Ference signed a four-year, $13 million deal, a hefty raise from his last contract with the Boston Bruins.
ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun earlier reported Ference's deal.
The 34-year-old Edmonton native was a key part of the Bruins' run to the Stanley Cup finals, though there was no room for him to return to Boston because of salary-cap issues and young defensemen in their system.
"It's a new challenge. I'm pretty good at turning the page," Ference told ESPN.com.
He noted that when he arrived in Boston during the 2006-07 season there wasn't much experience in the locker room of players who had gone to the playoffs and they ended up winning a Stanley Cup in 2011 and going to the final this spring.
"We worked extremely hard to earn that," he said. "It's an amazing thing to be a part of."
Now he hopes to replicate that experience in Edmonton.
"The talent there is undeniable in Edmonton. That's undisputable. I want to be part of it," Ference said.
In 760 career games, Ference has 37 goals and 156 assists. He was a part of the Bruins' Cup champion team in 2011.
The Oilers also signed a pair of ex-Coyotes -- center Boyd Gordon and goaltender Jason Labarbera.
Gordon signed a three-year deal with Edmonton. He has 122 points in 486 games with Washington and Phoenix.
Labarbera signed a one-year contract. The veteran backup spent the past four seasons with the Coyotes.
Information from ESPN.com's Scott Burnside and The Associated Press was used in this report.