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Energy companies must apply for our approval to begin an energy development project or activity in Alberta. Every year, we receive about 40 000 applications, including everything from requests to access a parcel of land, to requests to drill a well, to requests to build a pipeline. Regardless of the request, we share applications with Albertans and encourage public participation in our decision making.

We are moving towards a single-system, one-stop approach for processing applications, which will change the way companies submit applications to us. Visit our Integrated Decision Approach page to learn more.

Improving Our Application Processes and Timelines

Energy developments are complex, and the process a company must follow will vary based on the type of project or activity it is proposing.

In October 2018, we updated our processing times to reflect improved efficiency in our application review processes. This was done without affecting public involvement or the protection of public safety and the environment.

The following graph shows how we’re performing against our targets. For details on each application type, see the full applications timelines report. [Tableau] 

Each application is reviewed to ensure our technical experts have the information they need to make a decision on the application within our estimated timelines

We make every effort to process applications within our estimated times—and in most cases we do. However, in some cases it might take longer to review an application because the development is complex or because of factors beyond our control, such as incomplete applications or stakeholder or indigenous consultation requirements that have not been met. 

Learn more by selecting one of our application processes.

Alternative Storage
Amend/Rescind a Gas Allowable Order
Approval Transfers
CBM Control Well Exception
CBM Desorption Control Wells
CBM Pressure and Flow Control Wells
Class I Fluid Disposal
Class II Fluid Disposal
Class III Fluid Disposal
Coal Exploration Program
Coal Mining Authorizations
Common Carrier
Common Processor
Common Purchaser
Compulsory Pooling
Concurrent Production (CCP)
Control Well Shale Gas Exception
Directive 060 Nonroutine Flaring and Excess Volume
Enhanced Recovery
Environmental Impact Assessment Reports
Environmental Protection Enhancement Act and Water Act Application Projects
Formal Disposition Renewal and Amendment/Renewal
Good Production Practice
Gas-Oil Ratio (GOR) Penalty Relief
In Situ Oil Sands Authorizations
Lahee and Confidentiality Status Change
Long-Term Gas Removal Permits
Measurement Accounting and Reporting Plan (MARP) Authorizations
Modifications to Existing Oilfield Waste Management Facilities
New Oilfield Waste Management Facilities
New Well Base Maximum Rate Limitation (Form O-38)
Nonroutine Technical Authorizations
Off-Target Penalties
Oil Sands Exploration
Oil Sands Mining Authorizations
Operational Authorizations - Pipelines
Operational Authorizations - Production Operations
Partial Upgrader - In Situ
Partial Upgrader - Mining
Pilot Project Approval
Pool Delineation and Ultimate Reserves
Primary Recovery Schemes
Public Involvement Authorizations
Rateable Take
Release-Rate Presubmission
Requesting a Delay for the Start of a New Oil Well Production Period (NOWPP)
Rescission of CBM Pressure and Flow Control WellsRoutine Authorizations
Right-of-Entry Order Replacements on Public Lands Process
Routine Authorizations
Short-Term Gas Removal Permits
Special MRL
Special Well Spacing - Quick
Special Well Spacing - Standard/Nonstandard
Sublease Consent
Temporary Field Authorizations
Temporary Injection
Water Act Temporary Diversion Licence

Listening to Concerns

If someone believes that they will be directly or adversely affected by a proposed project, they have a right to be heard by the AER. We share project applications on our Public Notice of Application page for 30 days (unless otherwise specified), which helps anyone who is concerned about a project find and understand the development plans.

We encourage anyone with concerns to submit a statement of concern for us to consider during our review of the application. If the statement of concern is relevant, complete, and submitted on time, we will consider the concerns while we decide to approve or reject the company’s application.

If we’ve already made a decision on an application, and someone believes that they may be directly and adversely affected by this decision, they may be qualified to request an appeal of our decision. Learn more about our regulatory appeal process.

Application Legislation

Provincial legislation, including the Mines and Minerals Act, Public Lands Act, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, and Water Act, shapes our requirements and approval processes. Learn more about these acts and what we regulate under them.