Alberta expands abandoned well program

Alberta regulators have announced an expanded program to deal with the problem of orphan wells abandoned by companies no longer in existence.


CALGARY�Alberta regulators have announced an expanded program to deal with the problem of orphan wells abandoned by companies no longer in existence.

The new program, which will be administered by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, will be broader and will include site reclamation and abandonment of related facilities, such as pipelines, gas plants, batteries or compressor stations.

About 200 sites are planned for reclamation and another 200 are being studied to determine requirements.

Companies will be required to pay a fee before drilling.

David MacInnes of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said the program presents the industry in a good light and allows it to say it has heard and responded to the concerns of Albertans.

The industry has contributed $20 million (Can.) to the program since 1994 to clean up 300 improperly abandoned wells. Well cleanup can cost up to $100,000/well.

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