Alberta Energy Regulator appears in Red Deer

The Energy Resources Conservation Board officially disappeared from Red Deer on Wednesday. Taking its place is the Alberta Energy Regulator, which was created last month under the province’s new Responsible Energy Development Act. The ERCB was responsible for the regulation of Alberta’s energy resources, including oil, natural gas, oilsands, coal and pipelines.

The Energy Resources Conservation Board officially disappeared from Red Deer on Wednesday.

Taking its place is the Alberta Energy Regulator, which was created last month under the province’s new Responsible Energy Development Act.

The ERCB was responsible for the regulation of Alberta’s energy resources, including oil, natural gas, oilsands, coal and pipelines.

This included processing applications for energy projects, and then monitoring operations to ensure they were occurring safely and responsibly.

The AER will take on these responsibilities, as well as others connected to the management of public lands, allocation and conservation of water resources, and protection of the environment, said Kim Blanchette, a spokesperson with the new agency.

“Over the next year, we’ll be assuming all of the regulatory functions related to oil and gas that are currently carried out by Environment and Sustainable Resource Development,” she said. “We will create one single energy regulator for everything from seismic and exploration, throughout the full life-cycle, all the way to reclamation and remediation.”

Jim Ellis, CEO of the AER, was in Red Deer to mark the changeover of the local office. Also in attendance were representatives of industry, energy and other groups, as well as municipal politicians.

The ceremony was originally scheduled for last month, but was postponed due to the flooding in Southern Alberta.

Red Deer’s is one of nine AER field offices in Alberta, with the others at Medicine Hat, Midnapore, Wainwright, Drayton Valley, Bonnyville, St. Albert, Grande Prairie and High Level. There is also a regional office in Fort McMurray, as well as the Alberta Geological Survey in Edmonton and the Core Research Centre in Calgary.

Blanchette said additional staff will be added to the AER offices to deal with their increased responsibilities.

Additional information about the Alberta Energy Regulator can be found online at www.aer.ca.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com