Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Alberta, Canada publishes geothermal resource development regulations

Edmonton Alberta Canada 1024X764 1
View on Edmonton, Alberta/Canada (Source: Flickr/MasterMac, Creative Commons)

The electricity regulator of the province of Alberta has published the Geothermal Resource Development Rules and Directive 089 on Geothermal Resource Development.

On December 7, 2021, the Alberta government enacted the Geothermal Resource Development Act. Under the law, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has the authority to regulate the safe, efficient and responsible development of Alberta’s geothermal resources.

Geothermal Resource Development Rules and Instructions 089: Geothermal Resource Development ( Geothermal Resource Development Rules And Instruction 089: Geothermal Resource Development) are issued to meet the regulatory framework for the development of geothermal resources. The rules and instructions 089 came into force on August 15, 2022 and the industry must follow the entire life cycle (from inception to closure) of geothermal development while developing geothermal resources below the base groundwater conservation. Rules and Directive 089 introduce the unique requirements and procedures for geothermal energy and include references to applicable oil and gas regulatory equipment.

A draft directive was published on August 4, 2021 for public review, and the regulator accepted comments until September 2, 2021 (see Bulletin-2021-31) It considered comments from various stakeholders and rights holders, including indigenous communities, industry and environmental groups. A summary of comments including our responses is available on the Board’s website.

The regulator also updated Manual 012: Procedures and Programs for Energy Development Applications ( Manual 012: Energy Development Application Procedures and Schedules) With guidance for geothermal applications (wells, facilities, pipelines), including how liability management will be applied to geothermal resource development.

Additionally, the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules (OGCR) have been updated to align with the geothermal regulatory framework. The definition of oil field waste in the OGCR has been updated to include waste from geothermal resource development. A new provision was added to the OGCR which requires an amendment application when a licensee intends to convert into a geothermal well licensed under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act.

Where necessary, suitable amendments will be made throughout the year to other AER instructions and manuals to address geothermal development.

Instruction 089 is available on the regulator’s website> regulatory development> rules and instructions> directives.

Fuente: Alberta Energy Regulator

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