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Alberta Landowners Guide, Glossary of Terms

Landowners Guide Cover.jpg
3rd edition
Authors:            Duncan Kenyon, Nikki Way, Andrew Read, Barend Dronkers, Benjamin Israel, Binnu Jeyakumar, Nina Lothian
Publisher: Pembina Institute
Publish Date: October 2016
PDF Download: [Landowners' Guide]              [Landowners' Primer]                                                                    
Initiation Phase
Exploration Phase
Development Phase
Pipelines and Other Infrastructure
Environmental Impacts
Abandonment and Reclamation
Compensation, Rights, and Hearings
                Alberta Energy Regulator
                Other Alberta Departments
                Other Resources
                Legal Assistance
                Energy Industry Associations
                Provincial Non-profit Organizations
                Surface Rights and Local Groups
                Responsible Energy Development Act
                AER Oil and Gas Related Legislation
                AER Energy Related Legislation
                Other Provincial Acts
                Documenting Costs
                Glossary of Terms


abandonment (abandoned well or facility)
The permanent deactivation of a well, pipeline or seismic hole. In an abandoned well (cased or uncased), porous and permeable hydrocarbon and/or water bearing formations are effectively isolated through the placement of cement caps.[1] Well abandonment also includes removing the wellhead, cutting the casing off at a depth of one metre below ground surface and welding a steel plate across the opening. Abandonment should ensure there is no potential for damage to the oil and gas remaining in the ground or for the oil or gas to contaminate groundwater. See also orphan well and suspended well.
In the case of a pipeline, abandonment means the permanent deactivation of a pipeline or part of a pipeline, whether or not it has been removed. For seismic holes, abandonment involves ensuring the hole is capped in such a way that there is no chance of damage to groundwater.

acid gas
A gas that results from treating or "sweetening" sour gas; it contains predominantly hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and carbon dioxide.

adverse effect
One condition considered by the Surface Rights Board to determine compensation for a surface lease. The definition typically includes probable future impacts within the next five years and includes extra inconvenience, nuisance and extra costs on the rest of the quarter section where the well site is located. In addition to the fixed entry fee, compensation is also determined by land value, general disturbance in the first year of the lease, loss of use of that land, and other relevant factors.

adversely affected
One of the conditions (besides being directly affected) that you must prove is probable in a statement of concern in order to have your concerns about an energy resource activity application considered by the AER when it reviews the application. (In a regulatory appeal, you must prove this as a fact, not a probability.) Adverse effects are generally understood to be more than moderate adverse consequences. Not to be confused with adverse effect, which is one condition used by the Surface Rights Board to determine compensation for a surface lease.

Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives and Guidelines
A set of objectives and guidelines for air quality in Alberta; they are intended to provide protection of the environment and human health to an extent scientifically, technically, economically, and socially feasible. Air quality objectives are generally averaged over one-hour, 24-hour, and annual periods. They are used to assess compliance of major industrial emission sources, determine the adequacy of facility designs, and track and present information on air quality throughout the province. Guidelines and objectives are reviewed as needed; currently the province has air quality objectives for over 50 substances that could be released to the atmosphere.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
The AER offers an Alternative Dispute Resolution process for disputes related to energy development in Alberta, as an alternative to the hearing process. The ADR process may involve facilitation, mediation, negotiation, arbitration or a combination of these strategies. The ADR process isn’t limited to issues within the jurisdiction of the AER, so in some cases this process may enable a broader range of issues and resolution than what the AER can typically regulate, such as compensation. The process can be used at any point in the project life cycle, from the project planning phase until after the project is complete. Typically, the ADR program is voluntary, unless required by hearing commissioners after an application has been recommended for a hearing. Projects under the jurisdiction of the National Energy Board use a similar process known as Appropriate Dispute Resolution.

In arbitration, a neutral third party assesses evidence in a dispute around an agreement; the decision they make is legally binding on both sides. The process is governed by the Alberta Arbitration Act.


To refill a hole, often with material that was originally excavated. base of groundwater protection As used by the AER, the approximate depth where non-saline groundwater changes to saline groundwater.

A system or arrangement of tanks or other surface equipment receiving the production from one or more wells prior to delivery to market or other disposition, and may include equipment or devices for separating the product into oil, gas or water.

The uncontrolled release of crude oil or natural gas from a well during drilling or operations.

A group of volatile aromatic hydrocarbons — benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes — often found together.


carbon capture and storage
The process of collecting CO2 from an industrial application and storing it underground, in order to reduce releases of this greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.

cased-hole abandonment
The abandonment of a completed well when it is no longer required for production. A bridge plug is put into the well, inside the casing, to prevent upward movement of hydrocarbons.

The lining put into a well. Usually several casings are installed as a well is drilled and put into production. The production casing is a tubular steel pipe threaded on each end and connected with couplings. It extends the total length of the wellbore to ensure safe control of production, prevent water from entering the wellbore and keep rock formations from slumping into the well bore.

Class I pipeline
A pipeline’s class, for regulatory purposes, is defined by an index that is based on a product of its size and length. A Class I pipeline has an index of 2690 or greater, and must be approved by the AER.

Class II pipeline
A pipeline’s class, for regulatory purposes, is defined by an index that is based on a product of its size and length. Class II pipelines have an index less than 2690, and are generally small and/or short pipelines; they are not approved by the AER but they follow the same environmental protection guidelines as Class I pipelines. Class II pipelines also include any pipeline regulated by the National Energy Board.

coalbed methane (CBM)
Methane that is trapped in a coalbed. The methane gas comes to the surface at lower pressure and may need to be compressed before it is transported. If coalbed methane contains water, the gas must be dewatered and the waste water disposed of.

A well is completed when drilling is finished and the resources can begin to be extracted: the casing is complete, the well site is finished and the production infrastructure has been installed.

A device, driven by large gas or electric engines, used to create and maintain pressure in a gas pipeline so that the gas will flow through process units and pipelines. Compressors may be located at a wellhead, battery, gas plant or along a pipeline. Long pipelines may require a series of compressor stations along the pipeline to boost pressure.

In the context of energy resources, the planning, management and implementation of a activity to prevent the waste of energy resources. An example includes the conservation of natural gas as a byproduct of oil production.

critical sour well
A well that could release sour gas, which could affect nearby residents. The designation reflects the well's proximity to an urban centre and its maximum potential hydrogen sulphide (H2S) release rate during the drilling stage. The operator must prepare a detailed drilling plan that addresses all aspects of a proposed operation. A critical well is classified according to the Alberta Energy Regulator’s Directive 056: Energy Development Applications and Schedules.

Crown land
Lands owned by either provincial or federal governments. The provincial government uses the term public land to refer to land administered under the Public Lands Act, to avoid confusion with other provincial and federal land.


The separation of water from hydrocarbons, especially in coalbed methane operations.

directly affected
One of the conditions (besides being adversely affected) that you must prove is probable in a statement of concern in order to have your concerns about an energy resource activity application considered by the AER when it reviews the application. (In a regulatory appeal, you must prove this as a fact, not a probability.) In general, to be directly affected a person must prove that the effects upon them are greater than the average Albertan. Whether or not a person is directly affected will vary from case to case.

down-hole abandoment
A stage in well abandonment that includes the installation of cement caps in the bore and cutting off the casing. It does not include the surface abandoment or the reclamation of the lease site.

The first stage in well construction, when the initial well is bored into the surface of the earth. Seismic holes may also be drilled for seismic testing in the exploratory stages of development.

drilling mud
Fluid circulated down the drill pipe during drilling to remove cuttings, cool and lubricate the drill bit and maintain the desired pressure in the well.

A facility that removes the water that occurs in some natural gas, to prevent the corrosion and freezing of gas pipelines.


The right to use a specific portion of another's land for a specific purpose. Easements are very similar to rights-of-way and are usually registered on the title of the property. An example of an easement is a right-of-way for a pipeline.

Liquid waste from an oil operation, usually containing oil products, chemicals used in production, and waste water.

emergency planning zone (EPZ)
An area surrounding a well where residents or other members of the public may be at risk in the event of an uncontrolled release of hydrogen sulphide (H2S). The company must be prepared to respond immediately to any event in the EPZ, and to inform the public and assist them to evacuate in case of emergency in the zone.

energy resource enactments
Laws governing the extraction and management of energy resources including oil, natural gas and coal. This includes the Coal Conservation Act, Gas Resources Preservation Act, Oil and Gas Conservation Act, Oil Sands Conservation Act, Pipeline Act, the Turner Valley Unit Operations Act, and all associated rules and regulations.

enhanced oil recovery (EOR)
Using water or carbon dioxide to maintain the pressure in an almost-depleted oil reservoir, the enable the extraction of more oil.

equivalent land capability
The ability of land that has been conserved or reclaimed to support various land uses similar to those that existed prior to an activity being conducted on the land, but not necessarily identical.

expedited application
A project application may be expedited (a routine application) when an application is submitted to the AER with no outstanding concerns or objections, a landowner agrees to a surface lease or to proceed to the Surface Rights Board, the company is compliant with all technical and participant involvement requirements, and the company is not requesting exceptions. An expedited application allows the Regulator to make a decision immediately without waiting for a statement of concern filing deadline to pass.


An informal process for resolving problems that involves a third party who helps to guide discussions between other parties in dispute about an issue. Such a facilitator encourages all those involved to participate actively in the discussion and work together to find an effective solution to problems. The primary responsibility for resolving the problems rests with the two parties in dispute.

The burning of unwanted gases from a well or processing facility. It may be routine or occur due to an upset. The two common types of flaring are well test flaring and solution gas flaring. Well test flaring is carried out when a new well is drilled, to burn off gases while the chemical content of the gases is being tested. Solution gas flaring occurs at batteries or wells where oil from one or more wells is processed and stored. Flaring is sometimes necessary at temporary stacks, as part of pipeline maintenance operations. Gas processing plants also use flares, to burn off by-products for which there is no market and to burn off gas during emergency conditions.

flowback fluids
A mixture of injection fluids, reservoir fluids and gases that flows back up the wellbore and to the surface after each pressurization cycle in hydraulic fracturing. Flowback fluids must be captured, contained, and disposed of to avoid surface contamination. Pits can be used to store the flowback fluid; however, above-ground storage tanks should be used to minimize risk of contamination from leaks and spills.

fracturing, fracking
See hydraulic fracturing.

freehold mineral rights
The ownership of, and legal right to recover, specific minerals from a specified piece of land is known as mineral rights ownership. The Alberta governement holds mineral rights for the majority (81%) of land in Alberta, the federal government approximately 9%, while companies and a few individuals have freehold mineral rights over the remaining 10% of the land. A owner of surface land does not typically own the mineral rights beneath the land.


gas processing plant
Gas processing plants remove unwanted substances from the gas before it is transported and sold as marketable natural gas. Some substances are separated out for sale, such as methane, ethane, propane, butane and pentanes. There are also contaminants in the raw gas that much be removed to meet quality specifications, such as water, hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon dioxide, nitrogen and other trace gases. There are almost 800 gas processing plants in Alberta.
Sulphur may be recovered for sale, but any excess H2S is flared or incinerated, with combustion converting most of the H2S to sulphur dioxide (SO2). The sulphur dioxide is released to the atmosphere.

Water the collects or flows under the surface of the ground. Groundwater can either be saline (total dissolved solids in excess of 4,000 mg/L) or non-saline. Non-saline groundwater is not necessarily potable, but may be used for other uses. See also surface water.


A process used by the Alberta Energy Regulator, the Surface Rights Board and other similar regulatory bodies to listen to arguments and evidence before deciding an issue. The AER can decide to hold a hearing on an energy resource application if concerns about the application have not been dealt with and landowners and companies have not come to an agreement. The AER will consider all accepted statements of concern before making a decision whether to hold a hearing, and it may decide not to do so.

horizontal drilling (directional drilling)
Traditionally, most wells were drilled vertically, but with new technology wells are more commonly drilled horizontally along underground formations to access resources that would otherwise be unreachable or unprofitable to develop. Typically horizontal drilling can reduce costs by using one well pad for multiple horizontal wells, which may result in less surface disturbance. Horizontal drilling is often also combined with hydraulic fracturing.

hydraulic fracturing (fracturing, fracking, multi-stage hydraulic fracturing)
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking involves pumping special fluids (fracturing fluids)

into a well at high pressure to crack or fracture the formation, accessing oil or gas contained in small pores in the rock, and enabling the oil or gas to more easily flow into the well bore. Hydraulic fracturing is typically combined with horizontal drilling.

hydrogen sulphide (H2S)
A poisonous gas that occurs naturally and comes to the surface in "sour" gas wells. It also occurs in sewer gas. The “rotten egg” smell associated with H2S can be detected when concentrations are as low as 0.001 to 0.13 ppm. Concentrations as low as 1–5 ppm may lead to nausea or headaches with prolonged exposure. Concentrations of 20–50 ppm may cause irritation of the nose, throat, and lung, digestive upset and a loss of appetite; as well, one’s sense of smell may become fatigued so odour can’t be relied on as a warning of exposure. Sense of smell temporarily disappears at concentrations of 100–200 ppm, and is accompanied by severe nose, throat and lung irritation. At 250–500 ppm, exposure can lead to pulmonary edema, a potentially fatal buildup of fluid in the lungs. Concentrations above 500 ppm could lead to respiratory paralysis, irregular heartbeat, collapse, and death. While these acute effects of H2S are of greatest concern, there are indications that cumulative low-level exposure can also affect health, even though it is not known what levels constitute a health risk to the general public or sensitive individuals. Pure H2S is slightly heavier than air, so it does not disperse rapidly in enclosed spaces and may collect in low-lying areas such as valleys. The average H2S content of sour gas produced in Alberta is 10%, although the concentration can range from trace amounts to more than 80%.


Combustion of waste gases at a well site. Unlike flaring, where gas is simply ignited at the stack, in incineration gases are combusted under controlled conditions in a closed chamber. When properly done, incineration provides a more complete combustion of the produced gases and generally minimizes the air pollutants released.


land agent (landman)
A person whom the energy company employs to negotiate with landowners and occupants, and secure and administer oil and gas leases and other agreements. Land agents are also referred to as landmen. In Alberta, landmen are licensed and regulated under the Land Agents Licensing Act.

The person whose name is on the Certificate of Title to the land issued under the Land Titles Act. This term is used generally to describe the person who owns the land.

The person or company that leases land from the lessor. (A person who has agricultural rights on public lands is referred to as an agricultural disposition holder or an agricultural leaseholder.)

The person who leases lands to the lessee.


A situation that is too difficult or controversial to be resolved by facilitation may move to mediation. A neutral and impartial third party, the mediator, works with those involved in a dispute to minimize conflict and help the parties make their own, mutually acceptable decisions. A mediator may clarify the issues, identify the specific concerns and needs of each party and suggest different ways the issues could be resolved. For mediation to be successful, the parties must agree to seek a common solution.


Negotiation is the process of reaching an agreement in a dispute as each party works for their preferred outcome. It can occur directly by principals or indirectly through agents such as lawyers.

non-expedited application
See non-routine application.

If landowners, occupants or residents have no outstanding concerns about an application for a project, they may confirm this in a statement of non-objection to the company. Depending on the type of application, this is necessary for a company to confirm from landowner, occupants, and/or residents in order to submit an expedited or routine application.

non-routine application
If there are any outstanding objections to an application or the company was not able to secure a confirmation of non-objection (or due to other technical or administrative circumstances) , a company must file a non-routine application and include a summary of outstanding concerns or issues. Concerned parties have until the statement of concern filing deadline (listed in a notice of application) to submit a statement of concern about the application with the Regulator. The AER will only make a decision on this application after the filing deadline has passed; these applications are thus also called non-expedited.

non-saline groundwater, non-saline aquifer
Groundwater with low levels of salts, usually defined as less than 4,000 mg per litre total dissolved solids. Extractive wells may be drilled into shallow, non-saline aquifers, can potentially contaminate nearby shallow potable water aquifers. Non-saline water may be extracted along with natural gas or coalbed methane. It is removed from these resources and managed differently than saline groundwater.


The person, other than the owner, who has certain rights to the land and is in actual possession of the land. The occupant may also be referred to as the tenant. In the case of government-owned land, such as a grazing lease on public land, the occupant is the person shown in the records to have an interest in the land. In the Surface Rights Act, section 1(g), an occupant may also be a company that has been granted a right-of-entry to land under a right-of-entry order.
Note that the definition of an occupant used in this guide is more general than the definition used by the AER. In Directive 056, Appendix 3, the AER distinguishes between landowners, occupants, residents and Crown land disposition holders.

A deposit of sand saturated with bitumen. The bitumen may be extracted by surface mining or by injecting steam through a well.

Usually the company that is carrying out some activity. It includes the holder of a licence, approval or permit issued by the AER. In the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act it means an approval or registration holder who carries on or has carried on an activity on or in respect to specified land pursuant to an approval or registration. In the Surface Rights Act it means the company that has the right to conduct surveys or extract the oil, gas or other mineral.

orphan well
If the company holding the licence to operate a well becomes defunct or insolvent before it can abandon or reclaim the operation, the well is an orphan and no owner or party can be held responsible for the cleanup. The proper abandonment and reclamation of orphan wells (and pipelines) is paid for through the Orphan Fund, which is financed by a levy on suspended wells and managed by the Orphan Well Association.

The person in whose name a Certificate of Title has been issued under to the Land Titles Act.


permit agent
A person whom the energy company employs to negotiate with landowners and occupants, and secure permission and access to undertake geophysical exploration. The permit agent may be certified. This is different than a land agent, who negotiates

ppm (parts per million)
The ratio by mass of a pollutant and its solution. A typical measurement is milligrams of pollutant per kilogram of water.

A temporary storage area for liquid or semi-liquid waste produced during drilling or operations; also known as a sump.

pre-application concern
A notification filed with the AER before an application is submitted to the Regulator. This notifies the AER and the company that you have concerns, and can be submitted by anyone. A pre-application concern does not act as a statement of concern and you cannot request a hearing through a pre-application concern, so unless your concerns have been satisfactorily dealt with, it should be followed by an official statement of concern once the application has been submitted.

private surface agreement
A written agreement between a landowner and an energy company that contains terms and conditions of operations, and can be registered with the AER on the Private Surface Agreements Registry. The landowner can use the registry to ask the AER to intervene if the company is not complying with the terms of the agreement.

public land
Lands administered under the Public Lands Act, such as grazing lease dispositions, are referred to as public lands, to avoid confusion with other Crown lands.


As defined in the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, reclamation means any or all of the following:
  • the removal of equipment or buildings or other structures
  • the decontamination of buildings or other structures or land or water
  • the stabilization, contouring, maintenance, conditioning or reconstruction of the surface of the land to a state of equivalent land capability.
  • any other procedure, operation or requirement specified in the regulations under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

reclamation certificate
The certificate issued by the AER to indicate that any land disturbed by an energy activity has been reclaimed and all AER requirements have been met. When applying to the AER, the operator must include an analysis of contamination and a report detailing how contaminants were cleaned and how surface issues such as soil replacement and revegetation were addressed. The AER conducts both random and targeted audits on certified sites. Certificates can be cancelled if the company fails an audit, or a landowner complains and the site is found to be noncompliant with reclamation criteria. A company remains liable if conservation and reclamation problems arise within 25 years after issuance of the certificate.

The removal or neutralization of chemical substances from a site to mitigate or prevent any adverse effects. Also known as decommissioning or decontamination.

remediation certificate
The certificate issued by the AER to indicate that remediation has been conducted according to the AER’s requirements.

request to participate
Once the AER decides to hold a hearing it will issue a notice that includes details on how to request to participate in the hearing. Those who think they are directly and adversely affected can request to participate, as can anyone who thinks they have a tangible interest in the matter and can materially assist the AER in their decision, even if they are not considered directly and adversely affected.

A resident is defined by the AER as a person occupying a residence on a temporary or permanent basis. See also occupant.

reservoir fluids
A mixture of fluids found in a petroleum reservoir, which usually includes oil and water. These can flow to the surface during drilling and well testing, and during hydraulic fracturing.

right-of-entry order
An order of the Surface Rights Board granting an operator access to and use of a certain area of the land surface for operations such as drilling and roadway construction.

A legal right to pass through land owned by another. Also, a term used for land set aside for a road, pipeline, or other infrastructure; see also easement.

routine application
A company may submit a routine application for a project if there are no outstanding concerns, objections, or other technical reasons designated by the AER. The AER may proceed to make a decision on the application immediately, without waiting for a filing deadline to pass (an expedited application).


saline groundwater, saline water
Groundwater with high levels of salts, usually defined as more than 4,000 mg per litre total dissolved solids. It is usually found at a lower depth than non-saline groundwater (see also base of groundwater protection) and often is extracted along with natural gas or coalbed methane. It is removed from these resources and usually reinjected deep underground. Saline water must be carefully managed during production to avoid contaminating non-saline aquifers.

shot hole
In a seismic survey, dynamite charges are detonated in shallow shot holes. Shot holes should be plugged and sealed when testing is complete.

seismic hole
See shot hole.

seismic survey
A survey of the geological layers under the ground, conducted by sending out vibrations and measuring the way in which these are reflected back from the different layers. The vibrations may be created by dynamite charges in holes (usually 12 to 18 metres deep) or by mechanical vibrations at the surface (vibroseis). Data is recorded on receiving devices — either in two dimensions using one line of receiver “geo-phones” along a shot line, or more often now with a three-dimensional technique using simultaneous recording along multiple receiver lines. This enables geophysicists and geologists to identify the geological structure and formations where oil or gas may be found.

The distance required to separate a project, such as a well or pipeline, from another activity, such as human settlement, water well or water course.

shale gas
Methane gas found in shale formations; it is extracted using hydraulic fracturing rather than standard gas extraction wells.

shut-in well
See suspended well.

solution gas
Natural gas that comes to the surface with crude oil. The gas may be sweet or sour (containing hydrogen sulphide (H2S)). The gas is dissolved in oil at high pressures under the ground, but released at surface pressure. If the quantities are too small to pipe or conserve economically, the gas may be flared; see also flaring.

sour gas
Natural gas, including solution gas, containing hydrogen sulphide (H2S).

specified land
Land that is being or has been used for, or is being held for or in connection with, the construction, operation, or reclamation of a well, oil production site, battery or pipeline. This term is used in the Conservation and Reclamation Regulation, authorized by the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

specified enactments
Regulatory documents and laws that govern the protection of the environment around energy activities. These include the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act, Public Lands Act, and the Water Act.

A person with an interest in an issue. In the case of oil and gas resource development, this may include nearby residents, recreational users of land, local business, environmental groups and various government agencies as well as the company, its staff and contractors.

statement of concern
A written submission to the AER that outlines specific concerns about an energy resource activity application. A statement of concern may be filed by anyone who believes they may be directly and adversely affected by an application.

straddle plant
A gas processing plant that is close to a gas transmission pipeline, which extracts natural gas liquids from the gas and then returns the gas to the pipeline.

The layer of soil directly below the topsoil that generally has much less organic matter than topsoil. It can also be defined as the zone below the ploughed soil in which roots normally grow.

surface abandonment
A stage in well abandonment that includes removal of all the wellhead equipment, but not the down-hole abandoment or the reclamation of the lease site.

surface water
Water in a watercourse such as a lake, river, stream or wetland. In some cases surface water is considered to include groundwater at a depth of not more than 15 metres beneath the surface of the ground.

suspended well
A well site where operations have been temporarily halted for economic, environmental or other reasons. The well may or may not have produced in the past. Wellhead equipment will still be present, but the operator must ensure that the well or facility is left in a safe and secure condition. A well must be suspended within 12 months after the last production or injection, unless it is an observation well or intended to produce for seasonal markets.

sweet gas
Gas that does not contain hydrogen sulphide (H2S). If even a trace of H2S is present a well is classed as a sour gas well.

synergy group
A group comprising local landowners and residents, representatives of the government and companies working together to exchange information and resolve issues related to oil and gas development. Other members may include municipal governments, Chambers of Commerce, and industry people from other sectors.


tight reserves
Oil and gas found in shale rock and other types of non-porous geological formations. This includes shale gas. Tight reserves are produced using hydraulic fracturing.

The surface layer of mineral soil, often containing organic matter. It provides structure and nutrients needed for germination and growth of plants and usually an adequate medium for the germination and growth of plants. It normally contains the majority of the plant roots.


unrestricted country development
Any collection of permanent dwellings situated outside an urban centre having a density of more than eight dwellings per quarter section.

urban centre
A city, town village or hamlet with not fewer than 50 separate occupied dwellings.


Venting occurs when solution gases from oil wells, batteries or tanks are released unburned to the air. Some venting may also occur from compressor vents, instrument gas stations, pneumatic devices, dehydrators and storage tanks. This release of unburned hydrocarbons to the atmosphere creates odours and exposure to potentially harmful substances. Vented gas also contributes to global climate change and wastes a non-renewable resource. Current AER regulations set standards for venting and allow venting of small volumes of gas where it is not considered practical to conserve or flare it.

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  1. This material is from the Pembina Institute publication 'Landowners' Guide to Oil and Gas Development, 3rd edition (2016)'