What we do
ERCB approval is required at almost every step of an energy project's life in Alberta.
The ERCB regulates (2011 annual production numbers):
- 181 200 operating natural gas and oil wells
- 39 800 oil and gas batteries, plants, and other facilities
- 399 000 km of pipelines
- 11 producing coal mines
- 8 oil sands mines, >50 thermal/enhanced in situ projects, 190 primary recovery projects (in situ), and 20 experimental projects
The ERCB is responsible for managing Alberta's energy resources, including (2011 annual production numbers):
- 179 million barrels of conventional crude oil
- 637 million barrels of bitumen
- 311 million barrels in situ
- 326 million barrels surface-minable
- 204 million barrels of natural gas liquids
- 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (including 9.0 billion m3 of coalbed methane)
- 335 million tonnes of coal
Refer to any of the data sets with in ST98: Alberta's Energy Reserves & Supply/Demand Outlook for measurement conversions
Why is regulation needed?
The government of Alberta owns about 80 per cent of the province's mineral rights, such as oil, natural gas, coal, and the oil sands. In other words, most resources are owned by the people of Alberta through their government.
While private companies can develop these resources, the ERCB is authorized by the government to protect the public's interest relating to the discovery, development, and delivery of these resources. Regulation is needed so that non-renewable resources are produced in a safe, responsible, and efficient manner, without waste.
The ERCB also ensures that everyone affected by development has a chance to be heard. When conflicts regarding development remain unresolved between companies and landowners, the ERCB works to settle the issues in a fair and balanced manner.
ERCB Application and Hearing Activity
In 2011, the ERCB received over 39 500 applications relating to energy facilities (including wells, pipelines, batteries, and gas plants), resources.
The ERCB holds public hearings about applications and other matters. In 2011, the ERCB held 10 hearings. Information about hearings can be found at the Hearings page of this website and in the ERCB's Annual Hearing Summary.
Annual Reports and Plans
Business Plan (The 2011-2014 business plan for the Ministry of Energy)
Annual Report The Annual Report for the ERCB is contained within the Ministry of Energy Annual Report. This link will take you to the Department of Energy website where you will be able to access the Annual Reports.