News Releases and Backgrounders
Alberta celebrates oil and gas history On Feb. 13, 1947, a crew of roughnecks struck black gold in a farmer’s field launching a second oil rush in Alberta, confirming the importance of oil and gas in the province.Optimism, more activity mark royalty review anniversary January 30, 2017
Rig counts across Alberta have risen substantially compared with this time last year as economic activity and jobs return in the energy sector. The increased activity is taking place one year after the Alberta government announced its modernized royalty framework, which encourages industry to innovate and reduce costs, making Alberta companies more competitive and encouraging more investment in Alberta.
Alberta sets out energy efficiency vision (January 24, 2017)
A new energy efficiency report gives the province a road map for creating jobs, diversifying the economy and saving Albertans money, learn more with Energy Efficiency Alberta .
Castle parks given historic new boundaries (January 20, 2017)
The boundaries of the expanded Castle Wildland Provincial Park and the new Castle Provincial Park have been set, bringing one of the most biologically diverse areas in Alberta under provincial protection.
The Alberta government is promoting greener energy by providing more flexible rules about how Albertans can generate their own electricity. Changes to the regulation that governs micro-generation include increasing the size limit to five megawatts from one megawatt and allowing a micro-generating system to serve adjacent sites, which is especially helpful for operations with more than one building, such as farms.
Additional PPA agreements reached (December 16, 2016)
The Government of Alberta has reached final agreements to settle power purchase arrangements (PPAs) with AltaGas Ltd. and TransCanada Energy Ltd. The agreements will terminate the PPA held by ASTC Power Partnership, a partnership between AltaGas and TransCanada, for Sundance B. The agreements will also terminate TransCanada’s PPAs for Sundance A and Sheerness. The PPAs will be returned to the Balancing Pool.
Modernized royalty system ready for the New Year (December 15, 2016)
Alberta’s modernized royalty framework for new oil and gas wells will come into effect Jan. 1, 2017 and will include two new programs to encourage industry to explore new areas and boost production.With the approval of a series of regulatory changes, Alberta’s Modernized Royalty Framework is ready for implementation.
Petrochemical plants will diversify economy, create jobs (December 5, 2016)
The economy will get a substantial boost from two projects that would, for the first time in Alberta, process propane extracted from natural gas resources into value-added plastics products that people all over the world use every day. The projects have been approved to receive royalty credits under Alberta’s Petrochemicals Diversification Program, which was announced and began receiving applications in February 2016.
More stability for electricity consumers (November 29, 2016)
Proposed legislation would further reduce price volatility in the electricity system and support the province’s made-in-Alberta transition to a stable and reliable system that puts consumers first.
Door-to-door energy sales ban will protect consumers (November 25, 2016)
Starting Jan. 1, 2017, Alberta will prohibit unsolicited door-to-door selling of energy products to protect people from misleading, high-pressure sales practices. Alberta is banning door-to-door sales of:
- natural gas and electricity energy contracts
- water heaters
- air conditioners
- energy audits
Alberta announces coal transition action (November 24, 2016)
In support of its made-in-Alberta transition to a stable, reliable and cleaner electricity system, the Government of Alberta has announced agreements with TransAlta, Capital Power and ATCO to end coal-fired emissions on or before Dec. 31, 2030. The agreements will see the companies, which own six coal-fired electricity units originally slated to operate beyond 2030, provided with transition payments for investments that have been reduced in value by the transition away from coal-fired generation – funds that can be reinvested into Alberta’s electricity market.
Consumers to benefit from stable, reliable electricity market (November 23, 2016)
The Government of Alberta will create a “capacity market” for electricity as part of its plan to ensure that consumers are protected from price volatility with a reliable supply of electricity at stable, affordable prices.
Price cap to protect consumers from volatile electricity prices (November 22, 2016)
The Government of Alberta is protecting families, farms and small business with a ceiling on electricity prices as the province makes necessary reforms to the electricity system. Learn more about price protection .
See where wells are being drilled under new royalty framework (November 4, 2016)
The province has approved 129 new wells since July 12, when companies were allowed to apply for early access to the new royalty framework, and more applications are coming in. This equates to more than a new well approved each day under the Modernized Royalty Framework’s early opt-in provision.
Renewable electricity plan to create jobs, spur investment (November 3, 2016)
The Alberta government will set clear timelines for developing renewable electricity like wind and solar, and a competitive bidding process structured to limit costs. The Renewable Electricity Program will add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity by 2030 using a competitive process, administered by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). This will put Alberta on a path to achieve its target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by that time.
Oil sands emissions cap drives innovation (November 2, 2016)
Limit for oil sands emissions repairs Alberta’s reputation and establishes leadership on climate and energy production. Minister Shannon Phillips today introduced the Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act as the next step in the Climate Leadership Plan.
Energy Efficiency Alberta helps people save money (October 27, 2016)
Energy Efficiency Alberta, an agency established as part of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, is gearing up to launch three initial energy efficiency programs for Albertans in early 2017.
Bioenergy producers to get transitional support (October 25, 2016)
The Alberta government is taking action to support bioenergy producers as they transition from the expired Bioenergy Producers Credit Program (BPCP) to a new, more sustainable plan. The BPCP, which was established in 2007, expired in March, 2016. Over its nine years, the program provided financial support for bioenergy producers with the expectation that a subsidy program would result in a self-sustainable bioenergy industry in Alberta. This has not been the result. Bioenergy Producer Program
Farmers to benefit from expansion of efficiency grants (October 24, 2016)
Government is investing $10 million to help energy-intensive farm operations reduce their emissions and save on energy bills through efficiency upgrades.
Energy Diversification Advisory Committee named (October 13, 2016)
An expert committee assigned to help diversify Alberta’s energy sector will explore opportunities to create jobs and stimulate investment by adding value to the province’s energy resources. The Energy Diversification Advisory Committee’s mandate is to engage Albertans and explore opportunities to increase the value of energy resources, create jobs and attract new investment. This includes such value-added ideas as partial upgrading, refining, petrochemicals and chemicals manufacturing.
Alberta seeks solar farm proposals (October 6, 2016)
The Alberta government is aiming to support the province’s first solar farm to help meet its green power needs. A Request for Information (RFI) to provide advice on the potential cost and best approach for procuring solar power for half of government operations will be posted today. This will explore the opportunity to use solar energy to replace two existing green energy contracts that expire by the end of 2017 with solar power, and could lead to the first solar farm in Western Canada. The total consumption for the two contracts is 135,000 megawatt hours a year.
Alberta launches Indigenous renewables pilot program (October 5, 2016)
As part of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, the provincial government is launching two small-scale pilot programs for First Nations and Metis communities that invest in local renewable projects that create jobs, reduce emissions and lower utility costs.
Government will work with the oil and gas industry over the next five years to restore 10,000 linear kilometres of land that had been cleared for seismic lines in the Little Smoky and A La Peche caribou rangelands.
In keeping with the recommendations of the Denhoff Report released in June, these efforts not only restore critical caribou habitat but will also create local jobs as thousands of trees will be planted over the next five years.
Innovation investment diversifies economy and creates jobs (September 28, 2016)
An investment in bioindustrial innovation is resulting in new products, new jobs and potential for more exports. The Government of Alberta, largely through Alberta Innovates’ bioindustrial innovation program, has supported Ceapro, an innovative Alberta company, to develop its products and commercialize an advanced oat-oil extraction process. As a result, Ceapro is opening a new, larger production facility to supply its customers, such as well-known personal-care product brand, Aveeno – while at the same time doubling its workforce creating 30 new high quality jobs and helping diversify Alberta’s economy.
Alberta promotes investment, strengthens ties with Mexico (September 28, 2016)
Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd will travel to Mexico City from September 29 to October 3. While there, she will promote Alberta companies, new opportunities for investment, and will meet with businesses and the Mexican government on a variety of energy-related policies. Mexico has also requested that the Minister be the guest of honour at a renewable energy event in Mexico City.
Advisory Panel to consult communities on coal transition (September 22, 2016)
The Alberta government has announced a three-member expert panel to meet with community, labour and industry leaders in regions affected by the transition away from coal-fired electricity generation. This fall the Advisory Panel on Coal Communities will begin discussions with workers most affected by the retirements of coal-fired generation plants and associated mining operations, including those in and around Parkland and Leduc Counties, Forestburg and Hanna. Online form
Climate Leadership Plan to position Alberta for success in global innovation race (September 19, 2016)
The Alberta government has appointed a task force to provide recommendations on targeting investments in climate technology to help transition to a lower-carbon economy. As part of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, the Government of Alberta will make historic investments in research and innovation that will reduce emissions. To help guide these investments, the government has appointed an independent task force to engage with Albertans.
Three new proposed oil sands developments receive initial approval following Regulator review (September 15, 2016)
Government has approved the proposals for:
- The Blackpearl Resources Inc. Blackrod oil sands steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) development
- The Surmont Energy Ltd. Wildwood oil sands SAGD development
- The Husky Saleski oil sands development
Collectively these projects represent about $4 billion of potential investment into Alberta’s economy and about 95,000 barrels per day of production. The proposed developments will also fall under the new oil sands 100 megatonne greenhouse gas emissions limit, announced with Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan. These proposals combined equal about 2.5 megatonnes of GHG emissions. The limit is an incentive for innovation, encouraging lower carbon production, more efficient projects and cost-effective emissions reduction strategies.
Renewable energy target improves health, environment (September 14, 2016)
A firm target of 30 per cent of electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030. To help achieve this 30 by ’30, the Government of Alberta will support 5,000 megawatts of additional renewable energy capacity for Albertans.
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.