The Alberta government is hoping to speed up the reclamation of abandoned wells with a loan to the Orphan Well Association. The industry-funded group handles infrastructure from oil and gas companies no longer exist by getting rid of equipment, sealing wells, and making sure sites are safe.
The NDP have introduced legislation that would let it lend the association #235 million. $30 million comes from the federal government to make sure they get more favourable rates than they would without.
“This is about creating jobs and fixing a long-standing problem,” says premier Rachel Notley. “Albertans are concerned about the growing number of orphaned oil and gas wells, and the landowners directly impacted deserve a government that takes this issue seriously. We’re proud to work with industry to get orphaned wells cleaned up.”
The loan would be repaid to the government over 10 years using the orphan fund levy that’s already paid for by industry. Alberta has an estimated 69,000 abandoned wells, and 83,000 inactive.
Story by Erica Fisher.