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.

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.

Oil sands emissions cap drives innovation (November 2, 2016)
Limit for oil sands emissions repairs Alberta’s reputation and establishes leadership on climate and energy production. Minister Shannon Phillips today introduced the Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act as the next step in the Climate Leadership Plan.

Energy Efficiency Alberta helps people save money (October 27, 2016)
Energy Efficiency Alberta, an agency established as part of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, is gearing up to launch three initial energy efficiency programs for Albertans in early 2017.

Bioenergy producers to get transitional support (October 25, 2016)
The Alberta government is taking action to support bioenergy producers as they transition from the expired Bioenergy Producers Credit Program (BPCP) to a new, more sustainable plan. The BPCP, which was established in 2007, expired in March, 2016. Over its nine years, the program provided financial support for bioenergy producers with the expectation that a subsidy program would result in a self-sustainable bioenergy industry in Alberta. This has not been the result. Bioenergy Producer Program

Farmers to benefit from expansion of efficiency grants (October 24, 2016)
Government is investing $10 million to help energy-intensive farm operations reduce their emissions and save on energy bills through efficiency upgrades.

Energy Diversification Advisory Committee named (October 13, 2016)
An expert committee assigned to help diversify Alberta’s energy sector will explore opportunities to create jobs and stimulate investment by adding value to the province’s energy resources. The Energy Diversification Advisory Committee’s mandate is to engage Albertans and explore opportunities to increase the value of energy resources, create jobs and attract new investment. This includes such value-added ideas as partial upgrading, refining, petrochemicals and chemicals manufacturing.

Alberta seeks solar farm proposals (October 6, 2016)
The Alberta government is aiming to support the province’s first solar farm to help meet its green power needs. A Request for Information (RFI) to provide advice on the potential cost and best approach for procuring solar power for half of government operations will be posted today. This will explore the opportunity to use solar energy to replace two existing green energy contracts that expire by the end of 2017 with solar power, and could lead to the first solar farm in Western Canada. The total consumption for the two contracts is 135,000 megawatt hours a year.

Alberta launches Indigenous renewables pilot program (October 5, 2016)
As part of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, the provincial government is launching two small-scale pilot programs for First Nations and Metis communities that invest in local renewable projects that create jobs, reduce emissions and lower utility costs.

Partnership to restore caribou habitat (October 1, 2016)
Government will work with the oil and gas industry over the next five years to restore 10,000 linear kilometres of land that had been cleared for seismic lines in the Little Smoky and A La Peche caribou rangelands.
In keeping with the recommendations of the Denhoff Report released in June, these efforts not only restore critical caribou habitat but will also create local jobs as thousands of trees will be planted over the next five years.

Innovation investment diversifies economy and creates jobs (September 28, 2016)
An investment in bioindustrial innovation is resulting in new products, new jobs and potential for more exports. The Government of Alberta, largely through Alberta Innovates’ bioindustrial innovation program, has supported Ceapro, an innovative Alberta company, to develop its products and commercialize an advanced oat-oil extraction process. As a result, Ceapro is opening a new, larger production facility to supply its customers, such as well-known personal-care product brand, Aveeno – while at the same time doubling its workforce creating 30 new high quality jobs and helping diversify Alberta’s economy.

Alberta promotes investment, strengthens ties with Mexico (September 28, 2016)
Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd will travel to Mexico City from September 29 to October 3. While there, she will promote Alberta companies, new opportunities for investment, and will meet with businesses and the Mexican government on a variety of energy-related policies. Mexico has also requested that the Minister be the guest of honour at a renewable energy event in Mexico City.

Advisory Panel to consult communities on coal transition (September 22, 2016)
The Alberta government has announced a three-member expert panel to meet with community, labour and industry leaders in regions affected by the transition away from coal-fired electricity generation. This fall the Advisory Panel on Coal Communities will begin discussions with workers most affected by the retirements of coal-fired generation plants and associated mining operations, including those in and around Parkland and Leduc Counties, Forestburg and Hanna. Online formexternal link icon

Climate Leadership Plan to position Alberta for success in global innovation race (September 19, 2016)
The Alberta government has appointed a task force to provide recommendations on targeting investments in climate technology to help transition to a lower-carbon economy. As part of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, the Government of Alberta will make historic investments in research and innovation that will reduce emissions. To help guide these investments, the government has appointed an independent task force to engage with Albertans.

Three new proposed oil sands developments receive initial approval following Regulator review (September 15, 2016)
Government has approved the proposals for:

  • The Blackpearl Resources Inc. Blackrod oil sands steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) development
  • The Surmont Energy Ltd. Wildwood oil sands SAGD development
  • The Husky Saleski oil sands development

Collectively these projects represent about $4 billion of potential investment into Alberta’s economy and about 95,000 barrels per day of production. The proposed developments will also fall under the new oil sands 100 megatonne greenhouse gas emissions limit, announced with Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan. These proposals combined equal about 2.5 megatonnes of GHG emissions. The limit is an incentive for innovation, encouraging lower carbon production, more efficient projects and cost-effective emissions reduction strategies.

Renewable energy target improves health, environment (September 14, 2016)
A firm target of 30 per cent of electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030. To help achieve this 30 by ’30, the Government of Alberta will support 5,000 megawatts of additional renewable energy capacity for Albertans.