First year of inactive well program hailed as a strong success

The Government of Saskatchewan says the province’s Accelerated Site Closure Program (ASCP) has seen strong uptake and success during its first year. 

The ASCP provides funding to Saskatchewan-based oil and gas service companies to conduct abandonment (clean-up) and reclamation work of inactive oil and gas well sites across the province.

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Launched in May 2020, the ASCP will provide up to $400 million in federal government funding over two years through the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. 

"This program has helped to create and maintain oil and gas service sector jobs and sustain the overall health of Saskatchewan's energy sector during a very challenging time," Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. "The ASCP, which builds on the work that Saskatchewan was already doing in this area, is a major economic stimulus program that is also good for the environment."

"Working with Minister Eyre and the Government of Saskatchewan, this program kept workers on the job this past year during the pandemic," Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O'Regan Jr. said. "We're cleaning up our environment, and supporting the hardworking men and women in our oil and gas sector - including in First Nations and Métis communities."

As of April 30, $184 million in contracts has been issued to companies to engage Saskatchewan-based service workers in site closure work. More than $61 million has been paid for work already completed under the program, including 1,385 well abandonments and decommissions, 237 flowline abandonments, 13 facilities, and 2,545 site remediation and reclamation activities.

Regionally, the funding disbursed in work package contracts in oil and gas producing regions of the province includes $59,513,766 for Estevan, $36,714,611 for Swift Current, $27,863,467 for Kindersley and $60,579,289 for Lloydminster.

“The Government of Saskatchewan worked constructively with industry and stakeholders to design and deliver the Accelerated Site Closure Program, which created jobs and reduced liabilities in the province,” said Bill Peterson, Canadian Natural Resources Limited’s senior vice-president of development operations. 

“By working together with industry, companies were able to effectively and efficiently do regional abandonment and reclamation programs generating jobs through local service providers.”

The ASCP, which is overseen by the Ministry of Energy and Resources and delivered in partnership with the Saskatchewan Research Council, was developed to support Saskatchewan oil and gas sector workers. It has been very well received by both oil and gas companies and the service sector as well-timed, efficient and administratively simple.


"We have been very impressed with the level of efficiency that the Government of Saskatchewan has built into the management of the program," Cardinal Energy Vice President of Engineering Connie Shevkenek said.  "Through the initial phases, Cardinal's allocated funding has enabled both the ongoing abandonment and reclamation of inactive well sites, as well as supported the local oil and gas service industry in our operating areas."


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