Highlights in Alberta's Energy Development


Highlights in Alberta's Energy Development

Historical Timeline1883: Natural gas discovered near Medicine Hat, Alberta but not developed.

1887: Canadian Government policy grants permission for the Federal Crown to retain mineral rights.

1914: Light oil discover near Turner Valley

1930: Alberta begins natural gas development as urban populations begin to use it as a clean source of energy for home heating, cooking and light.

Alberta obtains control of its lands and natural resources.

Premier John Edward Brownlee forms the Alberta Department of Lands and Mines.

1931: Alberta natural gas producers flare an estimated 260 million cubic feet of natural gas each day.

1932: The Government of Alberta forms the Turner Valley Gas Conservation Board (TVGCB) to prevent massive, wasteful flaring and venting of natural gas.

First TVGCB field centre located in Turner Valley to enforce a reduction in natural gas flaring and venting.

1938: Oil and Gas Conservation Act is passed and responsible energy development is committed to Alberta Law.

The second iteration of Alberta 's energy regulator is formed, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board (PNGCB).

1939: First quasi-judicial hearing: The Assessment Appeal Hearing.

1946: PNGCB shuts down leaking gas wells in Medicine Hat.

1947: Leduc 'Number One' oil well discovery in central Alberta spawns the province's early 'oil rush'.

1949: The Gas Resources Preservation Act allows the Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board to regulate the removal of gas from Alberta . The Board also orders conservation of solution gas.

1950s: Fracturing for commercial scale oil and gas extraction begins.

1953: Mass PNGCB enforcement action occurs when hundreds of wells in Alberta are shut down for refusing to conserve gas solution gas flaring.

1954: PNGCB approves TransCanada pipelines to export gas out of Alberta.

1957: The PNGCB is renamed the Oil and Gas Conservation Board (OGCB) and opens a new core centre in northwest Calgary (currently on University of Calgary land).

1960: OGCB approval of first commercial oil sands mining scheme.

1967: Start up of first oil sands mine, The Great Canadian Oil Sands.

1971: Oil and Gas Conservation Board name change to Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB)

1983: Following the 67-day Lodgepole sour gas blowout in 1982, the ERCB holds an inquiry and makes major changes to regulations for sour gas drilling, emergency preparedness, worker training, as well as longer-term scientific work on hydrogen sulphide exposure limits.

1995: The Public Utilities Board (PUB) is amalgamated with the ERCB to form the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB).

1996: The Alberta Geological Survey officially joins the EUB. The EUB launches facilities application process, emphasizing streamlined review, corporate compliance, and audits and enforcement.

2000: First commercial production of coalbed methane.

2003: The EUB and Alberta Geological Survey publishes Earth Sciences Report 2003-03: Production Potential of Coalbed Methane Resources in Alberta, which estimates 500 trillion cubic feet of coalbed methane in Alberta coal. Coalbed methane development begins in Alberta under the province’s strict regulatory system.

2008: The EUB splits into the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB).

2009: The ERCB embarks on a vision to “be the best non-conventional regulator in the world by 2013.”

2012: The ERCB releases of The Future of Unconventional Oil & Gas Development in Alberta – A Discussion Paper

2012: AGS releases Summary of Alberta’s Shale and Siltstone Hosted Hydrocarbon Resource Potential 

2013: The Alberta Energy Regulator replaces the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and will gradually take on functions from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development that relate to public lands, water, and the environment.