The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has recently put a moratorium on shallow SAGD developments pending a review of technology. They have also sent out a series of draft requirements while the moratorium is in effect. This response has been to a series of events that have occurred and a growing requirement for environmental stewardship. The objective of the paper is to provide a history of what events have occurred, where the new requirements are taking the industry and a brief discussion of the implications. The first part of the paper will discuss a broad background of incidents that have occurred in Alberta with thermal projects. A brief description will be made of the main technical issues in calculating caprock integrity. The government has issued 5 separate documents that cover different aspects. A more detailed review will be outlined. Although the discussion is centered on thermal developments, caprock integrity is of broad concern in underground storage and unconventional reservoir development which utilizes multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. Government requirements are rapidly changing and it is a real challenge to keep up with these changes. Some comment will be made on how the caprock issue will likely develop over the next few years.

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