The Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board
("ERCB") has closed the comment period
regarding proposed reforms to the province's well spacing
framework for conventional and unconventional oil and gas
At present, Part 4 of the Oil and Gas Conservation
specifies that the normal drilling spacing unit
("DSU") for an oil well is one quarter
section, and the DSU for a gas well is one section. An operator may
apply to the ERCB to order a special DSU which amends the normal
DSU's size, shape or target area on a case-by-case
1. Remove Well Density Controls for Unconventional Gas
Well density controls will be removed for coal bed methane
("CBM") and shale gas reservoirs, and for all gas zones
to the base of the Colorado Group outlined in Schedule 13A of the
OGCR. Existing holdings will require a spacing application to
replace the current approved spacing.
2. Increase Baseline Well Densities for Conventional Gas
The baseline DSU for a gas well will be increased from one
gas well to two gas wells per section. The increased baseline well
density would only apply to lands that are not subject to previous
3. Standardize Target Areas for Standard DSUs
Target areas for the placement of wells would increase in
size so that the target area for the production of gas would be 150
metres from all boundaries of a section and the target area for oil
would be 100 metres from the boundaries of a quarter section.
Furthermore, references in the OGCR to corner target areas would be
eliminated in favour of central target areas across the
4. Streamline Regulations regarding Well Spacing Applications
The special DSU application process will be eliminated in
favour of operators establishing holdings under Part 5 of the OGCR
to allow the operator flexibility to locate wells, increase well
density, avoid surface obstructions and access seismic features
outside of standard target areas.
Additionally, operators drilling on fractional tracts of land will
not be required to apply for a special DSU if the fractional tract
of land meets the OGCR's criteria for a DSU.
In addition to the proposed reforms, the ERCB stated that it would
explore increasing the baseline well density for oil pools from one
well per pool per standard DSU to two wells per pool per standard
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The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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