AER Bulletin 2014-37

AER Bulletin 2014-37: Amendments to Directive 079: Surface Development in Proximity to Abandoned Wells

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Amendments to Directive 079: Surface Development in Proximity to Abandoned Wells

Nov 28, 2014

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) announces amendments to Directive 079: Surface Development in Proximity to Abandoned Wells that come into effect on November 28, 2014.

Directive 079 sets out the AER’s requirements for locating and testing abandoned wells where there may be conflicts with proposed surface structures and where surface structures already exist close to an abandoned well.

Directive 079 was amended as follows:

  • Introduction – The paragraph stating that information on reclamation standards, procedures, and certificates could be obtained from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development or the Environmental Law Centre was removed.
  • Section 5 – The risk categories included in the abandoned well risk assessment model were removed. These can be found in a separate document on the Directive 079 webpage of the AER website, www.aer.ca.
  • Section 6 – Edits were made to clarify that leaking abandoned wells must be repaired in accordance with Directive 020: Well Abandonment. However, if the AER is of the opinion that it is more appropriate for a methane anomaly to be monitored and managed rather than for the source of the anomaly to be repaired due to the specific circumstances, the AER may authorize such an approach. The criteria used to make this determination will vary depending on the circumstances, but will always ensure public safety, resource conservation, and environmental protection.

Directive 079 is available on the AER website. Printed copies of the directive can be purchased from AER Order Fulfillment, Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4; telephone: 403-297-8311 or 1-855-297-8311 (toll free); fax: 403-297-7040; e-mail: infoservices@aer.ca.  

<original signed by>

Brenda Cherry
Vice President
Closure and Liability Branch