransCanada Pipelines system is completed from Alberta to Eastern Canada.


Entwistle resident Einar Opdahl finds a diamond on the banks of the Pembina River. The diamond weighs 0.83 carats and sells for $500.


The National Energy Board is created by the federal government to oversee interprovincial and international energy trade.

Timeline: 1960s

Year Event


The Gas Utilities Act is introduced. It is still a major part of legislation governing the jurisdiction of the ERCB. In the 1960s, urbanization and industrialization increase the number of utility customers by 62%.


Alberta establishes air-quality standards that include limits on industrial emissions of hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide.


National oil policy directs that all refineries west of the Ottawa Valley must use higher-priced crude from western Canada.


The Pacific Gas Transmission pipeline (now called Gas Transmission Northwest) is built to deliver Alberta gas to customers in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and California.


The number of steps in oil royalty is reduced to 3.

The royalty rate on gas is increased to 16.67% with minimum deemed royalty value maintained.


The Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor) starts mining oil sands to produce crude bitumen. At this time, Fort McMurray is a small trading post.


In the mid-1960s, Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) is piloted in the Clearwater Formation. It proves to be the key to unlocking bitumen.


Great Canadian Oil Sands initiates the world’s first large-scale oil sands operation, the Athabasca oil sands at Fort McMurray. Total production in 1967 reaches about 2,500 barrels per day.

Timeline: 1970s

Year Event


Natural gas and oil deposits are found off the coast of Nova Scotia.


Roger M. Butler develops the concept of using horizontal pairs of wells and injecting steam to extract certain deposits of bitumen considered too deep for mining. Cyclic steam injection was the previous process. Butler’s invention of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) technology paves the way for scores of in situ projects, changing the oil sands industry.  Source: Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame


The Board of Arbitration is formed to handle expropriations, formerly the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Board. The Board of Arbitration is now the Surface Rights Board.


Edmonton’s electrical distribution and power plant departments merge and become Edmonton Power. Construction begins on its Clover Bar generating station. Source: EPCOR


Alberta proposes a mineral tax assessment on remaining recoverable crude oil reserves at fair value with no change in the existing royalty structure. The plan also includes an exploratory drilling incentive system. Changes take effect in January 1973.  Source: Tenure in Alberta


Federal and B.C. governments impose moratorium on West Coast offshore oil and gas exploration.


Arab oil embargo triggers first global energy crisis. The Alberta Energy Company Ltd. is created to initiate a capital investment program and lessen dependence on foreign oil. It would later merge with PanCanadian Energy Corporation to create Encana.


Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau decrees ‘made-in-Canada’ crude oil prices.

Alberta implements a price-sensitive royalty regime, rather than a fixed rate.


Alberta implements a price-sensitive royalty regime. Prior to that, royalties were paid at a fixed rate.


The Alberta Petroleum Marketing Act creates the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC).


The Natural Gas Price Protection Plan is introduced to shelter Alberta consumers from increasing world market prices for natural gas. In 2009 it was replaced by the Natural Gas Price Protection Act. In 2022, the Utility Commodity Rebate Act was established to enable rebates on electricity, natural gas or other heating fuels.


The Petroleum Royalty Regulation allows rebates for eligible costs of injection materials for enhanced oil recovery guidelines.


The Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC) is created by the Petroleum Marketing Act. The commission is the provincial Crown corporation responsible for selling conventional crude that the Alberta government receives in lieu of cash royalties. The main objective is to maximize the value of the Crown’s royalties. The Crown marketing agents are contracted to sell the Crown royalty share along with their own production. This ensures a competitive market price is received for the sales of these volumes.


The Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) is formed to promote the development of new technologies for oil sands and heavy-oil production.


Oil and natural gas pools are classified by ‘vintage’ for royalty calculation purposes. Vintage refers to the date of discovery of the oil or gas pool from which production occurs. Royalty rates for production from newly discovered pools are set lower to reflect the higher average finding and development costs associated with newer, smaller pools. Alberta has only 2 vintages: old, discovered before 1974; and new, discovered after 1973.


Alberta oil & gas production: 1947-1974 is a listing of conventional oil production for the time frame. It is followed by annual numbers for 1960 to 1974. It includes footage drilled, well completions, producing wells and a listing of leases and royalties paid. (Oil sands numbers begin in 1966.)


Alberta Department of Energy and Natural Resources is created by merging two existing departments: Lands and Forests, and Mines and Minerals.


Natural gas prices in Canada become regulated under federal-provincial agreement.


Alberta royalty formulas are made sensitive to the level of production from the well.


Syncrude Canada Ltd., a consortium of oil companies and the federal and provincial governments, open an oil sands mining and upgrading project at Fort McMurray. This effort, combined with the Great Canadian Oil Sands (Suncor Energy Ltd.) operation that began in 1967, increases the total mined bitumen in the province to more than 90,000 barrels per day.


The U.S. begins the process of natural gas deregulation.


Alberta’s first ethylene plant officially opens at Joffre. A second ethylene plant and a polyethylene plant begin production in 1984, eventually becoming the largest in North America.


First large oil discoveries are made at the Hibernia field off Newfoundland.


The Canadian oil industry converts to metric.

Timeline: 1980s

Year Event


First permanent buried pipeline is completed in the Canadian Arctic to carry light crude oil from Norman Wells to Alberta.


In October, the National Energy Program (NEP) reinforces the 1973 made-in-Canada price policy. The NEP seeks to achieve 3 objectives: energy security (or oil self-sufficiency); redistribution of wealth between the federal government and consumers; and greater Canadian ownership of the oil industry. Many Albertans believe the NEP is an intrusion on provincial rights because resources are owned by the provinces. It passes a large benefit to central Canada and leads to a significant number of companies and jobs leaving Alberta. The NEP ended with the 1984 election. Source: Alberta Online Encyclopedia


Calgary Power changes its name to TransAlta Utilities. Source: TransAlta


The Constitution Act gives each province the exclusive right to make laws in relation to the development, conservation and management of natural gas in the province.


Alberta Energy develops an online Land Status Automated System (LSAS) for all surface information in the province. Minerals are added 5 years later. This system is in place until 2011.


The Alberta government creates the Electric Energy Marketing Agency. The Public Utilities Board sets the price at which utilities sell electric energy to the agency. The aim is to achieve equalization of electrical rates by averaging the price of generation and transmission across the province.


The Petroleum Incentives Program Act is implemented to encourage development of oil and gas in Alberta following the 1980 National Energy Program. Source: Canada's Petroleum Heritage


Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) attempts to set production quotas low enough to stabilize prices. These attempts meet with repeated failure as various OPEC members produce beyond their quotas. During most of this period, Saudi Arabia acts as the swing producer, cutting its production in an attempt to stem the free fall in prices. In August 1985, the Saudis link their oil price to the spot market for crude. By early 1986, they increase production from 2 MMBPD to 5 MMBPD. Crude oil prices plummet below $10 per barrel by mid-1986. Despite the fall in prices, Saudi revenue remains about the same with higher volumes compensating for lower prices. Source: West Texas Research Group


The Oil and Gas Servicing Incentive Program Regulation is introduced. It authorizes the minister to make grants available for eligible well-servicing costs of wells, batteries and pipelines.


The Progressive Conservative government under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney replaces the Liberal government in 1984. The new government signs the Western Energy Accord in 1985, eliminating the National Energy Program.


The federal government deregulates oil prices and opens Canada’s borders to imports and exports.

Oil Royalty holiday programs are introduced to reward successful explorers where previous grant-oriented programs only favoured activity.


Oil royalty holiday programs are introduced to reward successful explorers. Previous grant-oriented programs only favoured activity.


Commercial production begins at Imperial’s Cold Lake Cyclic Steam Stimulation injection project. This method involves injecting high-pressure steam into the bitumen to soften and separate it from the sand.


The federal government and East Coast petroleum-producing provinces reach agreements to jointly manage offshore oil and gas resources.


Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the federal government sign the Agreement on Natural Gas Markets and Prices. It begins the process of natural gas price deregulation in Canada.


After 70 years of production, the Turner Valley Gas Plant is shut down. It is now a provincial and national historic site.


The price of natural gas is deregulated by a federal-provincial agreement. With a resulting decline in natural gas prices, the provincial government allows the Natural Gas Protection Plan to expire.


The Alberta Department of Energy and Natural Resources is succeeded by two new departments: Energy, and Forestry, Lands and Wildlife.


Alberta Energy adds minerals to the online LSAS, which was developed in 1982. This system is in place until 2011.


Alberta Energy publishes a monthly Alberta Average Market Price (AMP) for natural gas/residue gas, given in units of $/1000 3 and $/GJ. This test specifies that the minimum valuation price that may be applied to the Crown's royalty share of production is 80% of the AMP ($/GJ) in effect during the month of sale. The AMP is effective for the production years 1988 to 1993.


Genesee 2, using coal-fired steam turbine equipment, is the first Genesee generation unit to be completed. Its capacity is 410 megawatts.

Timeline: 1990s

Year Event


Canadian refiners eliminate lead as a gasoline additive, completing a phase-out that began in 1973.


The Royalty Simplification project is initiated by the Minister of Energy and Industry to streamline royalty calculation and processing. It continues in 1992 with an industry CEO on the steering committee.


The Gas Utilities Statutes Amendment Act is passed by the Alberta Legislature. It gives non-industrial consumers in Alberta the choice of entering into contracts for gas supply, subject to regulations.


The New York Mercantile Exchange starts trading natural gas futures contracts for delivery at Henry Hub, Louisiana.


The Lloydminster upgrader begins processing heavy oil.


The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is created. It merges the Canadian Petroleum Association and the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada. The association represents about 200 producers. Their collective production represents nearly 95%  of Canada’s total crude oil and natural gas output.


Royalty rates are modified and an additional vintage distinction, called “Third Tier”, is introduced for conventional oil pools discovered after August 31, 1992.


The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro takes place in June. Canada and more than 160 other nations adopt a philosophy of sustainable development. They agree to begin limiting emissions of greenhouse gases that may contribute to global climate change.


Major royalty changes are introduced, including increased price sensitivity and select price inflation indexing.

A third tier vintage is introduced, and heavy oil vintages are separated from light.


The Alberta Energy Company (AEC, now EnCana) starts reporting daily natural gas spot prices at its gas storage facility at AECO-C near Suffield, Alberta.


The Cowley Ridge wind plant, near Pincher Creek, Alberta is completed, becoming the first commercial wind farm in Canada.


Initial implementation of the new royalty system (a result of the 1990-92 Royalty Simplification project). Industry submits estimated royalty payments.


Functions of Alberta’s Department of Forestry, Land and Wildlife are merged into the Department of Environmental Protection. The Department of Energy is reorganized into 5 new divisions. The AOSTRA is moved under the Department of Energy and eventually moves to Alberta Innovates. AOSTRA promotes the development of new technologies for oil sands and heavy-oil production.


The Alberta Gas Reference Price is implemented. It is a monthly weighted average of an intra-Alberta consumer price and an ex-Alberta border price, reduced by allowances for transporting and marketing gas. (Gas Royalty Guidelines 1994)


Alberta adopts the Electricity Utilities Act to deregulate the energy supply market.


The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (AEUB) is created. It merges the Public Utilities Board and the Energy Resources and Conservation Board (ERCB) (previously the Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board). The aim is to provide a more streamlined and efficient regulatory process. In 2013 the ERCB becomes the Alberta Energy Regulator.


A generic royalty regime for new oil sands projects is recommended. It would provide a smaller royalty share at the beginning of a development and a larger share for the government after the developers have recovered their costs.


The EUB passes rules implementing natural gas customer choice for small consumers in Alberta.


The Electric Utilities Act (EUA) passes in 1996. The AEUB holds a hearing to restructure tariffs to implement changes to the electric utility industry introduced in the EUA. Each major utility must apply to separate its generation, transmission and distribution costs. The framework for further restructuring of the electric utility industry is established through the Electric Utilities Amendment Act that passes in 1997.


The Kyoto Protocol treaty is negotiated in December 1997 at the city of Kyoto, Japan. It comes into effect on February 16, 2005.


Alberta establishes 3 new independent bodies (the Balancing PoolTransmission Administrator  and Market Surveillance Administrator) to ensure open and competitive access to deregulated power markets.


The Hibernia oil platform is towed to the Hibernia oil field and positioned on the ocean floor in June. It begins producing oil on November 17. The platform stands 224 metres high, which is half the height of New York’s Empire State Building and 33 metres taller than the Calgary Tower.


The generic oil sands royalty regime, the Oil Sands Royalty Regulation, 1997, comes into effect on July 1. It establishes generic royalty terms for all new oil sands projects. Prior to this, royalties for oil sands projects were prescribed in separate Crown agreements, or contracts, for each project. The new regime created a level play field across all projects and encouraged more projects. At the same time, the federal government extends its accelerated capital cost allowance to oil sands projects to encourage their development.

Industry feedback indicated that royalty and related administration cost are approximately one third of the pre ‘94 level. Industry and royalty business rules and business practices continue to evolve as part of the 1990-92 Royalty Simplification project.


Alberta Oil sands: Update on the generic royalty regime is presented in October at the 7th UNITAR conference on heavy crude. The paper explains the generic oil sands royalty regime and its implementation.


The Energy department conducts a royalty and related information review before setting up the 2007 Royalty Review Panel.


Alberta Department of Energy is reorganized and renamed the Department of Resource Development. The new department is also responsible for forest industry development and rural utilities.


In July the Ethane and NGLs task force – delivered their final report (PDF, 24 KB) to the Minister.


Connect with Alberta Energy reception:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-8050 (Edmonton)
Phone: 403-297-8955 (Calgary)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422- 9522

Alberta Energy
Petroleum Plaza, North Tower
2nd Floor, 9945 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2G6

Alberta Energy
300, 801 6 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2P 3W2

Was this page helpful?

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

You will not receive a reply. Do not enter any personal information such as telephone numbers, addresses, or emails.

Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca. If you require a response, please go to our Contact page.