New course provides rare insights, tips for navigating Directive 56 changes

A new course offers the rare opportunity to ask specific questions and receive immediate answers from former Alberta Energy Regulator employees who worked directly with Directive 56.  

In March, the AER made modifications to what is likely the most-commonly used oil and gas directive to align with well licensing procedures incorporated into the OneStop platform. Included in the changes are enhancements to well licensing, which are scheduled to come into effect with the next OneStop wells release. 

Navigating the energy regulator: Understanding the changes to Directive 56 on July 28 will help oil and gas operators navigate any new regulatory hurdles to streamline the application process because of the recent changes, said co-instructor Alanda Allum.  

“A lot of things can be challenging when you’re going into a whole new framework, and not understanding necessarily the requirements that are behind each of those sections within the application,” said Allum. “What we are going to do is highlight some of the major changes and flag a lot of things that people should be aware of in Directive 56.” 

Key changes were made in areas such as new well licences, amendments to well licences, information update submissions on select well licence data to increase integrity, re-entry, resumptions, and deepenings and approval cancellations.  

The course material focuses on the well section but there will be opportunities to ask questions about other components of the directive.  

The teaching team, which also includes Mark Taylor and Rob Cruickshank, has more than 35 years of regulatory expertise and more than 35 years of experience within the energy industry. The ability to ask questions and clear up misunderstandings straight away is one of the strengths of the course, they said.  

Cruickshank said the removal of the ‘how to’ section at the front of the directive is going to be significant for some topics such as participant involvement. He said there is the risk of further audits could be triggered if an applicant inputs incorrect information into OneStop. 

During her time at the AER, many of the audits and a lot of the non-compliances were due to misunderstandings of what was required within the participant involvement program, said Allum. There are also areas that have been streamlined in the new process.  

Attendees will learn the nuances needed to navigate through AER policy, how the changes could impact operations and the impacts of OneStop and how it contributes to Alberta’s Red Tape Reduction Act.  

The course is for regulatory professional, consultants, regulators, anyone who interacts with the AER on well licences, leaders of regulatory teams in the oil and gas sector and surface land and stakeholder engagement team members. 

Taylor said the course will help applicants save time and effort and the confidence that they are filling out the applications correctly. 

“We will share key things that we've seen that has held people up in the past," said Taylor. "So you will know what to avoid. The course will also give you the comfort that you are following the appropriate steps. In a lot of cases, what causes people that extra time and stress at the front end is that they are not 100 per cent sure that they're filling in all the boxes the right way, or they are following the right steps.” 

Click here to register for Navigating the energy regulator: Understanding changes to Directive 56.

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