Written by Brad Gilmour, Keely Cameron and Micaela Zila
Amidst a global collapse in oil prices, sectors of Alberta's industry have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies in the natural resource and energy industries are facing unique challenges associated with complying with regulatory requirements during COVID-19. Various levels of government have responded to this situation by offering environmental/regulatory reporting relief, including relief from certain requirements under the Coal Conservation Act, the Oil and Gas Conservation Act, and the Oil Sands Conservation Act. However, it is important to note that other requirements have not been relaxed or suspended—notably, those outlined in the Alberta Energy Regulator's (AER) Directive 067.
Directive 067 outlines the eligibility requirements for proponents holding energy licences and approvals, and requires companies to meet these requirements on an ongoing basis. Licence and approval holders must ensure that the information the AER has on file is accurate and up to date.
Proponents must provide the AER with an updated Schedule I within 30 days of any material change. If the AER deems a change has resulted in an unreasonable risk, it can revoke or restrict eligibility.
As outlined on page 6 of Directive 067, material changes include:
- changes to legal status and corporate structure;
- addition or removal of a related corporate entity;
- amalgamation, merger, or acquisition;
- changes to directors, officers, or control persons;
- appointment of a monitor, receiver, or trustee over the licensee’s property;
- plan of arrangement or any other transaction that results in a material change to the operations of the licensee;
- the sale of all or substantially all of the licensee’s assets; or,
- cancellation of insurance coverage.
As companies continue to adapt to changing economic circumstances, many "material changes" are likely to occur. Licensees have the option of seeking an advance ruling from the AER to determine whether a proposed change would be considered an "unreasonable risk" by the regulator prior to executing the change.
If you have any questions on regulatory compliance and reporting requirements, please do not hesitate to contact Brad Gilmour, Keely Cameron or Micaela Zila. We are here to help as needed and to discuss your plan to respond, adapt and recover from COVID-19 and any issues you may face in complying with your regulatory requirements. In addition, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre for other COVID-19-related materials.