The AER has a responsibility to ensure that operators are developing energy resources in a safe and responsible manner. We know that to be effective, we need to make sure that our actions drive industry behaviour to achieve the outcomes Albertans expect—public safety, environmental protection, resource conservation, and economic benefit. We also need to evaluate and report on AER and operator performance and make regular improvements to ensure that our requirements align with these outcomes.
To help us deliver on these responsibilities, the AER developed an industry performance program that sets the foundation for measuring, evaluating, and reporting on energy development activities that we regulate, and focuses on moving beyond compliance to improving operator performance and sharing information on how we’re doing with Albertans. The program holds operators accountable for their actions and complements our regulatory requirements and compliance assurance program, which help to ensure energy development is safe and responsible.
To start, the AER is establishing performance metrics in four areas—in situ, mining (oil sands and coal), pipelines, and oil and gas. These metrics will evaluate industry performance against target outcomes and priorities established by the AER and through government policy. They will highlight operators that are performing well and those who need to make improvements, and they will provide us with the insight we need to assess the effectiveness of our regulatory requirements, and make any refinements needed to mitigate risk and achieve the outcomes that Albertans expect.
Operators with poor performance will receive more attention from the AER through more frequent inspections and audits and education about our requirements and expectations. If any operator breaks the rules, we take action using compliance and enforcement tools, which may include enforcement orders, shutting down operations, administrative penalties, and prosecution.
These data will be made available through industry performance reports, which will be released on a regular basis.