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Sat May 25, 2019, 07:04 AM

Freedumb! New Alberta Gov Will Dispense Nearly All Oil & Gas Licenses Online In 15 Minutes

The vast majority of approvals for Alberta’s oil and gas wells will soon be automated, reducing waiting times for drilling companies to as little as 15 minutes, The Narwhal has learned. The Alberta Energy Regulator confirmed to The Narwhal by e-mail that it expects to begin implementing automated approval for routine well licences later this year, though lobbying records indicate the system could be rolled out as early as next month.

With the change, staff will no longer review most applications from companies seeking to drill a new oil or gas well.

In lobbying records obtained by The Narwhal through a freedom of information request, Richard Wong, manager of operations with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), said the association anticipates 90 per cent of routine well applications could soon be automatically approved by OneStop, the online tool used to submit requests for permits and licences to the Alberta Energy Regulator.

The Narwhal was charged $643.95 by the Alberta Energy Regulator — an industry-funded corporation in charge of overseeing Alberta’s energy industry — to access the documents. The fee was paid by readers who donated specifically to cover these costs.

When asked for details, CAPP told The Narwhal by email that these approvals refer to applications that are “anticipated to be low-risk and, as such, the approval of each of those applications would be expedited.” Wong, who shared CAPP’s analysis of the proposed new processes with the Alberta Energy Regulator, wrote in the documents obtained by The Narwhal that CAPP anticipated the move to automation could contribute to between $67 million and $136 million in cost savings, and that the “average business days for those approvals would accelerate … to 15 minutes.”



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