Development, operations and closure

Information for landowners on the operation and closure of oil and gas and utility projects on private lands in Alberta.


Energy and utility developments can have a significant impact on agricultural operations and the rural economy of surrounding communities. The Farmers’ Advocate Office (FAO) is an important resource for Alberta landowners who want to gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities in relation to developments on their land.

All new and existing energy and utility projects are regulated. The Responsible Energy Development Act created the Alberta Energy Regulator as the full lifecycle regulator for Alberta's oil, natural gas, oil sands, and coal resources and pipelines. The Alberta Utilities Commission regulates investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities.

The Surface Rights Act requires that the owner of minerals (or an operator with either the right to the minerals or the right to work them) obtain the surface owner’s consent or a Right of Entry order prior to enter land for the development of that resource. It also provides the framework for the Land and Property Rights Tribunal (LPRT). The LPRT assists landowners or occupants resolve disputes with operators about surface access, including Right of Entry applications, when operators requires access to private land or occupied crown land to develop resources.


Key publications

The Life Cycle of an Energy Development is an infographic outlining the entire life cycle of an energy development, starting with initial geophysical exploration and ending with reclamation. This infographic outlines the steps of the Alberta Energy Regulator’s (AER) application process and stages in that process for landowner involvement.

For more detailed information on common questions or concerns about energy projects, the FAO has also published a number of other bulletins and reports. These include:

Supporting publications

Related organizations

What’s new

Watch this page for new or updated resources on the following topics:

  • Geophysical Exploration and Landowners’ Rights – This publication is currently being updated. The information will provide the surface owner or occupant with a brief synopsis of their rights regarding geophysical exploration on private and leased land based on the most recent legislation and regulation.
  • AER Decisions and Appeals: What Landowners Need to Know
  • Surface lease compensation: area used vs. area granted
Oil pumps in a field

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Connect with the FAO:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-FARM (3276) (in Alberta)
Phone: 403-742-7901 (outside Alberta)
Email: [email protected] or Ask us a question online

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Mailing address:
J.G. O'Donoghue Building
7000 113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T6H 5T6

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