The area-based closure program encourages operators to work together on closing oil and gas infrastructure. The voluntary program benefits industry by saving them money – pilot programs have shown cost savings of up to 40 per cent – and benefits operators and Albertans by reducing the liabilities associated with inactive sites.
Operators can participate in the program by submitting their closure projects through OneStop. We will then assign the operator an “inactive liability reduction target” – the amount that they must spend within a calendar year on closing inactive sites in order to reduce liability.
In exchange for committing to achieving their assigned reduction target, operators can take advantage of new suspension options under Directive 013: Suspension Requirements for Wells. These new options relax requirements for certain low-risk wells, freeing up money for more efficient and coordinated closure activity.
Participants must report their closure activities and associated spending through OneStop, and annual performance reports will be published to help evaluate the success of the program.
The area-based closure program was developed by the AER, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, and the Petroleum Services Association of Canada. An area-based closure steering committee, made up of representatives from the AER and the industry associations, will monitor and recommend enhancements to the program.
If you have any questions about the area-based closure program, please contact the AER at ABC.firstname.lastname@example.org or your industry association.