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.
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:
- Clubroot and Energy & Utility Developments
- What You Need to Know About Communication Towers (PDF, 236 KB)
- Understanding Reclamation
- Pipelines in Alberta – This publication focuses on oil and gas pipelines that connect Alberta's "upstream" sector (production) with the "downstream" sector (refining, marketing and distribution).
- Alberta Land Titles can provide copies of your land title
- Understand how to register a caveat on title. Alberta Land Titles Procedure Manual: Caveats (PDF, 134 KB)
- Alberta clubroot management plan has the objective of minimizing yield losses due to clubroot and reducing the further spread and buildup of clubroot in canola, mustard and market garden vegetable fields in Alberta.
- The Pipeline Act guides the issuance of pipelines licences and the Oil and Gas Conservation Act and the guides the issuance of wellsite licences.
- Farm fuel and rural utility programs provides information on funding and programs to assist rural Albertans with essential services at a reasonable cost.
- Directive 056: Energy Development Applications and Schedules presents the requirements and procedures for filing a licence application to construct or operate any petroleum industry energy development that includes facilities, pipelines, or wells.
- Alberta Federation of Rural Electrification Associations
- Alberta Surface Rights Federation is a landowner group that meets to discuss and advocate for landowner issues.
- Orphan Well Association manages the abandonment, reclamation, and remediation for orphan sites.
- Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers advocates on the behalf of the Canadian upstream oil and gas industry.
- Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration is a non-profit organization that brings together different land personnel within the oil and gas industry.
- Canadian Association of Petroleum Land and Energy Professionals
- Federal pipelines are regulated by the National Energy Board. Check out their Landowner Guide (PDF, 10.3 MB) for more information.
- Federation of Alberta Gas Coops
- Utilities Consumer Advocate educates, advocates, and mediates for Alberta's residential, farm, and small business electricity and natural gas consumers.
- Weed Management on Industrial Sites
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
Stay informed with advisories from the Farmers’ Advocate Office.
Connect with the FAO:
J.G. O'Donoghue Building
7000 113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6
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