Innovative Energy Technologies Program

Announced in 2004, the Innovative Energy Technologies Program (IETP) supports innovation, research and technology development.

The IETP is a $200 million commitment by the Alberta government to provide royalty adjustments to pilot and demonstration projects that use innovative technologies to increase recoveries from existing reserves and encourage responsible development of oil, natural gas and in situ oil sands reserves.

Photo: Courtesy of Imperial Oil

The program objectives are:

  • increasing the recovery from oil and gas deposits resulting in incremental production and royalties;
  • finding a flexible commercial technical solution to the gas over bitumen issue that will allow efficient and orderly production of both resources  improving the recovery of bitumen resources by in situ technologies;
  • improving recovery of natural gas from coal seams; and
  • disseminating technology and information developed through the projects supported by this program.

Successful applicants receive a royalty adjustment of up to 30 per cent of approved project costs. Industry must provide the remaining 70 per cent or more of total project costs. It is anticipated that successful technologies supported by this program will enhance resource recovery and increase royalties to fully recover, over time, the program costs. The total industry/government commitment to important new technologies, assuming full subscription of the program, will be $1.15 billion with Alberta Energy contributing $195 million in royalty credits and industry contributing the remaining $955 million. A couple of successful projects have been featured.

Program Impact

The IETP has contributed to some of the largest economic and technical successes in enhanced oil recovery through its support of the first field wide polymer flood in Canada. Additionally, the IETP also funded the first Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage project in a carbonate rock formation in Alberta, with the potential to tap into an additional 300 billion barrels of bitumen.

Annual and Final Reports Prepared and submitted by approved projects

Under the terms of the program, successful applicants must submit the following reports:

  • Annual and final technical reports; and
  • Annual and final intellectual property reports on any new technology developed through an IETP project.

Annualword icon
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Project Announcements

Project listings with targeted resource 
40 projects proceeded from the 42 that were approved and publicly announced.

external link icon Five new projects were announced in April 2013 (backgrounderPDF jcon)

external link icon Six new projects were announced  in July 2011 (backgrounderPDF icon)

Nine new projects were announced May 14, 2009

Two new projects were announced November 13, 2007

 Successful applicants for round two were announced in March 2007

 Successful applicants for round one were announced in November 2005

Related Research Reports and Regulation

Preliminary Review of IETP Projects Using PolymersPDF icon
Prepared for Alberta Energy and Alberta Innovates by Ashok Singhal, Premier Reservoir Engineering Services Ltd. (2011)

Technical Audit Gas Over Bitumen Technical solutionsPDF icon
Prepared by Triangle Three Engineering Ltd. to summarize finding, assess status and determine future technical needs. (2010)

Fundamental Geochemical Processes Between CO2, Water and MineralsPDF icon
Prepared by Ernie Perkins, Alberta Innovates (2010)

Cold Heavy Oil Production in Sand(CHOPS) (2002)
This report explores the technical, economic and environmental issues for expanding or prolonging CHOPS production in Alberta. 

The Innovative Energy Technologies Regulation is available from the Alberta Queen's Printer.

For more information see the FAQs below, or contact:

Martin Mader
Innovative Energy Technologies Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the anticipated benefits of this program?

The IETP is designed to encourage the development of innovative technologies that will increase resource recovery. Anticipated increases in economically recoverable reserves mean more royalty revenue to fund priority program areas such as education and health care. Further increases in the recovery of reserves, even seemingly small ones, make a big difference. A 1% increase in recoverable reserves means an additional 600 million barrels of conventional oil, 17 billion barrels of bitumen, and 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Additional royalties paid to the province as a result would top $2 billion according to an estimate from the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada.

How will the royalty adjustments under this program be determined?

Projects approved under this program will be able to receive royalty adjustments of up to 30% of eligible project costs. The royalty adjustment for any one project will be limited to a maximum of $10 million. The actual level of funding for each approved project will be determined by Alberta Energy based on the merits of that project proposal and the availability of funds. Applicants must indicate other funding acquired for the project. IETP royalty adjustment could be reduced from the 30% to ensure that total government funding does not exceed 50% of total project costs.  Royalty adjustments can be applied against any of oil, natural gas or oil sands royalty obligations.

Will I be able to obtain a license to use a project’s patented innovatives technology?

Yes. The objective of the program is to support technologies that will be widely available to the Alberta industry. Therefore, it is expected that licenses for patented innovative technology will be made be available at reasonable commercial terms. To ensure that this objective is met, successful project applicants will be required to enter into a standard form intellectual property agreementPDF iconwith Alberta Energy prior to an approval being issued.              

Will project results be made public?

Yes, given Alberta Energy  is participating in the costs of the project, all technical information related to the project will be made available to the public after a two-year confidentiality period, subject to an intellectual property agreementPDF iconthat all successful applicants must sign prior to an approval being issued.