Exploration legislation

Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) is responsible for approving all seismic exploration programs in Alberta under the following legislation.

Mines and Minerals Act

Part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act outlines regulations for exploration.

Exploration Regulation

Alberta Exploration Regulation (AR 284/2006) regulates companies engaging in exploration of petroleum and natural gas projects governed by the Mines and Minerals Act.

Legislation compliance

The department:

  • receives applications for proposed seismic exploration programs in Alberta
  • approves applications under the legislation for all petroleum and natural gas seismic exploration
  • oversees day-to-day operations
  • ensures compliance with the legislation

Exploration directives

While the regulation describes what the geophysical industry “must do” in its operations, directives explain “how to do”. Schedule 1 of Alberta's Exploration Regulation includes a list of 26 exploration directives. For more information see Exploration directives for geophysical activities.

Exploration restricted areas

Certain lands in Alberta have restrictions on seismic operations. A brief description of these areas can be found at Exploration restricted areas for geophysical industries.

Regulation and enforcement

Crew Inspections

To ensure compliance with legislation, AEP field staff conduct regular seismic crew inspections on:

  • public land
  • private land
  • road allowances

Public lands field offices

Field offices are located throughout Alberta, where Forest Officers and Public Lands Officers oversee:

  • project approval
  • daily operations
  • legislation compliance

Geophysical inspector program

The Land Management Branch in Edmonton develops provincial policy for exploration. Within the branch, the Exploration Unit runs the Geophysical Inspector Program which:

  • oversees seismic operations on private land and road allowances
  • acts as liaison for information regarding seismic operations
  • helps find resolutions to complaints against the exploration industry


Connect with Environment and Parks Information Centre:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-944-0313
Toll free: 310-3773 (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]


Main Floor, Forestry Building
9920 108 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta   T5K 2M4