AB geothermal regulatory environment

The use of non-producing wells for geothermal applications presents a great opportunity for all across western Canada, but especially for Albertans. But the fact of the matter is that the existing regulatory environment has too many gaps at present to allow for Albertans to take full advantage of this opportunity. There is currently a process in place that allows for transitioning orphaned wells, but it’s effectively based on the expectation that whoever takes over wells wants to do so for oil-and-gas-related commercial reasons. Accordingly, the whole process is governed by the Oil and Gas Conservation Act and Pipeline Act – clearly not a perfect fit for Geothermal. And in fact, Alberta does not have any geothermal-specific legislation at this point. That said, there’s a growing appetite and mainstream support for renewables energy all across this great country of ours, including in Alberta, but there remains work to do to escalate and encourage Geothermal from a regulatory requirements perspective. I am confident that our government is working on it as we “speak”.  🙂