AER hearing TransAlta v Saturn Oil & Gas and Westbrick Energy (plan to frac and quake under Brazeau hydroelectric dam) adjorned – yet again. Parties negotiating with gov’t (why is Alberta Justice involved?). Has Danielle Smith’s boss – Cenovus, CAPP et al, ordered her to remove the 2019 frac restrictions at and near the dam?

Image is a few years old, wetland health is much worse now in the severe drought and after years of companies frac’ing Alberta dry.

Image by Barb Ryan, Fox Creek, Alberta Frac Central

Important history:

2019: Alberta Imposes New Frac’ing Restrictions Near Brazeau Dam after Quakes

I think Alberta’s Premier Danielle Smith has been given her marching orders by industry to undo all the (scant) protections against the many known horrific harms frac’ers cause above and below ground. Expect to see the removal of the above frac restrictions near the dam, and to remain removed, no matter how many quakes frac’ers cause there or anywhere.

Or, they adjourned because frac’ers have sucked Alberta dry and there isn’t enough water left for companies to frac what they want to frac, and they are fighting over the dregs.

Or, because the recent fast magnitude-growing frac quakes at Fox Creek and elsewhere have them nervous and Big Oil Dildo Danielle ordered AER to stop posting frac quake information.

To read AER’s decision to adjorn, yet again, without my Snark:



… Now shut down the UCP plans to frack near the Brazeau Dam, mine the Rockies, and so on.

AER Proceeding 379
February 2, 2024
By email only
Stikeman Elliott LLP Bennett Jones LLP
Attention: Dennis Langen Attention: Martin Ignasiak, KC
Dentons Canada LLP Rae and Company
Attention: Laura Estep Attention: Brooke Barrett
Westbrick Energy Ltd.
Attention: Alana Jensen

Re: Saturn Oil & Gas Inc. and Westbrick Energy Ltd. (collectively the Applicants)
Well License Applications/Brazeau Dam

Panel Decision on the Applicants’ Motion to Adjourn and Reschedule the Oral Hearing

Dear Representatives:

On January 29, 2024, the Applicants filed a motion to adjourn and reschedule the oral hearing for this proceeding for April 2025 (exhibit 414.01). The motion was filed pursuant to sections 44 and 46 of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice.

TransAlta commenced a civil action in the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta in 2022 (KB Action), in which TransAlta and Alberta are parties and Cenovus is an intervenor (KB Parties).

The Applicants have been informed that the KB Parties have been engaged in and are
continuing a mediation in respect of the KB Action which, if successful, may result in the KB
Parties changing their positions with respect to the Proceeding and may significantly
streamline the Proceeding. … If TransAlta’s lawsuit is in mediation, does that mean the court gagged the case as often happens with harms by the oil and gas industry? If so, this means means those at risk downstream, such as in Edmonton and other communities along the river that might flood if frac quakes suddenly bust the dam, will never know what hits them…

If gov’t is interfering with AER’s process, we can be assured the outcome will be unsafe and will let frac’ers do whatever the hell they want, no matter if there isn’t enough water for Albertans to drink, who the frac’ers kill or what they destroy with their frac quakes. TransAlta and Cenovus both advised that an adjournment is required to allow those negotiations to continue to progress.

Alberta confirmed it has been working closely with executives from TransAlta and Cenovus to address concerns about induced seismicity and provide for the safe and timely development of mineral rights deregulate and allow frac’ing in proximity to the Brazeau Dam. Alberta stated the KB parties have made significant progress and Alberta is optimistic that, with additional time, they will be able to resolve these matters in a manner that is in the public interestAER has zero public interest mandate, the gov’t removed it via REDA after my lawsuit went public and the Alberta gov’t for sure has zero interest in protecting Albertans or the public interest from harm by frac’ers, certainly not harms by Cenovus, Encana spawn and acceptable to all the parties.

Alberta further stated that an adjournment in this proceeding is necessary to allow the parties’ work towards a resolution to continue.

AER’s mandate includes conserving water? Pffffft, liars.

If AER were telling the truth in their above propaganda, they would have banned all frac’ing throughout Alberta because of the human pollution caused global warming crisis, severe water shortages (likely cumulatively caused by frac’ers sucking Canada dry and increasing years of increasing excessive heat) and leaking frac’d methane likely feeding extreme wildfires

In its response on January 30, 2024 (exhibit 418.01), O’Chiese First Nation advised that it is not a party to the KB Action and was only made aware of these discussions when this motion was filed.

O’Chiese First Nation objected to the Applicants’ motion for the following reasons:

  1. O’Chiese First Nation has continually asserted that Crown consultation is required with respect to the issues of induced seismicity, dam safety and potential impacts to O’Chiese First Nation’s Treaty No. 6 Rights.

2. The mediation appears to be focused on the very issue for which O’Chiese First Nation has requested consultation from the Crown. From O’Chiese First Nation’s perspective, Alberta seems willing to address TransAlta and Cenovus’ concerns but not O’Chiese First Nation’s concerns.Always ignoring or over-riding the harmed is the Alberta and AER Way. They serve only industry, never those impacted by industry and or AER.

3. In light of the fact that Alberta has not engaged with O’Chiese First Nation on the issue of induced seismicity and dam safety and because Alberta has indicated to O’Chiese First Nation that it will be relying on the AER process to fulfill the honour of the Crown and its consultation obligations, it is the expectation of O’Chiese First Nation that AER Proceeding 379 will proceed as scheduled.

4. A delay in the hearing will deprive the O’Chiese First Nation of its right to be consulted in a timely manner on the issue of dam safety and induced seismicity.

We received reply submissions from the Applicants, TransAlta, Cenovus, and Alberta in response to O’Chiese First Nation’s submission. The Applicants submit that this proceeding relates to the ten applications for well licences but how many horizontals per well, how much laddering, how many hundreds/thousands of frac’s and how much water lost permanently to the hydrogeological cycle?before the AER and is not as broad as O’Chiese First Nation asserts.

Through the proceeding O’Chiese First Nation may raise concerns specific to the applications and any potential impacts on O’Chiese First Nation rights.But they will all be ignored, no matter how severe the damages forced on O’Chiese FN are. The purpose of the proceeding is not to consider a framework for the broader long-term solution relating to the potential for induced seismicity from hydraulic fracturing activities in the vicinity of the Brazeau facility. The Applicants further submitted that adjourning and rescheduling the oral hearing in the proceeding in no way prevents any Crown consultation with the O’Chiese First Nation.

Reasons and Decision
Section 46 of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice reads as follows:

The Regulator may, on its own initiative or on motion by a party, adjourn a proceeding on
any terms that the Regulator considers appropriate. It is within the discretion of the panel to grant an adjournment on terms that it considers appropriate. However, we must consider whether doing so results in prejudice that deprives any party of its legal rights.

We find that granting the adjournment results in no such prejudice. That’s because AER always prejudices against the harmed, except in the odd performance case to con Albertans into thinking there’s a regulator. Our reasons are as follows:

  1. This panel will retain its authority to decide the applications under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act
    The Applicants in this proceeding have jointly requested an adjournment for the KB Parties to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution of the issues between them. It is significant that this motion is brought by the Applicants, suggesting there is a real and genuine opportunity for settlement.Or, the Alberta gov’t has decreed that there will be nothing but full steam frac ahead, and the no frac’ing protections around the Brazeau facility will be removed by Big Oil Dildo Danielle as commanded by the industry that controls her, and that she will guarantee that tax payers will fund all and any damages to the facility caused by frac’ers and or frac quakes they induce.
    However, the wells cannot be drilled without approval from the AER, regardless of the outcome of the mediation. The panel is still required to consider and decide the well licence applications filed under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act following the conclusion of the KB Parties’ wider settlement discussions. The AER will still be required to hear and consider any issues that remain between the parties at the rescheduled April 2025 hearing.I’ll believe that when I see it.
  2. Adjourning the hearing may result in meaningful resolution of some of the issues
    The history of this proceeding is long and complicated. We acknowledge that the adjournment may be inconvenient, and result in further delays. The outcome of the mediation process, however, could narrow the issues or change the positions of the parties in this proceeding. The outcome of the mediation related to the KB Action could have a substantial impact on this proceeding such that it would be inefficient and impractical to proceed with the hearing at this time.
  3. There is no significant prejudice to O’Chiese First Nation
    We acknowledge O’Chiese First Nation’s concern that it is not a party to the KB Action and is not involved in the mediation related to that action. O’Chiese First Nation states that it has been preparing for the hearing for many months and a delay in the hearing will deprive it of its right to be heard. Is Dildo Dani going to pay them their costs and time caused by this delay? O’Chiese First Nation was granted participation on the basis that it may be directly and adversely affected by the AER’s decisions on the applications and that its participation would materially assist the panel. However, regardless of the outcome of the mediation between TransAlta, Cenovus, and Alberta, the Applicants cannot proceed with any drilling without the AER’s approval. Pffft, companies go ahead and do what they like in Alberta, notably the big bullies and AER rarely responds. Besides, AER nearly always gives approval, no matter how many Albertans are directly harmed, or how severely harmed the environment and water supplies. An excellent example is AER, when it was EUB, allowing Encana (which spawned Cenovus) to frac directly into Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, injecting 18 million gallons frac fluid directly repeatedly into them, ruining water wells throughout the community, including Wheatland County’s wells for the Hamlet of Rosebud.Accordingly, O’Chiese First Nation will have an opportunity to call evidence, cross-examine and make submissions following the adjournment. We are therefore not convinced that an adjournment of the oral hearing causes significant prejudice to O’Chiese First Nation because the opportunity to fully participate in this proceeding remains. and we, the non regulating regulator, don’t care.

    Having considered the Applicants’ motion and all related submissions, we grant the adjournment request for the reasons stated above. The hearing dates for this proceeding commencing on March 18, 2024, are hereby vacated along with any upcoming submission deadlines related to the March hearing. We will establish a new procedural schedule for an oral hearing to occur in April 2025, as soon as possible and after seeking further submissions from the parties and Alberta.
    We will issue our decision on the Applicants’ January 18, 2024, motion separately.
    Alex Bolton, Presiding Member
    M.A. (Meg) Barker, Panel Member
    Brian A. Zaitlin, Panel Member
    cc: Jessica Kennedy, Erin Anderson, Bennett Jones LLP
    Sarah Orr Stikeman Elliott LLP
    Oliver Jull, Shauna Gibbons, AER counsel for the panel
    Sara Louden, Rae and Company
    Susan Foisy, Aboriginal Consultation Office
    Sean McDonough, Krista Epton, Angela Edington, Alberta JusticeWhy is Alberta Justice involved in AER matters?

Refer also to:

March 18, 2024, Calgary, AER hearing on frac fight between companies: TransAlta opposes frac’ing by Saturn Oil & Gas and Westbrick Energy near its Brazeau hydroelectric facility. Bring your own beer & popcorn. *4.0M quake Jan 31, Fox Creek (frac central), *2 km depth; 3.9M quake Jan 30, same location, 2 km depth. Better shut ‘er down frac’ers.* Where’s AER? Listed them as 3.3M and 3M (industry fudgery runs the corrupt show).

2021: The Rule of Gag: Alberta Rules of Court Amendment Regulation (AR 36/2020) *confidential* dispute resolution (ADR) for civil actions. USA: “Lighting strike more likely than forced arbitration win.” Of 60 million employees *forced* into arbitration, only 282 awarded damages. “The U.S. Supreme Court drew a road map to give immunity to these corporations.”


2012: AEA: Support to the identification of potential risks for the environment and human health arising from hydrocarbons operations involving hydraulic fracturing in Europe

Image using Encana data by Barb Ryan, Fox Creek, Encana sour gas frac hub

Image by Barb Ryan

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