Water Storage – Regulatory Efficiency
On March 28, 2022, the AER released new editions of Directive 055: Storage Requirements for the Upstream Petroleum Industry and Directive 058: Oilfield Waste Management Requirements for the Upstream Petroleum Industry.
The AER updated the directives to incorporate the storage of large volumes of water such as produced water, water-based flow back, and oilfield landfill leachate in storage devices for reuse in hydraulic fracturing. The AER also revised the directives to improve clarity and remove redundant and outdated requirements.
Directive 055 was updated to include technical requirements for engineered containment ponds and bladders with structural frames and expanded requirements for above-ground synthetically lined walled storage systems. Directive 058 was updated to include water storage for reuse in hydraulic fracturing as a waste storage activity. The AER changed s. 8.030(2) of the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules to clarify that any storage device or system must follow the requirements in Directive 055.
The AER consolidated several ancillary documents into the directives, and as a result, the following documents were consequently rescinded:
Previous editions of Directive 055, Directive 058, and their addenda;
Interim Directive (“ID”) 99-04: Deposition of Oilfield Waste into Landfills;
ID 2000-04: An Update to the Requirements for the Appropriate Management of Oilfield Wastes;
Informational Letter (“IL”) 98-01: A Memorandum of Understanding Between Alberta Environmental Protection and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board Regarding Coordination of Release Notification Requirements and Subsequent Regulatory Response;
IL 98-02: Suspension, Abandonment, Decontamination, and Surface Land Reclamation of Upstream Oil and Gas Facilities; and
Updates to Storage Requirements for the Upstream Petroleum Industry Discussion Document on Directive 055 July 2009.
ID 2000-03: Harmonization of Waste Management and Memorandum of Understanding Between the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and Alberta Environment has been discontinued as an interim directive, but it will be continued as a memorandum of understanding because it informs the relationship between the AER and Alberta Environment and Parks on waste management.
Over the next few months, administrative changes will be made to several directives and manuals to reflect the document rescissions and changes to Directive 055 and 058. No requirements in these associated directives will be changed.