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Environment Technology

Getting Down and Dirty for Research

AER staff slog in the muck to collect samples for study

Sometimes it’s a dirty job. Last fall, the AER and Alberta Health kicked off a study to discover what substances are present during the “flowback” phase of hydraulic fracturing operations and whether… Read more

Building it Old School: Alberta’s First Pipeline

In April 1912, construction began on the Bow Island

Today, Alberta’s oil and gas pipelines stretch over 422 000 kilometres across the province, but this wasn’t always the case. Over a century ago, Alberta’s first natural gas pipeline broke ground at… Read more

Super-Powered Backpack

Gas measuring device plays a critical role when responding to emergencies

Making the invisible visible doesn’t take superpowers. It takes the right technology. The AER uses an air-quality measuring device known as an infrared spectrometer to detect “fugitive emissions”—gas… Read more

All’s Well That Ends Well

Orphaned, abandoned, reclaimed: understanding how wells are classed

Albertans began prospecting for “black gold” more than a century ago. Years and years of drilling for oil and natural gas has resulted in more than just wealth for the province—it’s resulted in… Read more

Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk

For the uninitiated, visiting a drilling rig is a learning experience

I’m from corporate. I work in the shiny head office in the shiny city of Calgary. But for three days, I traded in the business attire for the grey coveralls worn by the Alberta Energy Regulator’s (… Read more

Anatomy of a Blowout

A glance at the heart of an operation, and how AER keeps its finger on the pulse

Dissecting an oil and gas operation is no small undertaking. Wells reach deep into the earth to pull out oil and natural gas. Drilling and servicing operations have many moving parts and unique… Read more

Drilling Deeper

Five things to know about in situ oil sands development

Oil sands development conjures images of giant trucks and shovels toiling in massive, open-pit mines. The fact is, over half of the production from Alberta’s oil sands occurs through in situ… Read more

Let’s Talk Fracking

AER video explains how it’s done and how we ensure it’s safe

Hydraulic fracturing—commonly known as “fracking”—is in the news a lot. But you may be surprised to learn that it’s not that new. Hydraulic fracturing—a technique to break up the rocks deep inside… Read more

Seeing Infrared

FLIR cameras make invisible gas leaks visible

FLIR GasFindIR infrared cameras, which use thermal technology to trace and visualize volatile gases, have been used by the AER since 2007 to help detect oil and gas field fugitive emissions. FLIR… Read more

Elevating Geological Monitoring to New Heights

Elevating Geological Monitoring to New Heights

Living in Canada’s Rocky Mountains can be idyllic; on occasion, it can also prove perilous. The coal-mining town of Frank, in Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass, can attest to this. On April 29, 1903, it took… Read more

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