Oil industry has $200M allocation from government

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the allocation of $200 million for Phase Two of the province’s Accelerated Site Closure Program (ASCP). The ASCP prioritizes Saskatchewan-based oil and gas service companies. It will support more than 2,000 full-time equivalent jobs and reclaim up to 8,000 inactive wells and facilities over two years.

With Phase One scheduled to conclude this month, Phase Two will run from January 2021 to March 2022. The latest allocation will enable Saskatchewan oil and gas companies to access additional program funds to accelerate the retirement of inactive wells that have reached the end of their life cycle.

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“Our top priority continues to be getting Saskatchewan oil and gas service workers back to work,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. “The ASCP prioritizes Saskatchewan companies and is widely regarded as pragmatic, efficient and fair.”

The Phase One allocation was $100 million in program funding ($400 million total), which was announced in May of 2020, as part of the federal COVID Economic Response Plan. In Saskatchewan, more than $94 million in work packages are currently on track for allocation by the end of 2020, in every oil and gas region of the province — including $33 million in Estevan, $17 million in Swift Current, $16 million in Kindersley and $28 million in Lloydminster.

“The federal government’s funding to clean up inactive and orphan wells means Saskatchewan oil and gas workers are getting back on the job at a time when the industry that has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and low global commodity prices,” said Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan.

The ASCP has engaged 52 licensees and 253 Saskatchewan-based service companies, including Indigenous-owned service companies. As of October 31, the program has completed 428 well abandonments, 107 flowline abandonments, six facility reclamations and 552 site remediation and reclamation activities in Saskatchewan, with more than 4,400 other projects underway.

“We are humbled to be part of the Accelerated Site Closure Program,” Buffalo Head Environmental Ltd. President Scott Paton said. “We are a Saskatchewan company, with a local team of professionals, and we are fortunate to remain employed during these turbulent times. The directive of the program to dedicate Saskatchewan resources to Saskatchewan sites resonates with our mantra: ‘We care because we live here’.”

The ASCP is overseen by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources and delivered in partnership with the Saskatchewan Research Council. For further information, please visit www.saskatchewan.ca/Business/Agriculture-Natural-Resources-and-Industry/Oil-and-Gas/Accelerated-Site-Closure-Programor https://src.nu/wells.