In Alberta, royalties are a share of production from resources the government owns on behalf of Albertans. Under the Mines and Minerals Act, the government has the option to take its royalty share either in cash or in kind. Currently, the government takes its share of conventional crude oil production in kind and collects its royalty share for other resources in cash.
The decision to exercise the in-kind option for bitumen was identified in the 2007 Alberta Royalty Framework as a way for the Crown to use its share of bitumen strategically to supply potential upgraders and refineries in Alberta, and to optimize its royalty share by marketing those volumes. This program is known as Bitumen Royalty-in-Kind (BRIK).