Oil Sands

Over the last decade, rapid expansion of the oil sands industry has led to unprecedented growth in Alberta. During this time, oil sands production quadrupled to reach more than one million barrels per day, with continued growth anticipated to reach three million barrels per day by 2015.

Radke Report and Management of Oil Sands Development

The oil sands boom has placed increasing pressures and strain on the province. In 2006, under the direction of Cabinet, the Oil Sands Ministerial Strategy Committee commissioned the report Investing in our Future: Responding to the Rapid Growth of Oil Sands Development. Known as the Radke Report, this document provides recommendations to better manage oil sands development.

The Radke Report recommended a number of improvements to infrastructure, health care and transportation in the oil sands areas. The report also looked into the environmental and resource management consequences of oil sands growth. It found that department needed more resources to meet the increasing pressures and demands. In the spring of 2007, the Government of Alberta responded, and the department created new departmental sectors to meet the needs of oil sands environmental management.

Oil Sands Maps

To access maps of Alberta Oil Sands projects, vist Alberta Energy’s website at:

AEP Oil Sands Branch

The Oil Sands Branch of the department manages departmental participation in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and coordinated approvals processes, in accordance with the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

The department's involvement in these processes focuses on public land and provincial resources such as forests, fish and wildlife. The Oil Sands Branch is also engaged in:

  • Biodiversity and reclamation planning projects for oil sands areas
  • Cumulative effects projects for all oil sands areas
  • Oil sands monitoring and compliance initiatives


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Updated: May 10, 2017