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Alberta offers $1 billion in oilfield cleanup grants

Oilfield services in Alberta will soon be able to access some government funding through a new oil well rehabilitation program.

The Site Rehabilitation program is funded by the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and will offer site reclamation work grants to oil field service contractors. The program will offer $1 billion in funding and will open on March 1.

Work covered by the grant includes closure work on inactive wells and pipelines, removal of abandoned in-place pipelines and phase 1 and 2 environmental site assessments.

The province says it is expected to create about 5,300 jobs and will provide funds in $100 million increments. Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage says money will first go towards service companies that were impacted the most by the recent economic downturn.

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She says the payments will go directly to the service company completing the work and will cover between 25 to 100 per cent of project costs depending on the ability of the oil and gas company responsible for the site to help pay for cleanup.

The first $100 million is available for service companies eligible to work anywhere in the province with a $30,000 cap per application. The province says future funds may be handed out for work in specific areas of Alberta where they can have the most significant environmental impacts.

The federal government announced $1.7 billion to clean up wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

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