Dormant well clean-up program nearly fully subscribed on first day

A new program to restore dormant and inactive wells, and bring support to B.C. workers in oil and gas service companies has seen significant interest from applicants.

“The applications we have received in a single day propose upwards of $152 million worth of reclamation work, which, if completed, will reclaim over 2,400 inactive wells,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, on Tuesday. “The extraordinary interest in the program is great news as we work to get our economy moving again and help clean up the environment.”

The first application to the Dormant Sites Reclamation program was received within 15 minutes of opening on May 25, and by the end of the day the Province had received over 1,100 applications from more than 80 service companies and contractors. It is estimated that the program could support up to 1,200 jobs for British Columbians, many of them within the northeast region of the province.

On April 17, the Government of Canada announced $120 million in funding for B.C. to support the clean up of oil and gas sites. The Province rolled out three new programs on May 19 to bring this funding to B.C. industry.

The $100 million in funding allocated to the Dormant Sites Reclamation program will provide successful applicants with up to $100,000, or 50% of total costs, whichever is less, for dormant site clean up projects. The program is split into two phases of $50 million each. Applications for the second half will open on November 1. Of the remaining federal funding, $15 million is going to the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission’s (BCOGC) Orphan Sites Supplemental Reclamation program, and $5 million to the Legacy Sites Reclamation program.

These programs are open to oil and gas field service companies and contractors based in B.C., with registration, office and operations in B.C.