Updated AER Processes for Winter 2014
There has been a substantial amount of change to Crown Land regulations in Alberta in the last year. Making the switch from the Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) in late 2013, the land industry saw a substantial increase in Public Lands Act (PLA) authorization times for all applications through the Enhanced Approval Process (EAP).
The AER Bulletin 2014-25 released in July made mention of upcoming timeline changes for the 2014 winter drilling season. At that time they released the mandated authorization timelines – 30-days for standard applications and 45-days for non-standard. Just last week the AER released an update promising to “ensure timely decisions are made for operations where access is limited during the winter season.” We’ve already seen a drastic implementation of this promise, receiving authorizations for non-standard applications in under 10 days – much less than the 45 days presented in their bulletin. During this short-term mandate on approvals, on average we are seeing standard applications come back within 5-10 days and non-standard come back between 10-20 days.
Even considering that the above is a short-term solution for this year’s drilling season, the timely turn around has ensured that the economy spurred by Alberta’s energy sector continues to thrive.