General resources

Each June, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) publishes reserve estimates of:

  • crude bitumen
  • crude oil
  • conventional natural gas
  • coalbed methane
  • natural gas liquids
  • coal
  • Sulphur

The annual report also forecasts supply and demand for these resources.

Read the current report at ST 98 Alberta’s Energy Reserves Supply/Demand Outlook.

Publications

Follow these links for more general information about Alberta’s energy industry:

Fact sheets

These fact sheets provide more information about the resource industry.

Quick facts

An Alberta Energy fact sheet from January 2017 offers information about:

  • oil
  • natural gas
  • investment
  • pipelines
  • coal
  • electricity
  • revenue

Read it:

Environmental information

Find statistics for greenhouse gas emissions and water usage at Environmental actions.

Oil and gas royalties

Royalties help fund important programs such as health, education and infrastructure. They ensure Albertans receive a portion of benefits from development of the province’s energy resources.

Read Oil and gas royalties in Alberta to learn what royalties are and how they are calculated.

Energy study

This report provides a comprehensive view of major energy resources in Alberta. It also explains how heat, electricity and transportation fuels are created. The study explains energy availability, energy density and the environmental impact of a wide range of energy resources and pathways in Alberta.

Jacobs Consultancy published the report, which can be found at:

Upgrading and refining

Learn about Alberta’s refining capacity and current and upcoming upgrader projects at Upgraders and refineries: facts and stats.

Pricing

These fact sheets provide information about resource pricing:

Coal and minerals

Read reports about coal and mineral development.

Acts and other publications

Coal and mineral development in Alberta is governed by the Mines and Minerals Act.

Annual reports

The Coal and Mineral Development Branch publishes annual reports. They provide yearly overviews of the following Alberta industries:

  • coal
  • metals
  • industrial minerals

These reports are available for 2011-2018 at Coal and mineral development in Alberta year in review.

Mineral assessment reports

Mineral exploration companies that hold metallic and industrial mineral permits in Alberta must prepare reports. They are confidential for the first year. They then become public to further the discovery of mineral deposits.

Read them at Mineral assessment reports search, where you can search by:

  • report text context
  • assessment number
  • project name
  • release date

Companies must adhere to the following guidelines when preparing assessment reports:

Mineral development strategy

This framework outlines the vision, goals and strategy for mineral exploration and development in Alberta. Alberta Energy and industry stakeholders developed the strategy together. It is meant to enhance the potential development of:

  • base and precious metals
  • gemstones
  • industrial minerals
  • other solid minerals

Read the framework at Alberta mineral development strategy (2002).

Introduction to metallic and industrial mineral rights

Basic rules and principles underpin Alberta-owned metallic and industrial mineral rights and agreements. Learn about them in the following PowerPoint presentation:

Fact sheets and guides

Electricity

Find general information at Electricity and renewable energy.

Alberta Energy has been working with electricity stakeholders to meet the goals of the Climate Leadership Plan.

Reports and other publications

Here are reports and other publications about electricity and nuclear power.

Market transition

In 2016, the Government of Alberta endorsed a recommendation by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). This plan sees the province transition to a new electricity-market framework. It moves Alberta from an energy market to an energy and capacity market.

Read the recommendation at:

Retail market review

The Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC) issued a report in January 2013. It made 41 recommendations to strengthen the electricity market. The government acted on 2 recommendations, approved 33 in principle and rejected 6.

Read the RMRC report at Power for the people.

A team was put in place to advise on how to implement the 33 approved recommendations. Their report to the energy minister is at Enhancing the retail market for electricity. It was published in December 2014.

Transmission facility costs

In July 2010, the minister of energy established a committee to monitor transmission facility costs. The Transmission Facilities Cost Monitoring Committee monitors projects forecast to cost more than $100 million. It is responsible for reviewing transmission facility project records about:

  • cost
  • scope
  • schedule
  • variances

Find information about the committee at Utilities Consumer Advocate.

Also on that site, find the terms of reference for Ministerial Order 64.

You will also find the Transmission Cost Recovery Subcommittee Report (2012) (PDF, 1.3 MB)

These major transmission project cost reviews can be found on the site:

Consumption study

In 2010-2011, a real-time study measured electricity consumption behaviour.

This advanced metering study was a collaboration of:

  • Department of Energy
  • Environment Department (now Alberta Environment and Parks)
  • Alberta Innovates
  • EPCOR
  • ENMAX

Transmission line approval

In December 2012, the Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL) was approved by the AUC. Several route and tower options were chosen to minimize landowner and agricultural impacts.

Critical transmission review

A committee was charged with reviewing AESO’s plan for critical transmission infrastructure between Edmonton and Calgary.

The Critical Transmission Review Committee reviewed the plan’s:

  • timing
  • proposed technology
  • forecasts

They also identified appropriate changes to the Electric Statutes Amendment Act, 2009. The findings were published in a report.

Read Powering our economy: Critical Transmission Review Committee Report.

Read the government’s response:

In 2009, Stantec was commissioned to study transmission technologies. Read 2009 Electric Transmission Systems Study.

In 2012, the Electric Utilities Amendment Act was passed. It ensured that Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) would assess the need for future transmission lines. This would no longer be the responsibility of the provincial cabinet.

Nuclear review

In 2008, the Nuclear Power Expert Panel was convened. In April 2009, they released their report on nuclear-energy potential in the province.

Nuclear consultation then began. As part of the process, a workbook was used to provide information to the public. Here is a bulletin about the consultation process:

Here is a December 2009 news release summarizing the consultation’s findings:

To read the full report:

Electricity policy framework

A paper was completed in 2005 outlining Alberta’s electricity policy framework. It examined the regulated rate option; short and long-term adequacy; and other inter-related market issues.

Read the archived paper at Alberta’s Electricity Policy Framework: Competitive-Reliable-Sustainable.

Statistics

The AUC collects and reports statistics relating to:

  • installed generation capacity
  • electricity generation
  • electricity sales

Find this information at Service quality and reliability plans.

The AESO is the province’s electricity system operator. They offer information and reports on many topics, including an annual market statistics report.

Fact sheets

The following fact sheets provide more information about electricity in Alberta:

Natural gas

Publications

Read these publications and reports about natural gas in Alberta.

Shale resource potential

The Alberta Geological Survey, under the AER, produced a report on shale resource potential.

The report provides baseline data and information about shale:

  • geology
  • distribution
  • reservoir characteristics
  • hydrocarbon resource potential

Overview brochure

The natural gas overview brochure explains Alberta’s:

  • producing fields
  • network of export pipelines
  • massive storage capability
  • major benchmark pricing mechanism
  • trading services
  • numerous points of consumption, from electricity generation to residential heating
  • world-class petrochemicals sector that adds value to natural gas liquids

Royalty bulletins

Gas royalty information bulletins are published monthly.

They highlight proposed changes to legislation, regulations or operating procedures. They also provide industry clients with updates regarding reporting requirements for the determination of natural gas royalty.

Flaring estimates

Flaring and venting of natural gas associated with hydrocarbon production are significant sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Measuring and reporting systems for produced gas varies between jurisdictions. The World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR) is a collaboration between governments and industry. It uses third-party satellite data to publish national flaring volume estimates. Find them on their website.

Read about the technology and methodology used to produce the flaring volume estimates:

Other resources

Search here for more external resources about natural gas.

Fact sheets

Oil

Reports and publications

Here is a list of reports and publications about oil in Alberta.

Enhanced oil recovery potential

The AER commissioned a study of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) potential in Alberta from March 2011 to March 2012.

The study considers only the technical factors associated with EOR. For any individual project, economics are important. However, economic factors vary and depend on current oil prices and the expectation of future oil prices. Therefore, these factors are not addressed in this study.

The study was completed in 2 phases by Sproule Associates Limited.

Phase 1 objectives included:

  • Retrieve information on all EOR schemes in Alberta from the AER’s Reserves Report and other AER and public databases/files
  • Create an inventory of EOR scheme information organized by pertinent characteristics such as geographic area, pool, formation, reservoir properties, scheme type
  • Analyze the inventory of EOR scheme information, focusing on successful EOR operations, existing and emerging trends, and likely short-term EOR prospects
  • Assess the associated potential success factors
  • Write a preliminary report on EOR in Alberta oil pools, containing lessons learned and preliminary findings
  • Create an inventory of existing EOR schemes in Alberta organized by pertinent characteristics
  • Initially assess potential success factors

The final Phase 1 report was published in June 2011. Read it here:

Phase 2 objectives included:

  • Apply knowledge gained from Phase 1, along with information from literature searches and possible industry interviews. Fully develop criteria for the screening of potential future EOR prospects, considering the various types of possible EOR schemes and technologies
  • Apply screening criteria to all oil pools in Alberta
  • Assess and compile potential incremental recoverable volumes for all oil pools under various EOR technologies
  • Provide a progress update on preliminary findings and adjust the study as necessary
  • Prepare a report on the total findings on existing and future potential EOR in Alberta in written, tabular and graphical formats. The report will include but is not limited to the following information:
    • field and pool name
    • formation
    • EOR type
    • fluid properties
    • reservoir parameters
    • geographic location
    • primary recovery
    • current incremental recovery

The final Phase 2 report was published in March 2012. Read it here:

Shale resource potential

The Alberta Geological Survey, under the AER, produced a report on shale resource potential.

The report provides baseline data and information about shale:

  • geology
  • distribution
  • reservoir characteristics
  • hydrocarbon resource potential

Jacobs Report

This report has information about the lifecycle assessment of the GHG associated with crude oils used in the European Union.

Read the full report by the Jacobs Consultancy at:

Here are relevant portions of the report:

Read the government’s policy review based on the study:

Read public questions and comments relating to the study:

Royalties in cubic metres

The Schedule A report supplies the "S" basic royalty in cubic metres. This is used in the appropriate royalty formula based on the vintage (old, new or third tier) and density (heavy or non-heavy) of the well.

The report is based on the “S” portion of the oil royalty formula, effective January 1, 1993.

Read sections of the report, which divides production volumes into ranges of 500:

Drilling cycle optimization

The Western Canada Drilling Cycle Optimization study examines area seismic and drilling activities. It provides actionable recommendations to assist industry-cycle optimization.

Read the study at:

Wellbore leakage

In 2014, the University of Waterloo analyzed long-term wellbore leakage. The study was sponsored by the Government of Alberta. It describes methods for wellbore leakage detection and monitoring. It also offers potential approaches to reducing rates and occurrences.

Read the study at:

Conventional default values

In 2013, Natural Resources Canada contracted this report from International community foundation International. It analyzes the research methodology used to develop the Fuel Quality Directive’s default “conventional” gasoline and diesel GHG intensity values.

Using this improved understanding, the report develops a more likely range of GHG values for crude oils used in the European Union.

Read the full report here:

Read an executive summary of the report here:

Read the minister’s statement from November 13, 2013, welcoming the study.

Oil sands

Publications

Bitumen quality

An ongoing, multi-phase project is obtaining information about Alberta’s oil sands bitumen quality.

Bitumen assays were generated by Maxxam Analytics and aggregated by Alberta Energy. The aggregate assays are based on a combination of oil sands region and recovery technology. This ensures the anonymity of each oil sands operator’s specific bitumen assay data.

Read about the project:

Industry reports

Quarterly reports are generated for projects and related activities in the oil sands. These reports include government and industry updates and detailed project listings.

Cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS)

This 2002 report explores the technical, economic and environmental issues related to CHOPS. It also refers to other new processes and emerging production technologies. It details emerging possibilities for expanding or prolonging CHOPS production in Alberta.

Production profile

This report gives a detailed overview of oil production volumes and extraction technologies. It covers the years 2004 to 2014.

Read the report at:

Arctic energy gateway

Alberta Energy commissioned CANATEC Associates International Limited. They were to examine the technical feasibility of producers transporting bitumen blend from the oil sands north to the Beaufort Sea coastline. The bitumen blend would go from there to world markets in the Asia-Pacific region and the Atlantic coasts.

Disclaimer

The views, conclusions and comments expressed in the report are those of the authors and may not reflect policies, positions or views of the Government of Alberta.

The Government of Alberta does not endorse, authorize, certify, maintain or control the content of the report.

The Government of Alberta is not liable for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use of this information.

Read the report at:

Energy Innovation Fund (EIF)

In 2006, the EIF allocated $200 million over 4 years in support of energy-resource projects.

These projects built world-class knowledge, expertise and leadership to responsibly develop our energy resources.

Read a release about the EIF at:

One of the projects supported by the EIF was the Titanium Corporation Proposal.

This involved laboratory and bench-scale studies to research potential for recovery of the following from oil sands mine tailings:

  • bitumen
  • zircon
  • titanium-bearing minerals

Read the EIF’s Titanium Corporation Proposal pilot report and initial proposals:

Read these EIF progress reports, updates and reviews, presented in date order:

More oil sands publications

Presentations

Maps

View maps of the province’s oil sands areas at:

Royalty-project mapping

Starting in 2017, Alberta Energy began publishing in-depth, oil sands royalty project information on an individual-project basis.

Find this information in the Oil Sands Royalty Projects Map.

The new Oil Sands Royalty Projects Map is limited to oil sands royalty project information only.

View related information on oil sands projects at:

Publication cancellation notice

Please note: PDF version of Alberta’s Oil Sands Projects and Upgraders Map has been discontinued.

Fact sheets

External resources

For more information, check our list of external resources on oil sands.

Tenure

Publications

Tenure in Alberta outlines the history of Crown mineral rights and administration of Alberta’s petroleum and natural gas mineral agreements.

Update notice

This publication was updated due to an error found on Page 11, Figure 6. It previously read, “Selecting sections using a single qualifying well for a section 17”. It has now been updated to reflect the correct statement “Selecting sections using a single qualifying well for a section 16”. Alberta Energy apologizes for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

Maps

Mineral ownership

The Department of Energy administers Crown-owned minerals on behalf of the province. The Alberta Crown owns approximately 81% of the province's mineral rights. The remaining 19% are either freehold minerals or belong to the Crown in the right of Canada.

See the map at Mineral ownership in Alberta.

Unconventional resources

Read the following publications and fact sheets about unconventional resources in Alberta:

Contact

To contact 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

Address:

Alberta Energy
Petroleum Plaza, North Tower
7th Floor, 9945 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2G6

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