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Posted by

Tanya Fir


June 9, 2022


Red tape reduction

It’s Energy Week in Alberta so let’s take some time to celebrate the industry that has played a critical role in Alberta’s prosperity and will continue to do so with new and growing sources of energy such as geothermal and hydrogen.

Energy Week is an opportunity for us to share with the world how our province has cut red tape for energy producers.

The more red tape we cut, the more we ensure our province is the destination of choice for investors. Our goal is to make Alberta the freest and fastest moving jurisdiction in North America by getting government out of the way so that businesses can continue to do what they do best, invest in Albertans and create jobs.

We have been working closely with industry, the red tape reduction industry panel and the public to make tangible and meaningful changes that will support Alberta’s Recovery Plan. Some of the key initiatives that have reduced the regulatory burden on the oil, gas and electricity industries include:

  • Enabling the Orphan Well Association to better manage and accelerate the cleanup of wells or sites that do not have a responsible owner. These efforts streamline and make processes more efficient while ensuring necessary protections for the environment remain strong.
  • Establishing a competitive royalty rate for helium, helping to attract investment and create jobs. Several producers have expressed an interest in exploring the helium potential in southeast Alberta, with some production already underway.
  • Streamlining conditions for oil sands lease holders and eliminated unnecessary delays in the oil sands approval process.
  • Allowing operators to proceed with commingled abandonment in pre-approved pools, enabling them to plan abandonment work more efficiently and start work sooner. Industry estimates there will be in $584 million in cost savings from this initiative.
  • Updating subsurface spacing and well testing requirements (Directives 040 and 065) to shift to a performance-based regulatory approach, offering flexibility for industry to comply.
  • Lowering the deposit amount that both new electricity and natural gas retailers need to pay, reducing the barrier to entry into both markets and paving the way for greater consumer choice.

We’ve been able to achieve these critical changes to support the energy industry while maintaining consumer, environmental, health and safety protections and fiscal accountability.

Since 2019, Alberta has cut over 26% of the province’s regulatory requirements and implemented changes that have saved Albertans, job creators and the government more than $1.2 billion. In doing so, we’ve helped make Alberta a more attractive place to invest, run a business and start a family.

And we aren’t done yet. If you have a suggestion about how the government can cut red tape, please share it with our team at [email protected].

Happy Energy Week!

  • Tanya Fir photo

    Tanya Fir

    Tanya Fir served as Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction from July 8, 2021 to October 24, 2022.