Application 1762708

Notice of Filing
Alberta Energy Regulator
Application No. 1762708

Notice of Application
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act
Application No. 002-289664
Water Act File No. 00316166

Athabasca Oil Corporation
Hangingstone Expansion
Athabasca Oil Sands Area

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has received Application No. 1762708 and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) has received Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) Application No. 002-289664 and Water Act File No. 00316166 (collectively the applications) from the Athabasca Oil Corporation (AOC) for approval of the proposed Hangingstone expansion. The AER, ESRD, and other government departments are reviewing the applications and the associated environmental impact assessment (EIA).

This notice is not a notice of application of the AER and the submission deadlines given are not for statements of concern for filing under the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice (Rules of Practice).

Description of the Project
The AOC has applied under section 13 of the Oil Sands Conservation Act (OSCA) to construct, operate, and reclaim an expansion to the Hangingstone Project (HS1), which is an in situ oil sands project located about 20 kilometres (km) southwest of Fort McMurray within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). The oil sands leases are located within Townships 85 to 88, Ranges 9 to 13, West of the 4th Meridian. The Hangingstone expansion would use steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology to recover bitumen resources from the McMurray Formation. The AOC currently holds regulatory approval to construct, operate, and reclaim the HS1, which has a bitumen production capacity of 1908 m3/d (12 000 bbl/d).

The Hangingstone expansion would consist of two phases: the Hangingstone 2 (HS2) and Hangingstone 3 (HS3). The total bitumen production capacity of HS1, HS2, and HS3 would be 13 038 cubic metres per day (m3/day) (82 000 barrels per day [bbl/d]) an incremental increase in production capacity of 11 130 m3/d (70 000 bbl/d). Pending regulatory approval, construction for HS2 and HS3 is expected to start in 2015, with initial production expected to commence in 2017. HS2 and HS3 would include a central processing facility, thermal injection wells, production wells, disposal wells, dewatering facilities, utilities, and associated infrastructure.

The AOC has prepared and submitted the following documents:
  • Application No. 1762708 to the AER, under section 13 of the Oil Sands Conservation Act to construct and operate the proposed expansion.
  • Application No. 002-289664 to ESRD, under part 2, division 2 of the EPEA, to construct, operate, and reclaim the proposed expansion.
  • An application File No. 00316166 to ESRD, pursuant to section 50(1) of the Water Act, to increase the existing allocation of 479 975 m3 of groundwater from the south Hangingstone channel aquifer (Empress Formation) by 23 725 m3 annually for a total allocation of 503 700 m3 for the purposes of steam generation (SAGD) and utility at HS1, HS2, and HS3. If approved, the requested increase of 23 725 m3 annually would be issued under a separate licence. Groundwater would be extracted from three existing wells located at Legal Subdivision (LSD) 6, Section 12, Township 86, Range 9, West of the 4th Meridian, LSD 4-8-86-8-W4M, and LSD 15-33-85-8-W4M.
  • An EIA report associated with the above applications. The EIA forms part of the application to the AER.
For a copy of the application, contact
    Athabasca Oil Corporation
    Bow Valley Square
    Suite 2000
    250 – 6 Avenue SW
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Attention: Sheryll Tavener
    Telephone: 403-237-8227
    Fax: 403-264-4640

To view the application, EIA, and supporting documents, contact
    AER Information Product Services Section
    Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW
    Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4
    Telephone: 1-855-297-8311
    (toll free; press 2)
    Viewing hours: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    Alberta Government Library
    Great West Life Building
    6th Floor, 9920 – 108 Street
    Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2M4
    Telephone: 780-427-5828
    (toll free: 780-310-0000)
    AER Fort McMurray Regional Office
    2nd Floor, Provincial Building
    Box 15, 9915 Franklin Avenue
    Fort McMurray, Alberta T9H 2K4
    Telephone: 780-743-7214

How to File a Statement of Concern with ESRD
Under Section 73 of EPEA and section 109 of the Water Act, any person who may be directly affected by the EPEA application or the Water Act application may submit a written statement of concern. Statements of concern must be submitted by March 10, 2014. Quote Application No. 002-289664 (EPEA) or File No. 00316166 (Water Act) when submitting a statement of concern.

If no statements of concern are received, the EPEA and Water Act applications may be approved without further notice. Failure to file a statement of concern may affect the right to file a Notice of Appeal with the Environmental Appeals Board.

Submit statements of concern to
    Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
    Regulatory Approvals Centre
    Main floor, Oxbridge Place
    9820 – 106 Street
    Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J6
    Attention: Director, Northern Region
    Telephone: 780-427-6311
    Fax: 780-422-0154
The AER may also receive and review submissions sent to ESRD. Any interested party can file a submission with the AER directly if it has concerns with the application to the AER. The filing deadline stated above is not for statements of concerns to be filed with the AER under the Rules of Practice, unless stated otherwise in an AER notice or other direction of the AER.

If you choose to file a submission, you may want to include the following information:
a) why you believe you may be directly and adversely affected by a decision on the application;
b) the location of the land, residence or activity of the person in relation to the location of the project that forms the subject of the proposed applications; and
c) your contact information including your name, address in Alberta, telephone number, fax number, if any, and if available, an e-mail address.

Section 49 of the Rules of Practice, section 35(1) of EPEA, and section 15(1) of the Water Act (Ministerial) Regulation require that all documents and information filed in a proceeding be placed on the public record. If you file a submission, you must not include any personal information that you do not want to appear on or are not authorized to put on the public record. Section 49(2) of the Rules of Practice states how to apply to the AER for an order to keep information confidential. For the purposes of the ESRD, such requests can be filed according to section 35(4) of the EPEA and section 15(4) of the Water (Ministerial) Regulation.

Questions of Constitutional Law
In addition to giving notice according to section 12 of the Administrative Procedures and Jurisdiction Act and schedule 2 of the Designation of Constitutional Decision Makers Regulation, you must include the following information in your submission if you intend to raise a question of constitutional law:
a) the constitutional question you intend to raise
b) the legal argument you intend to make
c) the evidence you intend to rely on in support of your legal argument

Under section 21 of the Responsible Energy Development Act, the AER does not have jurisdiction to assess the adequacy of Crown consultation associated with the rights of aboriginal peoples as recognized and affirmed under the Constitution Act.

For information on AER procedures, contact
Oil Sands and Coal Branch
In Situ Oil Sands Group
Attention: Ken Hale
Telephone: 403-297-8405
Fax: 403-297-3187

Issued at Calgary, Alberta, on November 28, 2013.


Patricia M. Johnston, Q.C., General Counsel