Our estimated processing times vary by scheme:
- new applications: 375 business days
- amendment category 1 applications: 21 business days
- amendment category 2 applications: 113 business days
- amendment category 3 applications: 250 business days
See our timeline spreadsheet for updates.
Purpose of the Application
We divide in situ oil sands applications under the Oil Sands Conservation Act into four application types:
- commercial scheme: new
- commercial scheme: amendment category 1
- commercial scheme: amendment category 2
- commercial scheme: amendment category 3
Commercial scheme: new applications are for new projects that might affect resource conservation or mineral rights owners, result in an adverse and material change to the environment, have socioeconomic impacts, or directly and adversely affect stakeholders.
Commercial scheme: amendment category 1 applications are for project changes that are not expected to affect resource conservation, alter environmental or socioeconomic impacts assessed in the original application or approved amendments, or directly and adversely affect stakeholders, including mineral rights owners.
Commercial scheme: amendment category 2 applications are for project changes that might affect resource conservation or involve significant modifications. However, the changes are not expected to affect the rights of stakeholders or alter the environmental and socioeconomic impacts assessed in the original application or approved amendments.
Commercial scheme: amendment category 3 applications are for project changes that might affect resource conservation. These changes also might affect other mineral rights owners or result in an adverse and material change to environmental or socioeconomic impacts assessed in the original application or approved amendments, and thus might directly and adversely affect other stakeholders.
Detailed descriptions of commercial scheme category 1, 2, and 3 application types are outlined in section 3 of Directive 078: Regulatory Application Process for Modifications to Commercial In Situ Oil Sands Projects.
Submit an Application
Companies must submit in situ oil sands authorization applications by email to InSitu.Applications@aer.ca.
By submitting an application, the company accepts that its information is no longer confidential.
- We share all applications on our Public Notice of Application page to encourage public participation in the approval process.
- 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.
- 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 may close the application. Otherwise, we will proceed with a full technical review.
- We may request additional information (through a supplemental information request) to complete our technical review.
- If required, we will send the application to the Lieutenant Governor in Council to authorize.
- 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.
- We will provide the applicant with a link to documents with our decision, which are accessible for 30 days through the Integrated Application Registry.We will also share our decision on our Publication of Decision page.