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Government of Canada helps fund orphan well reclamation

Part of federal stimulus package aimed at protecting jobs across the country while enhancing environmental outcomes.

The Government of Canada recently announced financial initiatives to help support the oil and natural gas industry, which has been hit hard by the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and record low prices caused by a glut of oil on international markets.

Included in the federal stimulus package announced on April 17, 2020, is $1.7 billion to fund the closure and reclamation of orphan and inactive wells in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. Reclaiming orphan wells will protect jobs not only in the West but also employment in supply chain and service providers across Canada — more than 5,000 in Alberta alone. It also speeds land reclamation.

“This is welcome news,” says Tim McMillan, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). “In addition to protecting thousands of jobs, reducing environmental liabilities is a priority for the oil and natural gas industry. This initiative will allow important work to accelerate.”

The oil and natural gas sector continues to provide an essential service to Canadians and is maintaining critical infrastructure during the COVID-19 crisis, safely and reliably providing the energy that Canadians and customers need. Our front-line workforce and products are critical to supporting health care, communities, personal isolation efforts and Canada’s supply chain, and the industry will be a crucial part of Canada’s economic recovery.