Energy's History in Alberta

Alberta energy history prior to 1970 | 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.


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 Boardexternal link icon .
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 Commissionexternal link icon (APMC).
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.

The Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commissionexternal link icon (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 Research 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. Alberta has only two vintages: old, discovered before 1974 and new, discovered after 1973.
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 to eventually make it the largest in North America.
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 Programexternal link icon (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 Actexternal link icon 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 OPECexternal link icon 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 Accordexternal link icon 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 stimulation (CSS) injection project. This method involves 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 Plantexternal link icon 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 Exchangeexternal link icon (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 Research 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 (ERCB) (previously the Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board) in order to provide a more streamlined and efficient regulatory process. In 2013 the ERCB became the Alberta Energy Regulatorexternal link icon (AER).
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 Canada external link icon a report prepared by the National Task Force on Oil Sands Strategies.
1996 The Energy Utilities Board (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.
1998 This paper, Alberta Oil sands: Update on the generic royalty regimeexternal link icon was presented in October 1998 at the 7th UNITAR conference on heavy crude, This paper explains the Generic Oil Sands royalty regime and its implementation.
1996-98 Alberta establishes three new independent bodies (the Power Pool, Transmission Administratorexternal link icon , and Market Surveillance Administratorexternal link icon ) to ensure open and competitive access to deregulated power markets.
Before the 2007 Royalty Review Panel was formed the department conducted a Royalty and Related Information ReviewPDF icon (RRIR) following the report an impact analysis and updatesPDF icon were also published.
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 Innovatesexternal 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. The Natural Gas Rebate Program began in 2003 and ended in 2009.
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, the changes were illustrated in an industry training documentpresentation icon .
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 processing offgas from the Suncor Energy Inc. oil sands upgraders.
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 Advocateexternal link icon (UCA).
2004 The $200 million Innovative Energy Technologies Program (IETP) was announced.
2004 For the first time in Alberta's history the total annual bitumen production exceeded one million barrels per day.
2004- 09

The Hydrocarbon Upgrading Task Force (HUTF) and related reports were produced in this 5 year span. The industry/government Task Force was established to explore synergies of other competitive opportunities with the refining and petrochemical industries.

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 for discussionexternal link icon and Mineable Oil Sands Integrated Resource final reportexternal link icon were submitted in October.
2005 Genesee Unit 3external link icon 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.
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, a product of SREM is the Land-use Frameworkexternal link icon (LUF).
2005-06 Second highest 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 Planexternal link icon is announced, providing $239 million in bioenergy funding to support alternative energy development in the province.
2006 The Government of Alberta approved an allocation of $200 million over four years to create the Energy Innovation Fundexternal link icon (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 Development Final Reportexternal link icon , 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 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.
2006-07 The Incremental Ethane Extraction program (IEEP) is announced to encourage petrochemical development, reduce GHG emissions and boost value added production. 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 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 Multi-stakeholder Committee (MSC) Final Reportexternal link icon and the Aboriginal Consultation Final Reportexternal link icon released in July. A recommendation was to create the Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat to address rapid growth issues in the oil sands regions of Alberta.
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 reportexternal link icon was released on September 18th. A competitiveness review also took place.
2007 A Shared Vision for Energy in CanadaPDF icon external link icon Premiers at the 2012 meeting agreed to renew this vision reflecting current priorities and market dynamics, with the exception of BC.
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
Premier Stelmach announces Alberta’s New Royalty Frameworkexternal link icon on October 25. The Framework will see Albertans benefit from increased royalties generated by an internationally competitive energy industry. The framework, included the following: "The government will implement shallow rights reversion (SSR) to maximize extraction of the resource. Under this policy, mineral rights to shallow gas geological formations that are not being developed would revert back to the government and be made available for resale." SSR means that the rights above the top of the shallowest productive zone in an agreement will be severed from the agreement at continuation. Agreements purchased after January 1, 2009 are subject to SRR. See Information Letter 2013-13 for more information.
2007 An Examination of the Alberta Energy and Utilities board Security Measures related to the Alta Link 500 KV hearingexternal link icon was conducted by Justice D.W. Perras.
2007-11 Construction of Keephills 3external link icon , 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 Storageexternal link icon , 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 Commissionexternal link icon (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 Regulatorexternal link icon (AER) succeeded the ERCB to provide full-lifecycle regulatory oversight of energy resource development in Alberta.
2008 On June 30, 2008, Alberta 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 2012-07external link 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 released their reportexternal link icon , in April Nuclear Power consultationexternal link icon began. It involved a workbookexternal link 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 reportexternal link icon released on December 14, 2009. In Alberta power generation options are proposed by the private sector in the province. Any nuclear power proposal would be considered on a case-by-case basis the same as other power generation proposals.
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 Launching Alberta's Energy Future: Provincial Energy StrategyExternal link icon 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 StandardExternal link icon is part of the Provincial Energy strategy.

The Alberta New Royalty Framework announced in 2007 came into effect on January 1, 2011.
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 sectorexternal link icon (News release March 3rd)
Energy Economics - Understanding Royaltyexternal link 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 Sandsexternal link icon .
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(AUC). 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 Energyexternal link icon promoted the event. More information about the 2009 Electric Transmission Study is available.
2009 A Memorandum of understandingexternal link icon 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
2009-2010 Alberta Energy's Tenure Branch began a Business Process Review Project (BPR) of Continuations' business in 2009.  The objective of the BPR was to find efficiencies in continuation operational processes and improve clarity in the business rules.  The project included the creation of a BPR Committee in 2010, members included;
  • Canadian Associations of
    • Petroleum Producers
    • Petroleum Landmen
    • Petroleum Land Administration             
  • Explorers and Producers of Canada
  • Energy Resources Conservation Board
  • Alberta Energy

The Committee work is captured in an information session presentationPDF icon and a overview of changes to continuations rulesPDF icon

 2010 (Present)  

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).

In September 2012, Minister Hughes asked the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) to conduct a safety review of certain elements of Alberta’s pipeline system. The ERCB awarded Group 10 Engineering Limited the contract, they delivered the report to the ERCB. In June the ERCB became the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). The board reviewed the Group 10 report and prepared a reportPDF icon for the Minister. On August 23, 2013 the Group 10 final reportPDF icon and Appendices 5MBPDF icon were released to the public and feedback was gathered. In March 2015, the Auditor General audited Alberta's pipeline safety and recommendations, the AER respondedexternal link icon .

2010 Almost half of the oil sands production (47 percent) was collected in 2010 through in-situ methods.
2010 In April a Retail Market Reviewexternal link icon was released.
2010 In May a Royalty Competitiveness Review was announced. Alberta stimulates new energy investment, new technologiesexternal link icon (news release) A webinarPDF icon was held to inform industry. 
New Well Royalty Regulation approvedexternal link icon (March 23, 2011) Current royalty information

The highest bonus amount collected by Alberta Energy in one year for petroleum and natural gas rights was $2.388 billion.

2010-13 In February of 2010, the Oil Sands Administrative and Strategic Information System (OASIS) project began to meet the anticipated growth of oil sands projects. OASIS enabled oil sands project operators to create and submit OSR Project Applications online, through Energy's, the Electronic Transfer System (ETS). OASIS also enhanced submission, validation and tracking of royalty and related information, see oil sands royalty reporting for more 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.

October Energizing Investment Industry Royalty sessions were held.

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.
2010-11 ERCB reported over 2,300 successful oil wells were drilled in 2010, more than double the numbers drilled in 2009

Regulatory Enhancement Task Force delivered reports from 2010 to 2011 to better integrate oil and gas policy and the regulatory system. In January 2011 the task force made six recommendations to government in Enhancing Assuranceexternal link icon their final report :

  • Establish a Policy Management Office (tasked with developing a public engagement process as well as the risk assessment and management approach.);
  • Establish a single oil, gas, oil sands and coal regulator;
  • Provide a clear public engagement process;
  • Establish a common risk assessment and management approach;
  • Establish a performance measurement framework and public reporting mechanism;
  • Develop an effective mechanism to address landowner concerns.
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 centre is also establishedexternal link icon for biomass technologies in the same month.
2011 Some bioenergy programs ended see more information about alternative and renewable energy.
2011 Alberta implemented a Renewable Fuels StandardExternal link icon 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 OperatorExternal link icon (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 review scheduled for 2012. 
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 reportexternal link icon was released in February, ten days later the government accepted the recommendationsexternal link icon , issued a responseexternal link icon and agreed to review the variable, regulated retail electricity rate. In Marchexternal link icon 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 Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC) made recommendationsexternal link icon to strengthen the electricity market. The RMRC Reportexternal link icon and Highlightsexternal link icon were released in January 2013 with 41 recommendations. Thirty-three recommendations were accepted in principle and referred to an MLA implementation team. The team worked with consumers, industry, regulators and others to ensure that we have effective, affordable and sensible solutions in place. Finally in December of 2014 the MLA-RMRC implementation team reported on the recommendations from the Retail Market Review Committee to benefit electricity consumersexternal link icon .

2012 The New West Partnershipexternal link icon (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.

The Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat produced Comprehensive Regional Infrastructure Sustainability Plans (CRISP) the new long-term and collaborative approach to planning infrastructure in Alberta's three oil sands areas.   

2012 At the Canada's Premier'sexternal link icon meeting, development of a Canadian Energy Strategy was agreed to, a number of strategy documents are available on the site.
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)produced a MSA reportPDF icon external link icon (November 2012) of the day’s events.

Minister Hughes requested in July that the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) retain an independent third party to examine elements of the province’s pipeline system. The ERCB issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website. On September 10th the ERCB announcedexternal link icon that Group 10 Engineering Ltd., was awarded the contract. (ERCB became the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) during the contract). The board reviewed the report and prepared a reportPDF icon for the Minister. On August 23, 2013 the Group 10 final reportPDF icon and Appendices 5MBPDF icon were releasedexternal link icon to the public and feedback was gathered. In March 2015, the Auditor General audited Alberta's pipeline safety and recommendations, then the AER respondedexternal link icon

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.
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.
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 On July 25, the Alberta Government announced an Urban Development Sub-region (UDSR) of more than 55,000 acres of Crown land for urban expansion in Fort McMurray.
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 Commissionexternal link icon (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 Alberta Energy Regulator signs a MOUExternal link icon with Mexico to work collaboratively on regulatory best practices in the development of hydrocarbon resources. (AER June)
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 representedexternal link icon at two international conferences on energy and environmental issues in December.
2015 Alberta strengthened environmental protections in the oil sandsexternal link icon in March.
2015 In June steps towards a climate change strategyexternal link icon and a royalty review chairexternal link icon were announced to set up the 2015 Royalty Review Panel.
2015 The energy minister visited the Nexen spill siteexternal link icon in July. Premiers adopted the Canadian Energy Strategyexternal link icon (CES) at the 56th Annual Premiers’ Conferenceexternal link icon .
2015 The Alberta Royalty Review was officially underwayexternal link icon in August and community engagement sessionsexternal link icon were announced the following month and telephone town hallsexternal link icon with more community sessionsexternal link icon in October.
2015 The Climate Leadership Planexternal link icon in November looks to transition away from coal and have 30 per cent of the electricity grid supplied by renewable energyexternal link icon by 2030.

Premier Notley’s statement on Alberta NEB submission supporting Trans Mountain pipeline was sent to the National Energy Board on January 12th. Read Alberta's NEB submission.

2016 Alberta's New Royalty Framework was released on January 29th forming the Modernized Royalty Framework.

The Petrochemicals Diversification Program was announcedexternal link icon in February to encourage companies to invest in the development of new Alberta petrochemical facilities by providing up to $500 million in incentives through royalty credits. The deadline for applications was April 22nd on June 6th, 16 applicationsExternal link icon were submitted, two approved projects were announcedExternal link icon in December.

2016 Also in February, Minister McCuaig-Boyd attended CERAweekExternal link icon in Houston.
2016 As part of its Climate Leadership PlanExternal link icon , in February, the investment of more than $5 million was announcedExternal link icon to help municipalities and farmers harness the power of the sun and support local jobs.
2016 In March Premier Notley supported the Canada - U.S. agreement to cut methane emissionsExternal link icon and to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, while Minister McCuaig-Boyd and the British High Commissioner to Canada Howard Drake signedExternal link icon a UK-Alberta Low Carbon Innovation and Growth Framework AgreementPDF icon . Also under the Climate Leadership PlanExternal link icon , Terry Boston, the retired head of North America’s largest power grid, was hired to lead discussions with coal-fired electricity generation owners as the province transitions from coalExternal link icon to cleaner sources of power.
2016 The National Energy Board announced the Trans Mountainexternal link icon pipeline expansion project.
2016 A massive wildfireexternal link icon in Fort McMurrayexternal link icon raged from May 1 until June 10th destroying approximately 2,400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta's history.
2016 An Energy Efficiency Panelexternal link icon is established in June by the Minister of Environment and Parks.
2016 July was the last month to submit to some bioenergy programs look for more information in the future under the Climate leadership planexternal link icon . An oil sands advisory groupExternal link icon was also added to the plan.
2016 Also in July royalty programsexternal link icon and an early opt-inexternal link icon option is announced under the Modernized Royalty Framework.
2016 Court action launchedexternal link icon in July to protect power consumers from paying costs of unlawful “Enron clause”.
2016 In September a firm targetexternal link icon of 30 per cent of electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030.

In October an Energy Diversification Advisory Committeeexternal link icon (EDAC) was createdexternal link icon to help diversify the energy sector and explore opportunities for more investment in energy industries in Alberta. This initiative followed advice of the Royalty Review Advisory Panel, which recommended that Alberta seize opportunities to position the energy industry for long-term success, while also building on initiatives underway such as the Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP), announced in February 2016.  


In October several programs were announced under the Climate Leadership PlanExternal link icon :


In November five electricity news releases announced:

2016 In November the Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act was introduced under the Climate Leadership PlanExternal link icon .
2016 Near the end of the year the Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat closed.
2016 In December the micro-generation regulation was changedexternal link icon to increase the size limit from one megawatt to five megawatts allowing for more green electricity.
2017 On January 1, the Modernized Royalty Framework came into effect. 
2017 The boundaries of the expanded Castle Wildland Provincial Park and the new Castle Provincial Park were set in January, bringing one of the most biologically diverse areas in Alberta under provincial protection.
2017 To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Leduc #1 strike, the Minister of Energy recognized this turning point in Alberta’s history by declaring Feb. 13, 2017 Alberta Oil and Gas Celebration Day.external link icon