News Releases and Backgrounders

More news releases may be found on the Government of Alberta News page.  Use the Search feature to locate the articles you're looking for or sign up for the Alberta Energy RSS news feedRSS icon or other Government of Alberta RSS news feeds. The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) also issues news releases and announcements.

Supporting innovation-focused Alberta business (September 19, 2017)
Hifi Engineering, a Calgary start up is revolutionizing pipeline safety and expects to double its workforce over the next three years with support from the Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative (ASBIRI) at Alberta Innovates. The ASBIRI program supports local small businesses in the early stages of commercializing new technology, by supporting major real-world technology demonstrations.

Strong investor interest in renewables program (September 15, 2017)
Alberta moves one step closer to its target of 30 per cent renewable energy by 2030 as round one of the Renewable Electricity Program enters the request for proposals stage.
The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has invited national and international companies to participate in the final stage of the competition. A total of 29 projects qualified to advance to the request for proposals stage, representing approximately 10 times the number of megawatts targeted for the first round.

Oil sands project ramps up near Fort McMurray (September 13, 2017)
A $2-billion oil sands expansion project swings into high gear this week.
Premier Rachel Notley, representatives from Japan and local officials marked the opening of the Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd. (JACOS) Hangingstone project near Fort McMurray. This Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project is the culmination of the largest investment made in Alberta by the company in its 40-year history in the province. It is also the largest investment made globally by JACOS’s parent company, Tokyo-based Japan Petroleum Exploration Company (JAPEX).

Asia mission promotes Alberta energy and investment (September 1, 2017)
Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd will travel to Japan, China and South Korea to engage in talks about new investment and energy diversification opportunities in Alberta. The minister will provide updates on the government’s ongoing work to get Alberta’s resources to Asian markets. She will also meet with companies working in areas of energy efficiency and renewable power to highlight investment  opportunities in Alberta.

Enbridge Line 3: Statement from Premier Notley (August 10, 2017)
"This is an exciting day for Albertans and all Canadians. As we formally celebrate the start of construction on the Line 3  replacement pipeline, I want to thank Enbridge and the federal government for all the work that has brought us to this momentous day."

Energy minister to strengthen ties with U.S. (June 21, 2017)
The Energy Council is a group of state-level American legislators, mostly from energy-producing and -refining states, who meet to discuss energy and environmental policy, along with North American energy cooperation and security. Alberta is an international affiliate of the organization. Minister McCuaig-Boyd will use the opportunity to promote Alberta’s energy policies while stressing the importance of energy trade and North American energy security.

Taking action to protect electricity consumers (May 23, 2017)
Proposed legislation introduced today would cap electricity prices and protect the pocketbooks of Albertans.
If passed, An Act to Cap Regulated Electricity Rates would ensure Alberta families, farms and small businesses on the Regulated Rate Option would not pay more than 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour over a four-year period from June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2021. The Regulated Rate Option is the default electricity contract for the vast majority of Alberta consumers.

Cleanup boost for old oil and gas sites to create jobs (May 18, 2017)
The Alberta government has introduced legislation that would allow it to lend the Orphan Well Association (OWA) $235 million to speed up proper abandonment and reclamation of a growing number of oil and gas well sites that no longer have a responsible owner. Learn more about how Alberta is addressing upstream oil and gas liability and the orphan well inventory.

Alberta granted intervener status on Trans Mountain pipeline (May 16, 2017)
Alberta will be allowed to make both written and oral submissions. The judicial review – advanced by municipalities, First Nations and environmental groups – challenges the National Energy Board’s report and recommendation as well as the federal Governor in Council’s Order in Council approving expansion.

Review of old wells to protect Albertans, environment (May 10, 2017)
The province is working with industry and experts to find ways to better protect Albertans and the environment by improving policies for managing old oil and gas facilities. Subject matter experts and key stakeholders will take part in roundtable discussions on improving the management of historic, current and future liabilities associated with the full life cycle of upstream oil and gas development. The review will focus on further protecting Albertans and the environment while keeping Alberta a competitive place to invest.

Alberta sees increased rig and drilling activity (April 28, 2017)
Drilling activity returned to Alberta with an increase in new wells drilled and active rigs in the first quarter of 2017. Alberta operators drilled 1,199 wells during the first three months of 2017 compared with 519 a year ago, a 131 per cent increase in activity, according to industry figures. This was the largest increase in activity and the highest number of wells drilled overall in Western Canada from January to March.

U.S. trip to promote electricity-sector investment (April 21, 2017)
Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd will showcase Alberta’s electricity market reforms and promote renewable energy investment opportunities in New York City April 23 to 26. Minister McCuaig-Boyd will attend the Future of Energy Summit, where she will build relationships with renewable energy companies, capacity market operators and investors interested in participating in Alberta’s electricity market.

Review to explore greener community power generation(March 31, 2017) 
The province is directing the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to conduct a formal study of this issue to help inform government as it develops policy to meet the demand for more local electricity generation owned by individual Albertans and communities. The review will explore opportunities to enable this growth.

New jobs, investment to come from renewables (March 24, 2017)
The Alberta Electric System Operatorexternal link icon is set to open the first of a series of competitions to create greener energy in the province, putting Alberta on track to achieve its target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

Budget 2017 – working to make life better (March 16, 2017)
Budget 2017 is focused on creating good jobs, making life more affordable for Albertans and protecting the programs and services families count on. The budget puts Albertans to work building long-overdue schools, hospitals, highways and bridges, while reducing the growth of government spending and maintaining a responsible plan to bring down the deficit.

Promoting Alberta leadership on energy, environment (March 3, 2017)
Alberta’s energy sector and deep trade ties with the United States will be the main focus as Premier Rachel Notley and Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd head to Houston, Texas. While in Houston from March 6 to 8, Premier Notley will participate in a panel discussion on energy and the environment at CERAWeek, a major U.S. energy conference. She will also meet with energy executives and policy-makers to highlight investment opportunities in Alberta’s oil and gas sector and promote the province’s Climate Leadership Plan. Premier's mission statement

Alberta celebrates oil and gas history On Feb. 13, 1947, a crew of roughnecks struck black gold in a farmer’s field launching a second oil rush in Alberta, confirming the importance of oil and gas in the province. 

Optimism, more activity mark royalty review anniversary January 30, 2017
Rig counts across Alberta have risen substantially compared with this time last year as economic activity and jobs return in the energy sector.  The increased activity is taking place one year after the Alberta government announced its modernized royalty framework, which encourages industry to innovate and reduce costs, making Alberta companies more competitive and encouraging more investment in Alberta.

Alberta sets out energy efficiency vision (January 24, 2017)
A new energy efficiency report gives the province a road map for creating jobs, diversifying the economy and saving Albertans money, learn more with Energy Efficiency Albertaexternal link icon .

Castle parks given historic new boundaries (January 20, 2017)
The boundaries of the expanded Castle Wildland Provincial Park and the new Castle Provincial Park have been set, bringing one of the most biologically diverse areas in Alberta under provincial protection.

Albertans now allowed to generate more green electricity (December 21, 2016)
The Alberta government is promoting greener energy by providing more flexible rules about how Albertans can generate their own electricity. Changes to the regulation that governs micro-generation include increasing the size limit to five megawatts from one megawatt and allowing a micro-generating system to serve adjacent sites, which is especially helpful for operations with more than one building, such as farms.

Additional PPA agreements reached (December 16, 2016)
The Government of Alberta has reached final agreements to settle power purchase arrangements (PPAs) with AltaGas Ltd. and TransCanada Energy Ltd. The agreements will terminate the PPA held by ASTC Power Partnership, a partnership between AltaGas and TransCanada, for Sundance B. The agreements will also terminate TransCanada’s PPAs for Sundance A and Sheerness. The PPAs will be returned to the Balancing Pool.

Modernized royalty system ready for the New Year (December 15, 2016)
Alberta’s modernized royalty framework for new oil and gas wells will come into effect Jan. 1, 2017 and will include two new programs to encourage industry to explore new areas and boost production.With the approval of a series of regulatory changes, Alberta’s Modernized Royalty Framework is ready for implementation.

Petrochemical plants will diversify economy, create jobs (December 5, 2016)
The economy will get a substantial boost from two projects that would, for the first time in Alberta, process propane extracted from natural gas resources into value-added plastics products that people all over the world use every day. The projects have been approved to receive royalty credits under Alberta’s Petrochemicals Diversification Program, which was announced and began receiving applications in February 2016.

More stability for electricity consumers (November 29, 2016)
Proposed legislation would further reduce price volatility in the electricity system and support the province’s made-in-Alberta transition to a stable and reliable system that puts consumers first.

Door-to-door energy sales ban will protect consumers (November 25, 2016)
Starting Jan. 1, 2017, Alberta will prohibit unsolicited door-to-door selling of energy products to protect people from misleading, high-pressure sales practices. Alberta is banning door-to-door sales of:

  • furnaces
  • natural gas and electricity energy contracts
  • water heaters
  • windows
  • air conditioners
  • energy audits

Alberta announces coal transition action (November 24, 2016)
In support of its made-in-Alberta transition to a stable, reliable and cleaner electricity system, the Government of Alberta has announced agreements with TransAlta, Capital Power and ATCO to end coal-fired emissions on or before Dec. 31, 2030. The agreements will see the companies, which own six coal-fired electricity units originally slated to operate beyond 2030, provided with transition payments for investments that have been reduced in value by the transition away from coal-fired generation – funds that can be reinvested into Alberta’s electricity market.

Consumers to benefit from stable, reliable electricity market (November 23, 2016)
The Government of Alberta will create a “capacity market” for electricity as part of its plan to ensure that consumers are protected from price volatility with a reliable supply of electricity at stable, affordable prices.

Price cap to protect consumers from volatile electricity prices (November 22, 2016)
The Government of Alberta is protecting families, farms and small business with a ceiling on electricity prices as the province makes necessary reforms to the electricity system. Learn more about price protectionexternal link icon .

See where wells are being drilled under new royalty framework (November 4, 2016)
The province has approved 129 new wellsPDF icon since July 12, when companies were allowed to apply for early access to the new royalty framework, and more applications are coming in. This equates to more than a new well approved each day under the Modernized Royalty Framework’s early opt-in provision.

Renewable electricity plan to create jobs, spur investment (November 3, 2016)
The Alberta government will set clear timelines for developing renewable electricity like wind and solar, and a competitive bidding process structured to limit costs. The Renewable Electricity Programexternal link icon will add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity by 2030 using a competitive process, administeredexternal link icon by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). This will put Alberta on a path to achieve its target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by that time.