January 2021
Happy New Year from Benoit!

We know 2020 was not an easy year for many, but hopefully you were all able to enjoy some relaxation time over the holiday season. We wish all of you a very happy and prosperous 2021.

We look forward to hearing from, and working with you in an way that we can. Please let us know how we can help.
Well Testing Services at Benoit
To support Benoit's regulatory application and compliance related submissions, Benoit utilizes an in-house well test analysis expert, Mr. Reza Ali, C.E.T.

Mr. Ali has over 30 years of experience specializing in domestic and international Flow and Build-Up, Production Data and DFIT Analyses. 

If you would like a well test analyzed or if you would simply like more information on our well testing services, please feel free to contact Robyn (at 403.263.3690) or Jason (at 403.874.6769). You may also contact Reza Ali directly at 403.454.0430

Update to Alberta Energy Industries 
On December 11, 2020 the Alberta Energy Industry Water Use Performance Report was updated. The report shows how water is allocated to and used by the energy industry. 

Across Alberta’s energy industry, companies are using less water than what is allocated to them to produce oil and gas. In 2019, the energy industry used about 20 per cent of the water that it was allocated and recycled about 81 per cent of the water it used. The report falls under the AER's Industry Performance Program which strives to hold companies accountable for their decisions and actions, improve their performance, and share more information with Albertans.

Additional information can be found here.

On December 14, 2020, the AER updated the annual emissions report, ST60B: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring and Venting Report, which provides a summary of flared and vented gas volumes, and launched a methane performance report

The report shows that across Alberta’s energy industry, gas flaring and venting have been decreasing in the last five years, with total gas vented reaching an all time low.

Additional information can be found here.

Implementing the Water Conservation Policy for Upstream Oil and Gas Operations
On December 1, 2020, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) released the Water Conservation Policy for Upstream Oil and Gas Operations (WCP), replacing the Water Conservation and Allocation Policy for Oilfield Injection (2006).

The WCP, which provides direction on water use, applies to the following energy subsectors:
  1. oil sands thermal in situ operations,
  2. enhanced oil recovery and cold bitumen enhanced recovery operations,
  3. multistage hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells, and
  4. oil sands mining operations.

The new policy does not affect the AER’s application process. Companies are to continue to use the Application for Water Act Licences form and submit the completed form to EPEA.WA.Applications@aer.ca.

Additional information can be found here.

Changes to Oil and Gas Conservation Rules and Pipeline Rules
On July 30, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced a new liability management framework and directed the AER to implement new liability management programs based upon it. The Government of Alberta has now approved rule changes to the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules and Pipeline Rules that enable the AER to make these changes. The changes to the rules include the following:

  • The AER may now set closure spend targets (closure quotas) for industry to support timely inventory reduction.
  • Licensees must provide closure plans when requested by the AER. The AER may direct the timing and priority of the work, and the closure plans could be subject to specific terms and conditions.
  • Landowners and other eligible requestors may nominate inactive or abandoned wells and facilities for closure work through an “opt-in” process. 
  • The AER can now collect company financial and reserves information and ensure it is kept confidential.

Reminder: pursuant to Bulletin 2020-24, the AER is seeking and accepting feedback on proposed changes to the Pipeline Rules, until Friday, January 15, 2021. To provide feedback, you may complete the comment form on the AER website, and email it to PipelineRuleUpdate2020@aer.ca or mail it to the Alberta Energy Regulator, Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P OR4.
Additional information can be found here.
New AER Jurisdiction over Borrow Pits Supporting Energy Activities
As of January 1, 2021, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) will make decisions on surface material licences, leases, and exploration dispositions for oil and gas operators requiring borrow materials to build roads, pads, etc. to support energy activities.

The AER will only decide on applications that meet the following criteria. All other applications remain the jurisdiction of Alberta Environment and Parks:

  • Only sand, silt, or clay materials are removed.
  • The materials are used to support an energy resource activity.
  • The materials cannot be sold.

For more details on the process, please refer to the Borrow Pits on Public Lands: Operational Guidance Fact Sheet. If you have any questions or comments, contact the Customer Contact Centre by phone at 1-855-297-8311 or email at inquiries@aer.ca.

Additional information can be found here.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy – Accelerated Site Closure Program
On December 11, 2020 the Government of Saskatchewan announced a second allocation of funding to eligible oil and gas licenses under the Accelerated Site Closure Program (ASCP). The program first announced in May 2002, utilizes $400 Million in funding from the federal COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, to accelerate inactive well and facility abandonment activities in Saskatchewan and support employment in the Saskatchewan oil and gas service sector. Today’s announcement brings the total amount of funding allocated to eligible oil and gas licensees to date to $300 Million.

Oil and gas licensee eligibility for the program remains dependent on being in good standing in relation to debts owing to the Crown. This includes amounts owing for: The Oil and Gas Administrative Levy; the Orphan Fund Levy; Crown oil and gas royalties; Crown mineral disposition rentals; and amounts owing for Crown surface lease rentals. Please ensure you are current on these payments to maintain your eligibility for the ASCP.

Additional information can be found here.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy – Rescinding of Certain Temporary Oil and Gas Regulatory Relief Measures
As of February 1, 2021, the deferral of enforcement on outstanding security deposits related to the Licensee Liability Rating Program (LLR) will end. This measure was introduced along with other now rescinded measures by the Ministry of Energy and Resources (ER) on April 14, 2020 in response to the unprecedented economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and lower commodity prices.

During the deferral, licensees continued to receive invoicing on a monthly basis detailing the current outstanding security amounts owing the LLR program. Licensees may wish to contact the ER Service Desk at ER.servicedesk@gov.sk.ca, prior to January 27, 2021, to discuss payment plan options or to submit a request for consideration of an extension on the enforcement of the outstanding security invoice.

Additional information can be found here.

Did you know?
Did you know you can access general well data through the AER’s General Well Data Report? Updated daily, the report provides basic drilling data for every oil, gas, oil sands, and water well in Alberta, including domestic water wells. Production numbers are not included in the report. 

Users can search by license number or well identifier. Find the link here.

We've put together a short video that discusses this topic which outlines this important distinction (free for Benoit+ subscribers).

Not a Benoit+ Subscriber? Join Now to receive our introductory offer by becoming a founding member. We're adding new content every week!

Benoit's Well Spacing Course in Now Available On-line!
Robyn Swanson (P.Eng, C.E.T) has created a short-form Well Spacing Course specifically designed for the Benoit+ platform.

Benoit+ subscribers can access the course by clicking here.

Not a Benoit+ Subscriber? Join Now to receive our introductory offer by becoming a founding member. We're adding new content every week!
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phone: 403.263.0896 | email: questions@benoitregulatory.com