+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 11-06S

Gas and Oil Pipeline Planning

January 1, 2006
Expiry Date:
March 31, 2009
Active Status:
Industry and Resource Development
Vote Results:

WHEREAS the year-end report from the Energy and Utilities Board states that a record 20,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in 2005 along with 10,000 corresponding pipelines. This trend is expected to continue for the next four to five years;AND WHEREAS there is no coordinated plan between or within companies for oil and gas pipeline routing in Alberta;AND WHEREAS industrial, residential and farm development is being impaired on parcels, quarters and sections of land due to pipeline crossings with corresponding setback requirements;AND WHEREAS pipeline agreements and rights of way, in some cases, persist long after the productive life of the oil and gas wells;AND WHEREAS disjointed planning by competing oil, gas and pipeline companies make it difficult for individual farmers to negotiate workable pipeline routing plans;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC request that in response to the abundance of existing pipelines and the accelerating rate at which wells are being produced, that the Provincial Government in consultation with a committee selected by the AAMDC initiate standards for the routing and monitoring of oil and gas pipelines to maximize surface land use opportunities for future generations.

Member Background:

GAS AND OIL PIPELINE ROUTING PLANTo ensure future land use options in Alberta, a Provincial Pipeline Routing Plan is needed now.There is no provincial plan for the routing and installation of oil and gas pipelines in Alberta, and due to the 10,000 lines per year being installed by up to 1,200 companies, many land parcels are being rendered useless for future development.In 2005, a record 20,000 wells were drilled with approximately 10,000* corresponding pipeline connections. Drilling is expected to continue at this pace for at least the next four to five years. In total, there are approximately 250,000 oil and gas wells in Alberta with 120,000 actively producing.***Individual agricultural producers and property owners have some say in regard to pipeline routing, but each individual is left to negotiate his/her own deal. Which means thousands of disjointed individuals deal with 1,200 companies. Deals are made, which are sometimes forced on landowners because surrounding deals have already been signed.Many producers in the province have five or six or more pipelines crossing their properties that have effectively eliminated their opportunity for farm building expansion, subdivision or industrial expansion or even water pipelines. Although companies are requested to follow existing pipeline routes, there is no plan for routing oil and gas pipelines in Alberta. Oil, gas and pipeline companies arbitrarily plot and install pipelines without consideration for partnering with each other, without consideration of common routing plans and without consideration for the elimination of above ground use due to setback requirements.The life expectancy for pipelines and their right of ways may also be a problem after their effective use. They may be in use for 20 or 40 years, but, after they are not in use, the oil and gas companies can maintain the rights of way and setbacks.It is time for the province to step up, help organize and show leadership in protecting our most important resource, our land. Thousands of acres are now adversely affected by multiple pipelines, but there is still a chance to organize the thousands of wells and lines yet to be installed.* Average pipeline length : 1 K*** There are approximately 1,200 oil, gas and pipeline companies operating in Alberta (sourced from Alberta Energy and Utilities Board)

RMA Background:

The AAMDC currently has no resolutions in effect with respect to this issue.


Both at the strategic and operational level, government and industry initiatives are under way with the goal of addressing the need for increased planning and coordination of oil and gas development. The development of a new province-wide land use strategy was recently announced to address the vision and strategy over the longer term for land use across the province.The provincial Land Use Framework will address a wide range of land management issues to ensure it is properly and responsibly maintained. AAMDC has provided input on this important initiative through its submission of Higher Ground. Public consultation, including municipalities, was conducted through the Land Use Framework Workbook. As well, four working groups were established to identify strategies related to growth and resource management, planning and decision making, conservation and stewardship, and monitoring and evaluation. Each working group had AAMDC staff and member representation. The Draft Land Use Framework was released in the spring of 2008. Work on the first regional land use plans will begin in the fall of 2008. In addition, The Alberta government, in partnership with industry, recreation, environment, conservation and Aboriginal groups, are developing a comprehensive plan to manage the collective footprint. Integrated Land Management is an initiative which encourages cooperation among land users.

Provincial Ministries:
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