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716 dormant wells targeted in latest round of cleanup funding

Fifty-three B.C.-based oil and gas field service companies are being awarded $50-million in funding clean up more than 700 dormant oil and gas sites, the province announced Thursday.
oil and gas

Fifty-three B.C.-based oil and gas field service companies are being awarded $50-million in funding clean up more than 700 dormant oil and gas sites, the province announced Thursday.

The Ministry of Energy says it has awarded the second instalment of funding provided by the federal government for work on sites nominated by landowners, local governments, and aboriginal groups through the Dormant Sites Reclamation Program.

Funding will support work on 716 well sites, of which 659 were nominated by Indigenous people, and 11 Indigenous-owned oil and gas contractors will carry out site restoration work, the ministry said.

“The Halfway River Group, a collection of Halfway River First Nation businesses, would like to acknowledge that the processes implemented during the second round of funding for the Dormant Sites Reclamation Program has opened the door for our participation, incentivizing our inclusion, in a manner that was not available to us in the first round of funding,” said Brad Bonner, president and CEO of the Halfway River Group, in a statement. “These opportunities cultivate an optimism and spirit that makes a visible and tangible difference within Indigenous communities.”

There are currently 9,055 dormant well sites in B.C., according to the ministry.

The first round of funding went to 79 B.C.-based service companies to perform reclamation activities on nearly 1,900 dormant wells, the ministry said.

“By working collaboratively with Indigenous Nations and seeking community input, the second round of the Dormant Sites Reclamation Program leverages local knowledge to restore oil and gas sites of concern,” said Energy Minister Bruce Ralston. “This funding will benefit the environment, while providing thousands of good-paying jobs for British Columbians.”

Funding support for the dormant sites program comes from $120 million in federal monies announced last year. Successful applicants are given up to $100,000 for work on dormant well sites.


Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca