Unpacking Major Rules Surrounding End-Of-Life Energy Assets
A new one of its kind course will help oil and gas operators unpack the major rules governing liability, closure, and reclamation in Alberta.
Starting on January 1, 2022, every operator in the province will be bound by the Alberta Energy Regulator’s long-awaited directive outlining new and updated life-cycle management requirements. All licensees with inactive liability will be required to meet an individual annual mandatory target determined by the AER.
The AER released the new directive this week.
Former AER employees – Alanda Allum, Rob Cruickshank and Mark Taylor – will decipher the directive, the updates to liability management programs and the new regulatory requirements. The teaching team will draw on its more than 35 years of combined regulatory expertise within the energy industry to advise and inform attendees.
“The course will help operators understand how the directive could potentially impact them and why it's important to provide feedback and be engaged with the AER when draft directives are released for feedback,” said Allum. “We’ve been seeing in some of the draft directives and new and revised regulations that the AER is going to a broader space, rather than being prescriptive.”
Allum said the AER is allowing a lot of latitude to ask for additional information in the new directive. She said this is making some companies a little uneasy because they do not know how they're going to be assessed and why the AER is looking for certain information.
“We can walk them through what we believe the AER is asking for and help alleviate some of those concerns before they jump in,” said Allum.
For most of the industry, these regulations are going to look and feel brand new, added Taylor.
“But it isn’t new to us. The AER has been working on this for years. We’ve been testing the concepts in area-based closure dependency, how spending targets can help drive behavior etc. Through the course will be able to make this feel more comfortable for industry.”
The AER may not hold the pre-meetings with industry that are designed to help companies gain a better understanding of what to expect along the application process. The course could serve as a “premeeting” where the instructors will give an idea of what the regulator is looking for and why, said Allum.
The course is intended for oil and gas executives, regulatory professionals, operations and engineering professionals and closure and abandonment professionals. The team will explain how stakeholders can avoid common mistakes and misconceptions about the regulatory process and how to maximize the efficiency of application approvals.
After the course attendees will understand how the changes made to liability management programs could impact their operations, the nuances needed to navigate through AER policy and how the changes contribute to reducing provincial oil and gas liabilities.
“That is the biggest single thing that has never existed in the province,” said Taylor. “Now the regulator can essentially force companies on a very broad scale to abandon and reclaim wells that should be abandoned and reclaimed. That is the cornerstone of what the tool is meant to do – to start reducing the number of inactive wells that are sitting in the province.”
The course will also cover:
- What is new with licensee liability management programs, and why?
- Overview of the new requirements, Directive 088: Licensee Life-Cycle Management
- Changes to Directive 067: Eligibility Requirements for Acquiring and Holding Energy Licences and Approvals
- Overview of Industry-wide closure spend targets
- What is the Licensee Capability Assessment?
Register today here.