Energy's History in Alberta

Alberta energy history prior to 1950 | 1950s |1960s  1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | Present

The following events were part of Alberta's history, the list may not include all major events as it is based on announcements. See energy measurements for conversion information.



Year  Event
1950 Oil replaces coal as Canada's largest single source of energy; pipelines established to transport natural gas to Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.
1950 Detonation of underground atomic explosive device proposed to melt Athabasca oil sands bitumen to aid commercial development; federal government denies approval.
1951 A sliding scale was established in Alberta Royalty Regulations.
1950-53 First section of the Interprovincial Pipe Line Inc. (now Enbridge Pipelines Inc.) oil pipeline laid from Edmonton to Superior, Wisconsin, in 1953 it was extended to Sarnia, Ontario.
1952 First sulphur recovery plant built in Alberta for sour gas (natural gas).
1953 Trans Mountain Pipeline Company line completed from Edmonton to Vancouver.
1954 The Alberta Gas Trunk Line Company Limited (AGTL), (now called NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.) was created to build and operate a province-wide natural gas transportation system. In 1957, Alberta gas began to flow through the AGTL (NOVA) system.
1955 Edmonton Electric Lighting and Power Company's Rossdale plant switches from coal to natural gas.
1955 Western Canada's Oil and Gas industry invests more than half a million in development. Source: Oilpatch History
1957 First gas exported by the Westcoast Energy Inc. pipeline system through Vancouver to U.S. markets.
1958 Construction of the TransCanada Pipelines system was completed from Alberta to eastern Canada.
1958 Entwistle resident Einar Opdahl found a diamond on the banks of the Pembina River. The diamond weighed 0.83 carats and was sold for $500.
1959 National Energy Board created by federal government to oversee interprovincial and international energy trade.



Year  Event 
1960 The Gas Utilities Act is introduced, it is still a major part of legislation currently governing the jurisdiction of the ERCB. In the 1960s, urbanization and industrialization increased the number of utility customers by 62%.
1961 Alberta establishes air quality standards that include limits on industrial emissions of hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide.
1961 National Oil Policy directs that all refineries west of the Ottawa valley must use higher priced crude from western Canada.
1961 The Pacific Gas Transmission pipeline (now called Gas Transmission Northwest) is built to deliver Alberta gas to customers in the US Pacific Northwest and California.
1965 Around the middle of the 1960's Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) was piloted in the Clearwater Formation it proved to be the key to unlocking bitumen.
1967 Great Canadian Oil Sands, now part of Suncor energy Ltd., initiates the world's first large-scale oil sands operation, the Athabasca oil sands at Fort McMurray. Total production in 1967 reached about 2,500 barrels per day.


Year   Event 
1970s Natural gas and oil deposits found off the coast of Nova Scotia.
1970s Dr. Roger M. Butler developed the concept of using horizontal pairs of wells and injected steam to develop certain deposits of bitumen considered too deep for mining. Cyclic steam injection (CCS) was the previous process, his invention of  Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) technology paved the way for scores of in situ projects changing the oil sands industry.  Source:  Canadian Petroleum hall of fameexternal link icon
1970 The Board of Arbitration was formed to handle expropriations formerly the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Board.  The Board of Arbitration is now the Surface Rights Board.
1970 Edmonton’s electrical distribution and power plant departments merge and become known as Edmonton Power, construction then begins in its Clover Bar generating station. Source: EPCOR
1972 Alberta plan proposed a mineral tax assessment on remaining recoverable crude oil reserves at fair value with no change in the existing royalty structure, it also included an Exploratory Drilling incentive system. Changes were to take effect in January 1973.  Source:  Oilpatch History
1972 Federal and B.C. governments impose moratorium on West Coast offshore oil and gas exploration.
1973 Arab oil embargo sets off first global energy crisis. To initiate a capital investment program and to lessen the dependence on foreign oil, the Alberta Energy Company Ltd was created. It would later merge with PanCanadian Energy Corporation to create Encana.
1973 Prime Minister Trudeau decrees 'made in Canada' crude oil prices.
1973 Alberta implemented a price sensitive royalty regime. Prior to that, royalties were paid at a fixed rate.
1973 The Alberta Petroleum Marketing Act created the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC) and gave it a two-part mandate:
1974 The Natural Gas Price Protection Plan was introduced. The Public Utilities Board’s role in the plan, which was aimed towards sheltering Alberta consumers from increasing world market prices for natural gas, was set out in the Natural Gas Rebate Act. Under the Act, the Board was required to issue certificates qualifying utilities to receive provincial rebates.
1974 The Petroleum Royalty Regulation allows rebates for eligible costs of injection materials for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) schemes.
1974 Natural gas production in Alberta has only two vintages: old, discovered before 1974 and new, discovered after 1973.

The Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC) was created by the Petroleum Marketing Act, the Commission is the provincial Crown corporation responsible for selling the conventional crude that the Alberta government receives in lieu of cash royalties. The main objective of taking in-kind is to maximize the value of the Crown’s royalties. The Crown Marketing agents are contracted to sell the Crown royalty share along with their own production, thus ensuring a competitive market price is received for the sales of these volumes.

1974 The Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Reseach Authority (AOSTRA) was formed for promotion of the development of new technologies for oil sands and heavy-oil production.
1974 Oil and natural gas pools are classified by "vintage" for royalty calculation purposes. Vintage refers to the date of discovery of the oil or gas pool from which production occurs. Royalty rates for production from newly discovered pools are set lower to reflect the higher average finding and development costs associated with newer smaller pools.
1974 Letters exchanged regarding resources issue between Premier Lougheed and Prime Minister Trudeau. Source: Oilpatch History
1975 Alberta Department of Energy and Natural Resources created by merging two existing departments: Lands and Forests, and Mines and Minerals.
1975 Natural gas prices in Canada became regulated under Federal-Provincial agreement.
1978 Syncrude Canada Ltd., a consortium of oil companies and the federal and provincial governments, opens oil sands mining and upgrading project at Fort McMurray. This effort combined with the Great Canadian Oil Sands (Suncor Energy Ltd.) operation that began in 1967 increased the total mined bitumen in the province to over 90,000 barrels per day.
1978 The United States began the process of natural gas deregulation.
1979 Alberta´s first ethylene plant was officially opened at Joffre. A second ethylene plant and a polyethylene plant began production in 1984.
1979 First large oil discoveries made at the Hibernia field off Newfoundland.
1979 Canadian oil industry converts to metric.




Year   Event 
1980s First permanent buried pipeline completed in the Canadian Arctic to carry light crude oil from Norman Wells to Alberta.
1980 Medicine Hat, Alberta, replaces coal-fired steam units with Canada’s first gas turbine, combined cycle cogeneration system. Source: Centre for Energyexternal link icon

In October, the National Energy Program (NEP) reinforced the 1973 made-in-Canada price policy. The NEP sought to achieve 3 objectives: energy security, by which was meant oil self-sufficiency; a redistribution of wealth towards the federal government and consumers; and a greater Canadian ownership of the oil industry. Many Albertans thought the NEP was an intrusion on provincial rights since resources are owned by the provinces.  It passed a large benefit to central Canada and led to a significant number of companies and jobs leaving Alberta. Source: Alberta Online Encyclopediaexternal link icon The NEP ended with the 1984 election.

1980 The Constitution Act gives each province the exclusive right to make laws in relation to the development, conservation and management of natural gas in the province.
1981 Calgary Power changes its name to TransAlta Utilities.  Source:  TransAlta
1982 The Alberta government created the Electric Energy Marketing Agency. The Public Utilities Board was required to set the price at which utilities would sell electric energy to the Electric Energy Marketing Agency. The aim in doing so was to achieve a measure of equalization of electrical rates by averaging the price of generation and transmission across the province.
1982 The Petroleum Incentives Program Act is implemented to encourage development of oil and gas in Alberta following the 1980 National Energy Program. Source: Canada's Petroleum Heritageexternal link icon
1982-86 OPEC attempted to set production quotas low enough to stabilize prices. These attempts met with repeated failure as various members of OPEC  produced beyond their quotas. During most of this period Saudi Arabia acted as the swing producer cutting its production in an attempt to stem the free fall in prices. In August of 1985, the Saudis linked their oil price to the spot market for crude and by early 1986 increased production from 2 MMBPD to 5 MMBPD. Crude oil prices plummeted below $10 per barrel by mid-1986. Despite the fall in prices Saudi revenue remained about the same with higher volumes compensating for lower prices. Source: West Texas Research Groupexternal link icon
1983 The oil and gas servicing incentive program regulation is introduced which authorized the Minister to make grants for eligible well servicing costs of wells, batteries and pipelines.
1984-85 The Progressive Conservative government under Prime Minister Mulroney replaced the Liberal government and signed the Western Energy Accord in 1985 that eliminated the National Energy Program.
1985 Federal government deregulates oil prices, opens Canada's borders to imports and exports.
1985 Oil Royalty holiday programs are introduced to reward successful explorers where previous grant-oriented programs only favoured activity.
1985 Commercial production began at Imperial’s Cold Lake cyclic steam injection project. This new method involved injecting high-pressure steam into the bitumen in order to soften and separate it from the sand.
1985-86 Federal government and East Coast petroleum-producing provinces reach agreements to jointly manage offshore oil and gas resources.
1985 Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the federal government signed the Agreement on Natural Gas Markets and Prices, which began the process of natural gas price deregulation in Canada.
1985 After 70 years of production, the Turner Valley Gas Plant was shut down. It is now a provincial and national historic site.
1986 The price of natural gas was deregulated by a federal-provincial agreement, the provincial government allowed the Natural Gas Protection Plan to expire, in light of the decline in natural gas prices which occurred after deregulation.
1986 Alberta Department of Energy and Natural Resources is succeeded by two new departments: Energy, and Forestry, Lands and Wildlife.
1988 Alberta Energy published a monthly Alberta Average Market Price (AMP) for natural gas/residue gas. The AMP is given in units of $/1000 3 and $/GJ. The AMP in $/1000 m3 is used in the royalty rate formula to calculate the Crown's royalty volumes. The AMP in $/GJ is used in the valuation price test. This test specifies that the minimum valuation price that may be applied to the Crown's royalty share of production is 80% of the AMP ($/GJ) in effect during the month of sale. The AMP was effective for the production years 1988 to 1993.
1989 Genesee 2, using coal-fired steam turbine equipment, was the first Genesee generation unit to be completed. Its capacity was 410 megawatts.




Year  Event 
1990 Canadian refiners eliminate lead as a gasoline additive, completing a phase-out that began in 1973.
1990 The Gas Utilities Statutes Amendment Act 1990 was passed by the Alberta Legislature, giving non-industrial consumers in Alberta the choice of entering into contracts for gas supply, subject to regulations.
1990 The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) started trading natural gas futures contracts for delivery at Henry Hub, Louisiana.
1992 Lloydminster upgrader begins processing heavy oil.
1992 The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producersexternal link icon (CAPP) was created, with the merger of the Canadian Petroleum Association and the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada. The association represents some 200 producers whose collective production represents nearly 95 per cent of Canada’s total crude oil and natural gas output.
1992 At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Canada and more than 160 other nations adopted a philosophy of sustainable development and agreed to begin limiting emissions of greenhouse gases that may contribute to global climate change.
1993 The Alberta Energy Company (AEC - now EnCana) started reporting daily natural gas spot prices at its gas storage facility at AECO-C, located near Suffield, Alberta.
1993 The Cowley Ridge wind plantexternal link icon , near Pincher Creek, Alberta, is completed, becoming the first commercial wind farm in Canada.
1994 Functions of Alberta's Department of Forestry, Land and Wildlife are merged into the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Energy is reorganized into five new divisions. The Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Reseach Authority (AOSTRA) for promotion of the development of new technologies for oil sands and heavy-oil production is moved under the department of Energy.
1994 Implementation of the Alberta Gas Reference Price, a monthly weighted average of an intra-Alberta consumers' price and an ex-Alberta border price, reduced by allowances for transporting and marketing gas (Gas Royalty Guidelines 1994).
1995 Alberta adopts Electricity Utilities Act to deregulateexternal link icon energy supply market.
1995 The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (AEUB) was created, the Public Utilities Board and the Energy Resources and Conservation Board (previously the Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board) in order to provide a more streamlined and efficient regulatory process.
1995 A generic royalty regime for new oil sands projects was recommended to provide a smaller royalty share at the beginning of a development and a larger share for the government after the developers have recovered their costs. This was concept was based on The Oil Sands: A New Energy Vision for Canadaexternal link icon  a report prepared by the National Task Force on Oil Sands Strategies.
1996 The EUB passed rules implementing natural gas customer choice for small consumers in Alberta.
1996 Edmonton’s natural gas, power and water utilities are merged and EPCOR Utilities is formed. Source: EPCOR
1996-97 In 1996 the Electric Utilities Act was passed. The AEUB held a hearing to restructure electric tariffs to implement changes to the electric utility industry that were introduced in the Electric Utilities Act (EUA). Each major utility applied to separate its generation, transmission and distribution costs. The framework for further restructuring of the electric utility industry was established through the Electric Utilities Amendment Act that was passed in 1997.
1997 The Kyoto Protocolexternal link icon treaty was negotiated in December 1997 at the city of Kyoto, Japan and came into effect on February 16th, 2005.
1997 The Hiberniaexternal link icon oil platform was towed to the Hibernia oil field and positioned on the ocean floor in June of 1997 and began producing oil on November 17, 1997. The platform stands 224 metres high, which is half the height of New York's Empire State Building (449 metres) and 33 metres taller than the Calgary Tower (191 metres).
1997 The generic oil sands royalty regime, the Oil Sands Royalty Regulation, 1997external link icon , came into effect on July 1, 1997. It established generic royalty terms for all new oil sands projects. At the same time, the federal government extended its accelerated capital cost allowance to oil sands projects to encourage their development.
1996-98 Alberta establishes three new independent bodies (the Power Pool, Transmission Administrator, and Market Surveillance Administrator) to ensure open and competitive access to deregulated power markets.
1999 Alberta Department of Energy is reorganized and renamed the Department of Resource Development; responsibility for forest industry development, and for rural utilities, are incorporated into the new entity.


Year   Event
2000 Alberta establishes retailer licensing and codes of conduct for deregulated electricity markets.
2000 The Government of Alberta implements the Energy Tax Refund.
2000 The largest cogeneration plant in Canada, Joffre comes online. Source: Centre for Energyexternal link icon
2000 Alliance natural gas pipeline begins commercial service after construction complete from Fort St. John, B.C., to Chicago, Illinois.
2000 Major expansion projects completed at Joffre and Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, to the world's two largest ethylene-based petrochemical plants.
2000 Syncrude's Aurora project is the first remote oil sands plant in Alberta, the project cost about $600 million. Source: Syncrude
2000 In 2000, based on the success of the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA), the government broadened its focus on energy research with the creation of the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI) to explore more opportunities and technologies related to energy and greenhouse gas emission research, eventually that grew into Alberta Innovates, Energy and Environment Solutionsexternal link icon .
2001 Alberta Department of Resource Development becomes the Department of Energy.
2001 The Government of Alberta provides rebates to consumers of natural gas as natural gas prices reach record levels. Later in the year, the Natural Gas Price Protection Act was implemented, setting out a formal structure for natural gas rebates in Alberta.
2001 The Electric utility industry was restructured, the Energy Utilities Board no longer regulated wholesale electricity prices and customers could choose their electricity retailer.
2001 Alberta Justice filed a Statement of Claim on behalf of Alberta Energy for the Soldier's Settlement Board minerals and revenues earned by Canada on those minerals since October 1, 1930. Returning war veterans were given surface titles in 1917.
2002 First commercial production of natural gas in coal (a.k.a. coalbed methane) in Alberta. In late 2002, an internal review of government rules and regulations related to CBM development began. This review also included the collection of CBM production and geological data.
2002 BioGem Power Systems partners with the Iron Creek Hutterite Colony to build Alberta's first commercial biogas system , the system uses manure produced on the colony as its feedstock and sells electricity into the provincial grid.
2002 AltaLink assumed control of Alberta’s largest transmission system (previously owned by TransAlta) to become the first independent transmission provider in Canada. Source: AltaLinkexternal link icon
2002 Natural gas royalty framework is revised to be based on in-stream components.
2002 Cenovus Foster Creek becomes the first commercially viable Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project, which would soon become the key recovery method for extracting in-situ bitumen.
2002 Alberta’s first propylene facility became operational in Redwater.
2003-09 The Government of Alberta implemented the Natural Gas Rebate Program to protect Alberta consumers from high natural gas prices. The program ended on March 31, 2009.
2003 The Government of Alberta passes the Electric Utilities Act, setting the stage for further development of a fair and open competitive electricity market. Under the act, the Power Pool of Alberta and the provincial transmission administrator are merged to form an Independent System Operator, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). AESO manages the competitive electricity wholesale spot market.
2003 In September 2003, a pre-consultation was held with a number of  Coalbed Methane stakeholder groups to identify and prioritize issues. Landowners, agriculture producers, academics, the energy industry, and environmental groups participated. This led to the Coalbed Methane/Natural Gas in Coal Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee (the MAC) that was established in November 2003 to provide advice and guidance on the Coalbed Methane consultation process.
2004 Changes are introduced to Alberta’s retail electricity and natural gas industries, providing consumers with a choice of utility retailers. A customer choice website is developed to help Albertans select providers later this becomes the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA).
2004 The $200 million Innovative Energy Technologies Program was announced.
2004 For the first time in Alberta's history the total annual bitumen production exceeded one million barrels per day.
2005 Alberta’s Mineable Oil Sands Strategy (MOSS), was produced by a steering group that included representatives from environmental organizations, First Nations, industry and government. They were asked to revise plans for consulting on policy principles the draft for discussion documents, Mineable Oil Sands Strategy and Fort McMurray Mineable Oil Sands Integrated Resource Management Plan were submitted in October.
2005 Genesee Unit 3 is completed.  The 450 megawatt unit is Canada's first generation facility to use supercritical combustion technology for greater fuel efficiency and significantly lower emissions. (Clean Coal)
2005 In the fall, the executive committees of the natural resource and environmental ministries (Alberta Energy, Alberta Environment and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development) developed a plan to become the best natural resource and environmental managers in the world. To accomplish this, they made a commitment to strengthen the ways they work together. Sustainable Resource and Environmental Management SREM is an approach - a way of thinking and acting - to working together and taking joint responsibility to achieve agreed-upon natural resource and environmental outcomes. While it builds upon successful models of cooperative integration such as Water for Life, it also calls for a change in how the three departments conduct their day-to-day business with each other, within departments and across departments.  It laid a roadmap to align policies, align information sharing and streamline regulatory processes.
2005-06 Record land sale 9,196 parcels were sold for a total bonus of $2,165,464,637.16, average price per hectare was $693.82.
2006 Alberta’s Nine-Point Bioenergy Plan is announced, providing $239 million in bioenergy program
to support development in the province.
2006 The Government of Alberta approved an allocation of $200 million over four years to create the Energy Innovation Fund (EIF). The EIF is a provincial initiative that supports building world-class knowledge, expertise and leadership to responsibly develop our vast energy resources for the benefit of current and future generations.
2006 The Oil Sands Ministerial Strategy Committee was directed by Cabinet to develop a coordinated short term action plan to address the social, environmental and economic impacts of oil sands developments, Investing in our Future: Responding to the Rapid Growth of Oil Sands DevelopmentPDF icon Final Report, was released in December.
2006 The highest average price ($774.57) per hectare for petroleum and natural gas sales is reported during the first quarter of 2006.
2006 The Oil Sands Consultations Multistakeholder Committee (MSC) begins oil sands consultations throughout Alberta. This series of information meetings were held throughout the province to give Albertans an opportunity to add their voice into how the province's oil sands should be developed.
2006 Planning for regional land use plans began in 2006. It started with Albertans asking for a broader land-use management plan, moved to a series of ideas groups and consultations and then the creation of the Land Use Secretariatexternal link icon and the first Regional Advisory Councilsexternal link icon . The proclamation of the Alberta Land Stewardship Actexternal link icon made it possible to support regional plans in 2008 the Land-use Frameworkexternal link icon (LUF) website was launched.
2007 Grants are issued from February 2007 to March 2011 for Bioenergy Grant Programs.
2007 The Alberta government eliminates the Alberta Royalty Tax Credit Program (ARTC). The decision follows a review and consultation with industry and stakeholders.
2007 Setting out a vision and identifying principles to guide the future development of Alberta's oil sands are highlighted in the Oil Sands Consultations Multistakeholder Committee (MSC) Final Report and the Aboriginal Consultation Final Report released in July.
2007 The Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat was created to address rapid growth issues in the oil sands regions of Alberta. The Secretariat collaborates with ministries, industry, communities and stakeholders to address the social, infrastructure, environmental and economic impacts of oil sands development. It acts as a main point of contact for inquiries from the public, industry and stakeholders on the government’s plan for managing growth in the oil sands. In May of 2012, it became a section in this website.
2007 The Government of Alberta tasks an independent, expert Royalty Review Panel to examine the province's energy royalties and tax regime. The panel was asked to focus on all aspects of the royalty system, including oil sands, conventional oil and gas, and coalbed methane. Their report was released on September 18th.
2007 Drake Landing Solar Community is announced in September. The planned neighbourhood near Okotoks is heated by a district system that gathers solar energy and stores it underground in the summer, then uses it to heat homes during the winter. Source:  Drake Landing Solar Communityexternal link icon
2007 Premier Stelmach announces Alberta’s New Royalty Framework on October 25PDF icon . The Framework will see Albertans benefit from increased royalties generated by an internationally competitive energy industry.
2007 The Incremental Ethane Extraction Policy (IEEP) is a 10-year initiative to encourage increased ethane extraction by providing royalty credits for increased ethane consumption by petrochemical  facilities in Alberta.
2007 An Examination of the Alberta Energy and Utilities board Security Measures related to the Alta Link 500 KV hearing was conducted by Justice D.W. Perras.
2007-11 Construction of Keephills 3, Canada’s most advanced coal-fired facility will use supercritical boiler technology which features higher boiler temperatures, higher pressures, and a high-efficiency steam turbine. The new plant will emit approximately 60 to 80 per cent less sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), mercury (Hg) and 24 per cent less CO2 while  producing the same amount of power.
2008 The governments of Alberta and Canada release Canada’s Fossil Energy Future: The Way Forward on Carbon Capture and Storage , which provides advice on how governments and industry can work together to facilitate and support the development of carbon capture and storage opportunities in Canada.
2008 Alberta’s Micro-Generation Regulationexternal link icon is introduced, making it easier for individual Albertans to produce their own renewable power. The regulation allows Albertans to generate their own environmentally friendly electricity and receive credit for extra power sent into the electricity grid.
2008 The first successfully reclaimed site is certified in the Alberta Oil Sands, near Fort McMurray.
Source: Syncrudeexternal link icon
2008 On January 1, 2008, the Alberta Utilities Commission Act split the EUB into two new regulatory bodies, the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). The AUC is responsible for the distribution and sale of electricity and natural gas to Alberta consumers. On June 17, 2013 the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) succeeded the ERCB to provide full-lifecycle regulatory oversight of energy resource development in Alberta.
2008 In March Building Confidence: Improving Accountability and Transparency in Alberta’s Royalty SystemPDF icon (Valentine report) was released with royalty recommendations. One of the recommendations was to post historical royalty data.   Current royalty information
2008 On June 30, 2008, the Department of Energy announced a statement outlining the Bitumen Valuation Methodology (BVM) which it proposed to implement on January 1, 2009.  The Bitumen Valuation Methodology (Ministerial) Regulation was implemented on January 1, 2009.  The BVM was implemented to determine a value to calculate oil sands royalty for bitumen produced in oil sands royalty projects where all or a substantial portion of the production is either upgraded on site, or sold or transferred to affiliates.  More information is in IB 2012-07PDF icon .
2008 The Land-use frameworkexternal link icon (LUF)was developed under the Sustainable Resource and Environmental Management initiative.
2008-09 The Government appointed a Nuclear Power Expert Panelexternal link icon in 2008 to prepare a report on nuclear energy. In March 2009 the Panel releases their reportPDF icon , in April Nuclear Power consultation began. It involved a workbookPDF icon open for public feedback, randomly enrolled discussion groups, stakeholder discussion groups, and a telephone survey. Participants included 4,832 individual Albertans and a broad range of stakeholder groups. Resultsexternal link icon from the consultation were compiled into a reportPDF icon released on December 14, 2009.
2008-09 In April 2008, the Carbon Capture Development Council was created, the council had a number of deliverables. In July 2008, Premier Ed Stelmach announced a $2 billion fund to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in Alberta to help reduce emissions by up to five million tonnes annually by 2015. In 2009 four projects proponents signed Letters Of Intent (LOIs) with the Government of Alberta.
2008-09 In August 2008, the Government released a Bitumen Royalty-In-Kind (BRIK) Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) inviting interested parties to make a submission detailing their interest, and explaining how they could participate in using the government’s BRIK volumes. Work continues in 2009 with RFP's, discussion papers and an industry paper.
2008 The Provincial Energy Strategy released in December 2008 charts the course of Alberta’s energy future. The strategy is a long-term action plan for Alberta to achieve clean energy production, wise energy use and sustained economic prosperity.
2008 The Renewable Fuel Standard is part of the Provincial Energy strategy.

The Alberta New Royalty Framework announced in 2007 takes effect on January first.
Table of Conventional Oil RatesPDF icon ARF
Table of Conventional Oil RatesPDF icon ARF (Effective January 2009)
Table of Natural Gas RatesPDF icon ARF
Table of Natural Gas RatesPDF icon ARF (Effective January 2009)

Province announces three-point incentive program for energy sector (News release March 3rd)

Energy Economics - Understanding RoyaltyPDF icon (revised December 2010) this document explains previous royalties in Alberta. NOTE: Effective January 1, 2011 Alberta’s Royalty formulas changed, royalty calculators are online.

2009 The Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat releases a 20 year plan, Responsible Actions: A Plan for Alberta’s Oil Sands.
2009 Under the Electric Statutes Amendment Act, 2009 (also known as Bill 50), the Government of Alberta approved the need for four critical transmission infrastructure (CTI) projects. It also gave Cabinet the authority to designate future transmission facilities as critical transmission infrastructure. The Electric Utilities Amendment Act (also known as Bill 8) removes this authority and requires all future transmission infrastructure projects to go through a full needs assessment process before the Alberta Utilities Commission. The Government of Alberta no longer has the authority to approve the need for future critical transmission infrastructure. In the summer a number of electricity transmission information sessions were held around the province, a poster from Alberta EnergyPDF icon and one from AESOPDF icon promoted the event.
2009 A Memorandum of understanding is signed with Houston’s Rice University to combine nanotech
expertise to advance clean energy efforts.
2009 EPCOR announces plans to transfer its power generation business to the newly created Capital Power Corporation, which will operate as a stand-alone public company. 
Source:  Capital Powerexternal link icon


2010 (Present)


2010  Bioenergy incentive programs are extended in March.
2010 After 9 years of negotiations, Alberta Justice returned mineral titles and revenues earned by Canada since 1930 to Alberta. In 1917 surface land titles were provided to returning war veterans through the Soldier Settlement Board (SSB).
2010 Almost half of the oil sands production (47 percent) was collected in 2010 through in-situ methods.
2010 In May a Royalty Competitiveness Review was announced. Alberta stimulates new energy investment, new technologiesexternal link icon (news release) A webinar was held to inform industry. 
New Well Royalty Regulation approvedexternal link icon (March 23, 2011)
Current royalty information

The AUC is directed to gather information and report back to the Minister on three key initiativesexternal link icon to enhance conservation, development of green energy sources and the regulatory process.

  • Review the regulatory approval process for hydroelectric facilities.
  • Determine how smart gridPDF icon technology can be used to modernize the electricity system. Advanced Metering Infrastructure helps consumers make more informed decisions on wise electricity use.
  • Review the rules for the regulation of consumer choices for both natural gas and electricity.
Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan launched the New West Partnershipexternal link icon in April creating an economic powerhouse of nine million people with a combined GDP of more than $550 billion. In December provinces united to improve access to Asian marketsexternal link icon . MOUPDF icon In December 2011 the Premiers committed to an Ottawa missionexternal link icon .
2010 Record land sale netted more than $2.39 billion, surpassing every other year, it is the first time the province has exceeded $2 billion in sales. The province also established a new high for the average price per hectare, the July 7 sale netted an average price of $2,185.03 per hectare, exceeding the previous high of $2,084.86.
2010 In August the Public Involvement in the Shell Quest Environmental Assessment was released.
2010 October Energizing Investment Industry Royalty sessions;
Competitiveness Review Changes, Training SessionPDF icon (October 12 & 13, 2010)
Joint Industry/ Alberta Energy Crown Royalty Information exchangePDF icon (October 22, 2010)
Current royalty information
2010 Bitumen Royalty in Kind (BRIK) begins negotiations in May 2010, in February 2011 an agreementexternal link icon is signed.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) amendment (Bill 24) legislation was introduced in November of 2010 to guide how large-scale CCS projects will proceed in Alberta. In March 2011 international expertiseexternal link icon was announced  to guide commercial scale deployment of CCS. In July 2012 the Quest projectexternal link icon was approved  by the ERCB with conditions. In February 2013 the funding agreement for the Swan Hills Synfuels projectexternal link icon was discontinued.

The AUC is directed to gather information and report back to the Minister on three key initiatives to enhance conservation, development of green energy sources and the regulatory process.

  • Review the regulatory approval process for hydroelectric facilities.
  • Determine how smart gridPDF icon technology can be used to modernize the electricity system. Advanced Metering Infrastructure helps consumers make more informed decisions on wise electricity use.
  • Review the rules for the regulation of consumer choices for both natural gas and electricity.
Regulatory Enhancement Task Force delivers reports from June 2010 to May 2011 to better integrate oil and gas policy and the regulatory system.
ERCB reported over 2,300 successful oil wells were drilled in 2010, more than double the numbers drilled in 2009
2011 The five-year Incremental Ethane Extraction Program (IEEP) was approved in 2006 and expanded in 2011 to support continued growth of Alberta’s petrochemical sector. Ethane extraction during bitumen upgrading reduces greenhouse gas emissions and boosts value-added production.
2011 The Federal Government partners with industryexternal link icon to bring new Natural Gas technology to market. The federal government will fund $750,000 towards a project facilitated by the not-for-profit industry and stakeholder association, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canadaexternal link icon (PTAC). Alberta Energy is also contributing $250,000 towards the total project costs. A clean energy centreexternal link icon is also establishedexternal link icon for biomass technologies in the same month.
2011 The bioenergy producer credit program was closed in March see more information about bioenergy and alternative and renewable energy.
2011 Alberta implemented a Renewable Fuels Standard on April 1 requiring an annual average of two per cent renewable diesel in diesel fuel and five per cent renewable alcohol in gasoline sold in Alberta.
2011 The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), the province's electricity system planner releases a long-term transmission plan  in June.
2011 The Innovative Energy Technologies program (IETP) created in 2004 announces another 6 projects in July bringing the total number of projects to 37.
2011 Alberta hosted Canada’s Energy and Mines Ministers’ conferenceexternal link icon in July in Kananaskis. A Canadian Energy strategy was discussed and a national action plan will be reviewed at the 2012 conference in Prince Edward Island.
2011 An Oil and Gas Royalty Information Exchange with Industry and the department was held in October.
2011 Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) introduces changes in October to utility disconnection and reconnection practices to protect vulnerable customers. This AUC initiativeexternal link icon coordinates energy companies, social agencies and the privacy commissioner.
2011 The Oil Sands Information Portalexternal link icon launched in November to allow easy access to data making Alberta industry information more transparent. It includes searchable data highlighting such things as facility-specific water use, greenhouse gas emissions, tailings pond size and land disturbance and reclamation.


Electricity planning was on the schedule for the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. In December the Alberta government announced  the Critical Transmission Review Committeeexternal link icon an independent expert panel to examine plans for two high-voltage transmission lines between the Edmonton and Calgary regions, their reportPDF icon was released in February, ten days later the government accepted the recommendationsexternal link icon , issued a responsePDF icon and agreed to review the variable, regulated retail electricity rate. In March the Alberta government appointed the Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC), an independent committee to review the electricity retail market to help address the volatility and costs associated with the variable, or default, rate in Alberta’s competitive market. The RMRC was set up in March, an extension was granted in June and the report was delivered to the Minister in September.
2012 The New West Partnership (Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan) announced new rules to streamline registrationexternal link icon on July 1, 2012. In September 2012, Premier Redford and other members promoteexternal link icon the New West Partnership in China.
2012 The Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat was with Treasury Board and Infrastructure before returning to Alberta Energy in May of 2012. Comprehensive Regional Infrastructure Sustainability Plans (CRISP) are new long-term and collaborative approaches to planning infrastructure in Alberta's three oil sands areas. The CRISP for the Athabasca Oil Sands Area has been completed, and the CRISP for the Cold Lake Oil Sands Area is currently underway and Peace River Oil Sands Area will be next.
2012 On June 7th the Plains Midstream Canada's Rangeland pipeline had a releaseexternal link icon into the Red Deer River via Jackson Creek. Premier Redford issued a statementexternal link icon the following day.
2012-13 On July 9 2012, generation outages combined with minimal wind generation and record-high demand for power put pressure on Alberta’s electricity system causing rolling outages across the province. The Alberta Electric System Operatorexternal link icon (AESO), the independent agency that manages Alberta’s electricity grid, requested transmission facility operators and distribution companies to curtail power so the system didn’t fail. The Market Surveillance Administratorexternal link icon (MSA)and the AESO reviewed the day’s events in detail, as they do for all situations that are out of the norm. MSA reportPDF icon (November 2012)AESO reportPDF icon (April 2013)
2012 Minister Hughes requested on the 20th of July that the ERCB retain an independent third party to examine elements of the province’s pipeline system. The ERCB issued a Request for Proposal on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website. On September 10th the ERCB announcedexternal link icon that Group 10 Engineering Ltd., was awarded the contract.
2012 On August 22nd the Lower Athabasca Regional Planexternal link icon (LARP) was announcedexternal link icon , it is the first regional plan under the Land-use Frameworkexternal link icon (LUF).
2012 The Responsible Energy Development Actexternal link icon passed, it is a one - stop approach making it easier for Albertans and industry to navigate the system, other regulatory enhancement efforts also took place, a separate regulatory enhancement history section is available.
2012 The Petroleum Registry of Alberta becomes Petrinex (Petroleum. Information. Excellence.) in November.
2012 This was the first calendar year, when in-situ bitumen production exceeded mined production. In-situ production was about 992,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) or 52 percent and mined production was 930,000 (bb/d) or 48 percent.

The Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC) made recommendations to strengthen the electricity market. The Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC) ReportPDF icon  (5 MB) and HighlightsPDF icon were released in January 2013 with 41 recommendations. Thirty-three recommendations were accepted in principle and referred to an MLA implementation team (Terms of ReferencePDF icon ). The team worked with consumers, industry, regulators and others to ensure that we have effective, affordable and sensible solutions in place.

2013 The Swan Hills Synfuels carbon capture and storage project was cancelledexternal link icon in February.
2013 Five new pilot projects were announcedexternal link icon in April under the Innovative Energy Technology Program (IETP).
2013 On June 17th The Alberta Energy Regulatorexternal link icon (AER) succeeded the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB).
2013 In July Alberta and British Columbia Premiers sign an agreement for a Deputy Minister's working group to grow British Columbia and Alberta resource sectors and help with work on the Canadian Energy strategy.
2013 Alberta signs the historic Framework Agreementexternal link icon on Sustainable Energy Development with China to increase energy trade and collaboration between the two jurisdictions.
2013 The Alberta Energy Regulatorexternal link icon (AER) is given more powers through Regulatory Enhancement, including a new registry for surface agreements and the authority to administer the Public Lands Act for energy projects.
2013 Legislation creates the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agencyexternal link icon (AEMERA), which is responsible for operating a comprehensive, science-based monitoring system.

The AER launches new tool to protect landowner rightsexternal link icon in December. As part of phase 2 implementation of the Responsible Energy Development Act, the Private Surface Agreements Registryexternal link icon (PSAR) was developed. Under PSAR, landowners and occupants can register surface agreements made with energy companies operating on their property. If a landowner feels that a company is not meeting a term or condition of a registered agreement, they can request that the AER intervene. If the AER determines that the company is not meeting the terms of the agreement, it can issue an order to comply.

2013 On December 19th the independent Joint Review Panelexternal link icon recommended approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline. The recommendation, which was sent to the federal cabinet for final approval, marks a critical milestone toward getting Alberta’s oil to new international markets. Ministers responded to the Gateway decisionexternal link icon in a news release. Alberta Energy commissioned an Arctic Energy Gateway reportPDF icon in 2013.

The Building New Petroleum Markets Act is passed under the Petroleum Marketing Act (Bill 34) to boost the government’s ability to respond more quickly to changing market conditions and empower it to proactively seek out opportunities for Alberta’s energy products. The legislation allows the Minister of Energy to set the strategic priorities of the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC).

2014 The Alberta Energy Regulatorexternal link icon (AER) completes its transition under Regulatory Enhancement to a single regulator for energy development in Alberta on March 31, 2014.

Alberta celebratesexternal link icon 100 years of oil and gas exploration with the centennial of the Dingman #1 well discovering oil in the Turner Valley. The Canadian Association of Petroleum producers (CAPP) produced a videoexternal link icon celebrating the anniversary.

2014 In October Premier Prentice issued a statementexternal link icon encouraging the National Energy Board to review TransCanada's Energy East application.
2014 Premiers Clark and Prentice met in November to discussexternal link icon responsible energy development, natural resource exports to Asia Pacific, reducing barriers to trade and mobility between provinces, fiscal responsibility and cooperation towards a new partnership with First Nations.
2014 Also in November, Canada’s Gas Tax Fundexternal link icon supports local infrastructure priorities throughout Alberta.
2014 Alberta was represented at two international conferences on energy and environmental issues in December.
2014 Also in December the MLA team reported on the recommendations from the Retail Market Review Committee to benefit electricity consumers.
2015 Alberta strengthened environmental protections in the oil sands in March.
2015 In June steps towards a climate change strategy and a royalty review chair were announced to set up the 2015 Royalty Review Panel.
2015 The energy minister visited the Nexen spill site in July.
2015 The Alberta Royalty Review was officially underway in August and community engagement sessions were announced the following month and telephone town halls with more community sessions in October.
2015 The climate leadership plan in November looks to transition away from coal and have 30 per cent of the electricity grid supplied by renewable energy by 2030.
2016 Alberta's New Royalty Framework was released on January 29th.