Through stories, videos, graphics, and balance sheets, the AER’s 2016/17 annual report gives Albertans a clear line of sight into its work over the last year and how it did in meeting the targets set out in its strategic plan.
Here are five things to watch for in this year’s report:
- High performance. AER developed an industry performance program and released details on how pipeline companies are performing. It’s also worth noting that the number of pipeline incidents continues to decline, dropping three per cent since 2015 and nearly 45 per cent over the last 10 years.
- Clearing the air. The AER worked with Alberta Health and Fort McKay First Nation on a study into air quality and odour concerns near Fort McKay in northeast Alberta, and together they made 17 recommendations to improve conditions. New requirements to control gas emissions from heavy oil and bitumen operations in the Peace River area were also released.
- Because indigenous voices matter. Steps were taken to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The AER also worked with indigenous communities to ensure that traditional knowledge is reflected in our day-to-day process and decisions. This included working with indigenous elders on Voices of Understanding, a document about using indigenous oral decision making to improve interactions between the AER and indigenous people.
- Finding what’s in the flare. The AER launched a first-of-its-kind study of what substances are present during the “flowback” phase of hydraulic fracturing operations. The study looks at the composition and concentrations of the substances in the flowback stream, the properties of the flare during the flowback phase, and whether the substances pose a risk to human health and the environment.
- A penny saved becomes $1.9 billion earned. Last year the AER continued to create industry-verified cost savings through regulatory efficiency improvements. Since we started finding ways to make our requirements more efficient in April 2014, our efforts have brought the total savings to $1.9 billion without sacrificing public safety or environmental protection.
The Alberta Energy Regulator ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.