As Alberta’s energy regulator, we have a responsibility to help create a more competitive province by ensuring that our system is modern and efficient, while protecting the environment and keeping Albertans safe.
So how do we protect what matters while making sure that we don’t create unnecessary obstacles to developing our energy resources? By developing smarter regulations that
- make our processes more efficient;
- keep pace with an innovative energy industry;
- are modern, efficient, effective, and clear; and
- give operators greater flexibility in how they develop energy resources while meeting all our safety and environmental requirements.
Modernizing our requirements and being efficient means reducing duplication in the regulatory system and ensuring that the regulator only intervenes to the level necessary to minimize risks to the public and environment. This reduces the costs of regulation to both industry and the regulator and leads to a more competitive oil and gas industry. It does not mean that our requirements are less thorough or stringent because, to be clear, we will never compromise environmental protection and public safety.
We’re undertaking a number of initiatives to support this transformation and contribute to Alberta’s competitiveness. This includes
- implementing an integrated decision approach and the technology to support it, which will allow integrated decision-making, provide a risk-informed approach to reviews, and improve public access to information;
- clarifying the statement of concerns process and application timelines to create greater transparency and certainty;
- reducing liability and increasing cost savings through an area-based closure program;
- modernizing our subsurface requirements to better address unconventional development;
- integrating indigenous consultation requirements with the Aboriginal Consultation Office, which will eliminate duplication of processes; and
- providing companies with more flexibility to develop in situ operations, which will lead to better footprint management and minimize environmental impacts.
These changes are complex; it will take significant work and will be carried out in phases. We will report on our progress as we move forward.
However, our work will not end here. We will continue to seek ways to improve our system as outlined in our strategic plan and will continue to listen to the Government of Alberta, the energy industry, and Albertans about how we can make a positive difference.