GFM Network News


This pilot solar installation, built by SkyFire Energy near Tilley in 2015, could be a model for reclaiming orphan well sites on lower-quality land. Another pilot is underway in the MD of Taber but the provincial UCP government hasn’t demonstrated an interest in using well reclamation money for this sort of project.

Orphan well cleanup gets $1.7 billion from Ottawa

Move to deal with long-standing problem welcomed but bid to use sites for solar arrays may get lost in shuffle

A federal cash injection of $1.7 billion will help clean up Alberta’s mess of orphan oil and gas wells. “We were already planning to have a very busy 2020, and this is going to help us continue doing the work that we’re doing,” said Lars De Pauw, executive director of the Orphan Well Association. The […] Read more

Landowners not on the hook for insolvent gas or oil companies

The Alberta Utilities Commission recently released a decision confirming its authority to order refunds for the electrification costs of oil and gas leases that were mistakenly billed to farmers. Last year, an electric utility was trying to collect payment from farmers for electricity supplied to an insolvent oil and gas company. Some landowners brought the […] Read more


Don’t be fooled by false promises

The Farmers’ Advocate Office is hearing concerns about negotiation practices on utility projects, transmission lines, and pipelines. “One of the frustrations we’ve been hearing from landowners is that some have been given the impression that the company will come back and ‘top off’ compensation if another landowner along the same route negotiates at a higher […] Read more

Province preparing surface rights maps

Online maps will link to actual agreements

The Farmers’ Advocate Office (FAO) is currently collecting surface lease, transmission line, seismic, and pipeline right-of-way agreements from landowners for the Surface Rights, Land, and Energy: Pricing Transparency Mapping Project. “There is currently no central repository where this type of information is compiled and accessible to landowners,” said Jeana Les, research and communications specialist for […] Read more


Oilpatch’s pain could be agriculture’s gain as layoffs mount

Thousands of energy and construction workers will be looking for jobs, 
but agricultural employers need to attract them

The layoffs have already started in Alberta’s energy sector — but many more are on the way, say experts. “We’re estimating somewhere in the range of $12 billion less investment taking place,” said Michael Burt, director of industrial economic trends with the Conference Board of Canada. “That’s going to translate into thousands of fewer jobs […] Read more