Province announces plan to clean up orphaned oil wells

By Troy Gillard (Twitter: @Troy_Gillard)
May 18, 2017 - 2:31pm

Alberta's NDP government has announced a plan to accelerate the cleanup of abandoned oil and gas wells.

Premier Rachel Notley says $235 million will be loaned to the Orphan Well Association, with the interest covered by $30 million dollars from the federal government announced in the last budget.

She says the funding will be used to clean up orphaned wells over the next three years and will put people to work as early this summer.

"This is about creating jobs and fixing a long-standing problem," Notley said. "We’re proud to work with industry to get orphaned wells cleaned up - it’s good for our environment, good for landowners and the jobs created will help make life better for Albertans."

The loan will be paid back over 10 years by the association, which collects funds from the oil and gas industry.

"PSAC is pleased that our intense advocacy efforts to help get our member companies and their employees back to work have come to fruition and applaud the Alberta government for using federal funds to create more jobs for our beleaguered sector," said Mark Salkeld, President and CEO of Petroleum Services Association of Canada. "This loan will help ensure we can retain the skills and expertise needed for responsible development of our energy resources, and positively contribute to Alberta’s reputation as responsible stewards of the environment."

(With file from The Canadian Press)

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