August 14, 2013
Alberta cancels leases near Fort McMurray
The Government of Alberta is cancelling oilsands leases and allocating Crown land to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, in order to facilitate the future development and growth of Fort McMurray.
“The Urban Development Sub-region is incredibly important for future growth in our region,” said Melissa Blake, mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
“It means stability in our housing market and a new world of business, cultural and recreational opportunities.”
The sub-region, which is an area of land covering about 55,000 acres, was recently made available for sale to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, by the provincial government. This additional land is twice the current size of Fort McMurray, which is the largest city in the municipality.
It is expected to meet the growth needs for more than 25 years by stimulating the construction of new homes, businesses, critical infrastructure, as well as parks and recreational areas.
The Alberta government has deemed oilsands exploration and development incompatible with future municipal development within the Urban Development Sub-region.
For this reason, all oilsands subsurface dispositions and associated surface dispositions will be cancelled in accordance with the Mines and Minerals Act.
As a result, 32 oilsands leases owned by 10 companies in the Urban Development Sub-region have been cancelled.
Companies holding the affected leases are Value Creation Inc., Alberta Oil Sands Inc., Cenovus Energy Inc., Cavalier Land Ltd., E-T Energy Ltd., Grizzly Oil Sands ULC, Koch Oil Sands Operating ULC, Laricina Energy Ltd., Scott Land & Lease Ltd., and Suncor Energy Inc.
The land made available was determined based on resource analysis, municipal growth plans, and consultation with First Nations and with stakeholders, including industry and the public.
The region was established to create a balance between urban growth and energy development, which will generate sustainable growth of the local economy.
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