Oil Sands Acts and Regulations

The following acts and regulations are applicable to oil sands issues and are available from the Alberta Queen's Printer  web site.

Alberta's oil sands are the third-largest proven crude oil reserves in the world. For potential developers and producers that are new to the development of oil sands in Alberta, the Introduction to Oil Sands Regulatory ProcessesPDF icon outlines the regulatory processes that are involved to acquire an agreement from the Crown, start the development process and follow the agreement to the payment of crown royalties. An overview of the process is illustrated below.

Acts and Regulations


Number Comments
Mines and Minerals Act Chapter M-17
This act governs the management and disposition of rights in Crown-owned minerals, including the levying and collecting of bonuses, rental and royalties (Administration of portions of this act is shared with the Department of  Environment and Parks)
Mines and Minerals Administration RegulationA.R. 262/97
Mines and Minerals Dispute Resolution RegulationA.R. 170/2015This replaced the Oil Sands Dispute Resolution Regulation which was repealed on November 30, 2015.
Oil Sands Tenure Regulation, 2010A.R. 196/2010(Expiry Date Extension) Amendment Regulation OC 408/ 2017
Oil Sands Royalty Regulation, 2009​A.R. 223/2008
Oil Sands Royalty Regulation, 1997A.R. 185/97
Oil Sands Allowed Costs (Ministerial) RegulationA.R. 231/2008
Bitumen Valuation Methodology (Ministerial) RegulationA.R. 232/2008
Petroleum Royalty Regulation, 2009A.R. 222/2008
Oil Sands Conservation ActChapter O-7This act establishes a regulatory regime and scheme of approvals administered by the AER for the development of oil sands resources and related facilities in Alberta.
Oil Sands Conservation RulesA.R. 76/88
Government Organization ActA.R. 44/2001Under this act, the responsibility for certain enactments  were transferred to the Minister of Energy.
Exploration RegulationA.R. 284/2006
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ActChapter F-25
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy RegulationA.R. 186/2008
Natural Gas Royalty Regulation 2009Section 1(1)(zz) and Section 13Portions of this regulation apply to oil sands solution gas, administered by the AER.

An overview of the process is illustrated below. An Electronic Transfer System (ETS) account must be acquired to begin extracting Alberta's Crown oil sands, that is followed by purchasing an agreement, acquiring approval from the Alberta Energy Regulatorexternal link icon(AER), obtaining approval for a Project application from Alberta Energy (optional), and complying with reporting and royalty payment requirements as set by Alberta Energy. It is important to understand each step, illustrated below.