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Project Closure

This page summarizes our reclamation requirements for in situ projects in Alberta, including

  • enhanced recovery in situ oil sands operations,
  • heavy oil processing plants, and
  • oil production sites.

Our reclamation requirements vary depending on the type of energy project or development. Learn more on our Reclamation page.

In Situ Project Reclamation Requirements

Under an Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approval, companies must submit several plans and reports to guide progressive reclamation throughout the life of enhanced recovery in situ oil sands operations, heavy oil processing plants, or oil production sites. Depending on the stage of development, our operational requirements could include the following:

  • project-level conservation, reclamation, and closure plan
  • predisturbance assessment
  • conservation and construction plan
  • reclamation monitoring program
  • annual conservation and reclamation report

For more direction on our operational requirements, see the following documents:

Obtaining a Reclamation Certificate
Within six months of ceasing in situ oil sands operations or heavy oil processing plants, companies must apply for an amendment to their EPEA approval for decommissioning and reclamation of the plant and associated oil production sites. The terms and conditions attached to this amended approval will provide further site-specific requirements for decommissioning and reclamation.

When all of our requirements have been met, including achieving the approved reclamation outcome, the company can apply for a reclamation certificate. Learn what this certificate means on our Reclamation page.

Our reclamation certificate application checklist for EPEA-approved activities should be used by companies to reclaim in situ projects. See our list of frequently asked questions for more information.

Pilot Projects
Pilot projects are in situ oil sands operations or heavy oil processing plants that produce 2000 cubic metres per day or less. Our EPEA approval for pilot projects does not include the associated oil production sites (e.g., producing well sites and associated rights-of-way). To abandon, remediate, and reclaim associated oil production sites, companies must follow our reclamation process and criteria for oil and gas sites.

Commercial Projects
Commercial projects are in situ oil sands or heavy oil processing plants that produce more than 2000 cubic metres per day and require an environmental impact assessment. Our EPEA approval covers decommissioning and reclamation of the associated oil production sites.