Seismic Exploration

EAP Oil and Gas

Upstream Oil and Gas Authorizations and Consultation Guide

A guide to provide industry with an overview of approvals, licences, dispositions, permits and registrations that are required.

Exploration Legislation

The department has the mandate to approve all seismic exploration programs within the province of Alberta under the following legislations:

  • Mines and Minerals Act (Part 8)

    View the contents of the Act on the Queen's Printer website. Part 8 of the Act outlines regulations for exploration.
  • Exploration Regulation (AR 284/2006)

    View the contents of this Regulation on the Queen's Printer website. Alberta Regulation 284/2006 regulates companies engaging in exploration of petroleum and natural gas projects governed by the Mines and Minerals Act.

Legislation Compliance

The department receives applications for proposed seismic exploration programs and approves the applications under the legislation for all petroleum and natural gas seismic exploration within the province of Alberta. The department oversees day-to-day operations and ensures legislation compliance with the legislations which includes:

  • Exploration Directives
    Schedule 1 of Alberta's Exploration Regulation includes a list of 26 exploration directives. While the Regulation describes the "must do" about exploration operations, the directives explain "how to do". The directives use plain language to make exploration requirements easy to understand.

    Each exploration directive is enforced through the specific section of the Mines and Minerals Act and Exploration Regulation that the directive references.
  • Exploration Restricted Areas
    Certain lands in Alberta have seismic operational restrictions on Follow the link above to view a list and description of these restricted areas.

Regulation and Enforcement

Crew Inspections

Seismic crew inspections are conducted throughout the province on public and non-public land (private land and road allowance) by the department field staff on an ongoing basis as part of the regulatory enforcement program to ensure compliance with act and regulation.

  • Public Lands Field Offices

    The department has field offices located throughout the province where Forest Officer and Public Lands Officers oversee project approval, daily operations, and legislation compliance for seismic operations on public lands that they administer. See:

About the Exploration Unit and Geophysical Inspector Program

The department's Land Management Branch, located in Edmonton, leads the development of provincial policy for exploration. The Exploration Unit of the Branch houses the Geophysical Inspector Program that oversees seismic operations on non-public lands.

The Geophysical Inspector Program acts as a liaison for information regarding seismic operations and attempts to facilitate resolutions to issues and concerns raised against the exploration industry.


Page Information

Updated: Aug 26, 2015