Legal Header

Project Application


Our estimated processing time for this application is 30 business days. See our timeline spreadsheet for updates.

Purpose of the Application

We rely on the industry’s pressure and flow control wells to assess and measure coalbed methane (CBM) resources and reserves in Alberta. Flowmeter values and changes in reservoir pressure should be examined for each CBM zone.

Before companies had access to pressure and flow control wells, testing was required for every well that produced CBM. Today, a single pressure and flow control well meets the requirements for all CBM production within a specified area. For a list of valid control wells, click here.

We encourage companies to work together to select control wells in a CBM development area. This collaboration makes the control well designation process more efficient.

Process Checklist

Submit an Application
Companies must submit CBM pressure and flow control well applications through our Digital Data Submission (DDS) system. We will register each application and assign a reference number.

By submitting an application, the company accepts that its information is no longer confidential.

Review Process

  1. We share all applications on our Public Notice of Application page to encourage public participation in the approval process.
  2. Anyone who believes they may be directly and adversely affected by an application can file a statement of concern (SOC). If we receive an SOC, it may take us longer to process the application.
  3. We will assign the application to a subject matter expert for initial review. If information is missing (i.e., the application is not complete), we will close the application. Otherwise, we will proceed with a full technical review. We look at
    • the location of the applied-for well or facility site. If it falls within an area covered by the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan or the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, our review will be more stringent;
    • the geological aspects of the proposed application; and
    • the quality and quantity of the collected data, which includes identifying the following:
      • individual coal seams using well logs, preferably density/neutron and induction logs
      • grouped coal seams (i.e., larger CBM zones) within the application well
      • all lithologies perforated/completed within the wellbore, confirming that any sand completions are isolated from the zones being tested. If one or more perforations penetrate a lithology other than sand, coal, or carbonaceous shale (i.e., limestone or anhydrite), the thickness of those perforations must be equal to or less than 15 per cent of the thickness of all perforations in the wellbore.
  4. We may request additional information (through a supplemental information request) to complete our technical review.
  5. We will decide to approve, close, or deny the application. If we close it, the applicant may reapply without prejudice. If we deny it, the applicant can file an appeal through our appeal process.
  6. We will provide the applicant with a link to the letter with our decision, which is accessible through the Integrated Application Registry. We will also share our decision on our Publication of Decision page.