News Releases and Backgrounders

More news releases may be found on the Government of Alberta News page.  Use the Search feature to locate the articles you're looking for or sign up for the Alberta Energy RSS news feedRSS icon or other Government of Alberta RSS news feeds. The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) also issues news releases and announcements.

New drilling and jobs under Modernized Royalty Framework (August 17, 2016)
Government has received dozens of drilling applications since companies were allowed to apply for early access to the new framework. Thirty-five new wells have been approved as of Aug. 15. The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors estimates that each drilling rig in operation creates roughly 135 direct and indirect jobs. More information on royalties or royalty programs.

Court action launched to protect power consumers from paying costs of unlawful “Enron clause” (July 25, 2016)
The Government of Alberta took legal action today to protect Albertans from an attempt to offload business losses in the electricity market onto the public. Alberta contends that this attempted offload is being implemented through a regulatory clause that was unlawfully enacted when the province's electricity system was deregulated.

Province announces Oil Sands Advisory Group membership (July 13, 2016)
The province is establishing an Oil Sands Advisory Group (OSAG) composed of members from industry, environmental organizations, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to advise government on the oil-sands aspects of its Climate Leadership Plan and ensure that its initiatives are effective and widely supported.

Benefits of new royalty framework to start early (July 12, 2016)
Rigs and wells across Alberta can now get access to Alberta’s Modernized Royalty Framework, which will help create more jobs when drilling season starts.
In response to industry requests, oil and gas producers can apply to opt in to the new, modernized royalty framework for wells that otherwise would not have been drilled.

Royalty programs to help boost production and create jobs (July 11, 2016)
Two new royalty programs will encourage oil and gas producers to explore new areas, boost production in other areas and keep Albertans working.
Following months of work with leaders in the energy industry, the government is releasing details of the new Enhanced Hydrocarbon Recovery Program and the Emerging Resources Program.

Alberta establishes panel to advance energy efficiency programs (June 9, 2016)
The Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel, appointed by Minister Phillips, comprises individuals with expertise and experience who will provide advice for the newly created Energy Efficiency Alberta. Over the coming months, the advisory panel, chaired by Dr. David Wheeler, will speak to Albertans, Indigenous organizations, and stakeholders to determine the types of energy savings programs that Energy Efficiency Alberta can deliver in the short and medium-term.

Petrochemicals Diversification Program attracts significant interest from global investors (June 6, 2016)
International companies want to invest in Alberta’s petrochemical sector, which will play a key role in job creation and economic diversification. The program received 16 applications locally and from across the globe, representing more than $20 billion in potential new investment interest in Alberta’s petrochemicals industry. These applications are now under consideration with a third-party monitor, with final decisions to be made within 60 days from today.

Alberta welcomes progress on Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion (May 19, 2016)
Following the National Energy Board announcement on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project, Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd has the following statement: “Today’s recommendation by the National Energy Board fits a responsible national approach to energy infrastructure. Canada is balancing the need for much stronger action on climate change with the need to pay for that action, by sustainably developing our natural resources – including our energy resources.

Province, industry discuss fire impacts to oil sands operations (May 10, 2016)
Premier Rachel Notley and oil industry representatives met today to discuss the state of oil sands facilities in the wildfire area and how to move forward to return to full operations.

Royalty changes promote jobs, investment and innovation (April 21, 2016)
Oil and gas producers in Alberta can move ahead on drilling and investment plans for 2017 with new technical formulas now available. These formulas are part of the next step in implementing Alberta’s Modernized Royalty Framework and will determine royalty rates and certain cost allowances. This milestone is another step towards implementing the recommendations from the Royalty Review Advisory Panel.

Alberta takes next steps to phase-out coal pollution under Climate Leadership Plan (March 16, 2016)
Terry Boston, the retired head of North America’s largest power grid, will lead discussions with coal-fired electricity generation owners as the province transitions from coal to cleaner sources of power. Coal Phase-out fact sheetPDF iconand Scope of workPDF icon.

Alberta and the United Kingdom establish new low carbon partnership (March 15, 2016)
Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd and the British High Commissioner to Canada Howard Drake have signed a UK-Alberta Low Carbon Innovation and Growth Framework AgreementPDF icon.

Historically low oil prices and declining revenue impacting third quarter results (February 24, 2016)
Alberta faces a significant budget shortfall as oil prices continue to collapse – to the lowest levels in more than a decade – causing a substantial hit to government revenue. The oil price collapse has significantly impacted Alberta’s resource and personal income tax revenue streams. Prudent financial management, including the re-profiling of some projects and bringing expenses in line with the province’s new economic reality, has helped the province mitigate some of the effects of the oil price shock this fiscal year.

Energy minister to meet with global energy leaders and promote Alberta’s energy industry during CERAWeek in Houston  (February 19, 2016)
CERAWeek is an annual conference that brings together energy leaders from across North America and the globe to discuss and collaborate on critical topics of interest to Alberta’s energy strategy.

Alberta takes significant step toward diversifying economy (February 1, 2016)
The new Petrochemicals Diversification Program is part of the government’s continued action on the economy, helping to create jobs, attract investment and diversify Alberta’s economy. The program will encourage companies to invest in the development of new Alberta petrochemical facilities by providing royalty credits. The program is expected to support the construction of several petrochemical facilities that use methane or propane to produce the materials for products that include plastics, detergents and textiles.

Modernized royalty system will promote jobs and investment activity, while increasing revenue to Albertans over time (January 29, 2016)
The adoption of the Royalty Review Advisory Panel’s recommendations will create a simpler, more transparent and efficient system that encourages job creation and investment, rewards innovation and increases returns to the province over time. Royalty ReportPDF icon

Premier Notley’s statement on Alberta NEB submission supporting Trans Mountain pipeline (January 12, 2016)
“Earlier today, I wrote to the National Energy Board in support of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. Our government believes this project is good for Albertans and good for all Canadians. It will create jobs, spur economic growth, and help fund our province’s transition to a greener, less carbon intensive economy on many levels." Alberta's NEB submission