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New Edition of Directive 023, AER Bulletin 2024-01

Link to Decision Summarized

Oil – Facilities

On February 8, 2024, the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”) released a new edition of Directive 023: Oil Sands Project Applications (“Directive 023”), effective immediately. Directive 023 replaced the May 2013 draft edition.

The AER also rescinded Directive 086: Reservoir Containment Application Requirements for Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage Projects in the Shallow Athabasca Oil Sands Area, whose requirements were moved into section 6 of Directive 023. References to Directive 023 in Directive 008: Surface Casing Depth Requirements, Directive 056: Energy Development Applications and Schedules, and Manual 020: Coal Development were also updated.

The AER made the following additional changes to Directive 023:

  • removed requirements that exist in other directives or provincial legislation, including removing environmental requirements that were also found in the specified enactments;
  • aligned the socioeconomic requirements with the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act;
  • restructured the environmental and socioeconomic requirements based on the scale of the projects they apply to (e.g., small-scale in situ projects); and
  • added a section on in situ life-cycle applications.

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