Alberta's well clean-up program draws overwhelming demand

The Alberta energy department has reviewed and processed more than 6,600 of the more than 36,000 applications it received for the first round of the federally-funded Site Rehabilitation Program and money is flowing to oilfield service contractors, Energy Minister Sonya Savage says.

“The overwhelming demand for this program shows there is a dire need for this program and for jobs right across the province,” she said in response to a question in the legislature June 3.

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“We are focused on working through all of these applications right now and ensuring that the grant money is processed fairly and is distributed to as many job creators across the province as possible, including large and small operators and medium operators as well.”

The province has about 91,000 inactive wells.

The program — funded mainly by the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan — will provide grants to Alberta oilfield services companies to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site closure and reclamation work. Grants will cover between 25 and 100% of total project costs, depending on the ability of the oil and gas company responsible for the site to help pay for the work.

A December 2019 well closure workforce study for PSAC prepared by Yager Management Ltd. found that the closure of a single well requires between 35 and 50 services employing 41 to 57 individuals.

While a simple gas well in a clean location can employ 41 individuals and require 448 hours of work, a complex oilwell with surface casing vent flow requiring significant site remediation can employ 57 individuals and require 1,607 hours of work.

The government has estimated that the Alberta program will provide about 5,300 jobs.

Read the full story at the Daily Oil Bulletin by clicking here.

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