Editor’s note: This story was first published January 22, 2017, and has been updated to reflect the 80th anniversary of energy regulation in Alberta.
This week, Alberta’s energy regulator blows out 80 candles and reflects on decades of achievements.
A lot can change in 80 years; the complex job of regulating energy development in Alberta is no exception. Since being created in 1938, the regulator has dramatically evolved in response to changes in government legislation, shifts in priorities, and increases in responsibility.
The regulator’s first and only task was to promote resource conservation; in other words, put an end to wasteful gas flares that lit up Alberta skies. Today, the regulator’s responsibilities go far beyond by overseeing every stage of energy development. More so, the Alberta Energy Regulator’s mandate includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.
Needless to say, as Alberta’s energy industry has grown, so too has its watchdog. In honour of this week’s meaningful occasion, let’s look back at how the provincial regulator has grown since its first year:
|The name||Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board (PNGCB)||Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)|
|Number of employees||12||1186|
|Areas of expertise||1 chairman, 4 engineer-inspectors, 2 stenographers, and 1 accountant-statistician, plus 4 others.||too many to count—inspectors, technical staff, scientists, investigators, stakeholder engagement specialists, mediators, lawyers, regulatory experts, and on and on.|
|Number of field staff||4||72 field inspectors in addition to dozens of other field support staff.|
|Head office||Alberta Government Telephones Building, Calgary.||Centennial Place, Calgary, with regional offices in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, and Slave Lake.|
|Field centre locations||1 in the Black Diamond/Turner Valley area.||9, in Bonnyville, Drayton Valley, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, High Level, Medicine Hat, Midnapore, Red Deer, and Wainwright.|
|Number of operating wells regulated||294||over 167 000|