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ERCB Issues Directive 057: Fencing and Site Access Requirements for Oil and Gas Facilities

Directive 057 introduces new requirements for fencing and security that are applicable to ERCB-regulated oil and gas facilities. These new requirements are in addition to existing ERCB fencing and security requirements; together they will ensure an increased level of protection for Albertans. The intent of the directive is to reduce the possibility of incidents of vandalism or accidents involving the public at facilities by increasing security at those facilities.

Facilities that this directive applies to are identified by the volumetric production/throughput as set out by the licensed design rate where available. If a licensed design rate is not available, the previous year’s production/throughput applies. The volumetric production/throughput thresholds for the purpose of this directive are as follows:

  • gas batteries and compressor stations—facilities over 100 000 thousand cubic metres (103 m3) of gas per year
  • oil facilities—facilities over 60 000 m3 of oil per year
  • gas plants—facilities over 100 000 103 m3 of gas per year

Unless otherwise directed by the ERCB, licensees of facilities that meet the above criteria must comply with at least one of the following requirements:

  • install an adequate fence, in accordance with the OGCR, Section 8.170; or
  • ensure that the entire geographic area where the facility is located is a controlled access area (i.e., fenced, gated and locked; or manned 24 hours per day); or
  • ensure that the facility is attended 24 hours per day; or
  • close and lock doors on all process buildings while the facility is not attended.

The ERCB also requires that licensees display signs limiting access to authorized personnel at all the facilities defined above.

The following facilities are exempt from this directive:

  • facilities that presently have access control measures consistent with the intent of this directive,
  • facilities at which the hydrogen sulphide concentration is less than 10 moles per kilomole, and
  • facilities where circumstance exist such that compliance with the directive could result in a greater risk to the operator or the public (e.g., a facility located immediately adjacent to a road or highway, thus requiring an operator to park on the road or highway to access the site).

Notwithstanding the above, the ERCB recommends that licensees of exempt sites implement one of the fencing or site access options listed above where the level of risk warrants. All requirements of this directive must be implemented by January 31, 2009. For a copy of this directive, please contact Jessica Roger.