Pipeline Leak

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) Directive 60 is a critical regulation in the oil and gas sector, particularly in Alberta, Canada. This directive plays a vital role in ensuring the responsible development of hydrocarbon resources by setting stringent standards for leak detection and repair. Understanding how Directive 60 defines a leak is crucial for industry professionals and stakeholders in maintaining compliance and environmental stewardship.

What is AER Directive 60?

Directive 60, issued by the Alberta Energy Regulator, outlines requirements for upstream petroleum industry operators in the detection and repair of leaks from equipment. This directive is a key element of Alberta’s regulatory framework, aimed at reducing fugitive emissions and environmental impact.

Defining a Leak under Directive 60

According to Directive 60, a leak is defined as any unintended or irregular release of gas or liquid from the equipment associated with oil and gas production. This includes a wide range of equipment such as valves, pipelines, storage tanks, and flanges. The directive categorizes leaks based on their severity and the type of hydrocarbons released, which dictates the urgency and methods for repairs.

Importance of Leak Detection

The directive emphasizes the importance of regular inspections using approved detection methods. Operators are required to implement a comprehensive leak detection and repair (LDAR) program. The program must include scheduled inspections, maintenance routines, and timely repair of leak sources.

Compliance and Environmental Responsibility

Compliance with Directive 60 is not just a regulatory requirement but also a commitment to environmental responsibility. By promptly identifying and repairing leaks, operators can significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and volatile organic compounds, contributing to a cleaner and safer environment.


AER Directive 60’s definition of a leak underscores the Alberta Energy Regulator’s commitment to minimizing environmental impacts from the oil and gas industry. Compliance with these regulations requires diligence and proactive measures from operators, ensuring both regulatory adherence and environmental protection.

For industry operators, staying informed and compliant with Directive 60 is not just a legal obligation, but a step towards sustainable and responsible energy production.