News Releases and Backgrounders

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

Governments renew oil sands monitoring agreement (December 21, 2017)
The governments of Canada and Alberta today renewed their commitment to continue providing clear and scientifically rigorous information on the environmental impacts of oil sands development in northeastern Alberta. Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks signed a memorandum of understanding formalizing their governments’ shared responsibility to continue a long-term environmental monitoring program in the region.

Power price protection for Medicine Hat consumers (December 19, 2017)
Medicine Hat power consumers will not pay more than 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour through May 2021. This is the same protection offered to Alberta families, farms and small businesses on the Regulated Rate Option (RRO) thanks to An Act to Cap Regulated Electricity Rates, which took effect in June 2017.

The RRO is the default electricity contract for the vast majority of Albertans, but does not apply to Medicine Hat consumers because the city operates its own power utilities. To ensure Medicine Hat residents receive the same protections as other Albertans, the government worked with the municipality to develop a regulation that keeps electricity prices stable and affordable.

Value-added sector taking off in Alberta (December 18, 2017)
The final investment decision by Calgary-based Inter Pipeline will see two new facilities built in the Industrial Heartland, near Fort Saskatchewan, that will process propane into value-added plastics products. At the peak of construction, an estimated 2,300 direct full-time jobs will be created and once complete, the facilities will employ 180 people full time. Inter Pipeline was approved to receive royalty credits under Alberta’s Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP), which was created as part of the Alberta Jobs Planexternal link icon to encourage companies to invest in the development of new petrochemicals facilities in the province.

Alberta renewables auction record-setting success (December 13, 2017)
Three companies have been chosen in the opening round of the Renewable Electricity Program, which will result in about $1 billion of private-sector investment in green power generation in Alberta. The successful bids have set a record for the lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada.

Protecting Albertans from delinquent oil and gas operators (December 6, 2017)
The government worked with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) on amending a key requirement, known as Directive 67, to close a loophole. Officials from companies that walk away from wells or other oil and gas infrastructure without cleaning up will now be subject to greater scrutiny and AER discretion if they apply to start new companies.

Carbon Competitiveness Incentives protect jobs (December 6, 2017)
Carbon Competitiveness Incentives (CCIs) will attract investment in clean technology, protect and create jobs and diversify Alberta's economy while reducing carbon pollution. The made-in-Alberta plan was designed in consultation with industry and replaces the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation on Jan. 1, 2018.

See how Alberta’s royalty system works for you (December 1, 2017)
Albertans can access more information on the new royalty systemexternal link icon on the Alberta government’s website. This will help Albertans understand the value received from royalties for crude oil, natural gas and oil sands.

Keystone XL: Statement from Premier Notley (November 20, 2017)
“As we stated in our submission to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, this pipeline will mean greater energy security for all North Americans by making sure people have access to Alberta’s responsibly developed energy resources."

Supporting innovation-focused Alberta business (September 19, 2017)
Hifi Engineering, a Calgary start up is revolutionizing pipeline safety and expects to double its workforce over the next three years with support from the Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative (ASBIRI) at Alberta Innovates. The ASBIRI program supports local small businesses in the early stages of commercializing new technology, by supporting major real-world technology demonstrations.

Strong investor interest in renewables program (September 15, 2017)
Alberta moves one step closer to its target of 30 per cent renewable energy by 2030 as round one of the Renewable Electricity Program enters the request for proposals stage.
The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has invited national and international companies to participate in the final stage of the competition. A total of 29 projects qualified to advance to the request for proposals stage, representing approximately 10 times the number of megawatts targeted for the first round.

Oil sands project ramps up near Fort McMurray (September 13, 2017)
A $2-billion oil sands expansion project swings into high gear this week.
Premier Rachel Notley, representatives from Japan and local officials marked the opening of the Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd. (JACOS) Hangingstone project near Fort McMurray. This Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project is the culmination of the largest investment made in Alberta by the company in its 40-year history in the province. It is also the largest investment made globally by JACOS’s parent company, Tokyo-based Japan Petroleum Exploration Company (JAPEX).

Asia mission promotes Alberta energy and investment (September 1, 2017)
Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd will travel to Japan, China and South Korea to engage in talks about new investment and energy diversification opportunities in Alberta. The minister will provide updates on the government’s ongoing work to get Alberta’s resources to Asian markets. She will also meet with companies working in areas of energy efficiency and renewable power to highlight investment  opportunities in Alberta.

Enbridge Line 3: Statement from Premier Notley (August 10, 2017)
"This is an exciting day for Albertans and all Canadians. As we formally celebrate the start of construction on the Line 3  replacement pipeline, I want to thank Enbridge and the federal government for all the work that has brought us to this momentous day."

Energy minister to strengthen ties with U.S. (June 21, 2017)
The Energy Council is a group of state-level American legislators, mostly from energy-producing and -refining states, who meet to discuss energy and environmental policy, along with North American energy cooperation and security. Alberta is an international affiliate of the organization. Minister McCuaig-Boyd will use the opportunity to promote Alberta’s energy policies while stressing the importance of energy trade and North American energy security.

Taking action to protect electricity consumers (May 23, 2017)
Proposed legislation introduced today would cap electricity prices and protect the pocketbooks of Albertans.
If passed, An Act to Cap Regulated Electricity Rates would ensure Alberta families, farms and small businesses on the Regulated Rate Option would not pay more than 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour over a four-year period from June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2021. The Regulated Rate Option is the default electricity contract for the vast majority of Alberta consumers.

Cleanup boost for old oil and gas sites to create jobs (May 18, 2017)
The Alberta government has introduced legislation that would allow it to lend the Orphan Well Association (OWA) $235 million to speed up proper abandonment and reclamation of a growing number of oil and gas well sites that no longer have a responsible owner. Learn more about how Alberta is addressing upstream oil and gas liability and the orphan well inventory.

Alberta granted intervener status on Trans Mountain pipeline (May 16, 2017)
Alberta will be allowed to make both written and oral submissions. The judicial review – advanced by municipalities, First Nations and environmental groups – challenges the National Energy Board’s report and recommendation as well as the federal Governor in Council’s Order in Council approving expansion.

Review of old wells to protect Albertans, environment (May 10, 2017)
The province is working with industry and experts to find ways to better protect Albertans and the environment by improving policies for managing old oil and gas facilities. Subject matter experts and key stakeholders will take part in roundtable discussions on improving the management of historic, current and future liabilities associated with the full life cycle of upstream oil and gas development. The review will focus on further protecting Albertans and the environment while keeping Alberta a competitive place to invest.

Alberta sees increased rig and drilling activity (April 28, 2017)
Drilling activity returned to Alberta with an increase in new wells drilled and active rigs in the first quarter of 2017. Alberta operators drilled 1,199 wells during the first three months of 2017 compared with 519 a year ago, a 131 per cent increase in activity, according to industry figures. This was the largest increase in activity and the highest number of wells drilled overall in Western Canada from January to March.

U.S. trip to promote electricity-sector investment (April 21, 2017)
Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd will showcase Alberta’s electricity market reforms and promote renewable energy investment opportunities in New York City April 23 to 26. Minister McCuaig-Boyd will attend the Future of Energy Summit, where she will build relationships with renewable energy companies, capacity market operators and investors interested in participating in Alberta’s electricity market.

Review to explore greener community power generation(March 31, 2017) 
The province is directing the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to conduct a formal study of this issue to help inform government as it develops policy to meet the demand for more local electricity generation owned by individual Albertans and communities. The review will explore opportunities to enable this growth.

New jobs, investment to come from renewables (March 24, 2017)
The Alberta Electric System Operatorexternal link icon is set to open the first of a series of competitions to create greener energy in the province, putting Alberta on track to achieve its target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

Budget 2017 – working to make life better (March 16, 2017)
Budget 2017 is focused on creating good jobs, making life more affordable for Albertans and protecting the programs and services families count on. The budget puts Albertans to work building long-overdue schools, hospitals, highways and bridges, while reducing the growth of government spending and maintaining a responsible plan to bring down the deficit.