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

Kochia has taken over this abandoned well site and stands nearly as tall as Kevin Serfas. The Turin farmer says his calls to the energy companies that own several dozen similar sites on his family’s farming operation go unanswered. And managing the weeds would require “a full-time guy,” he said.

Farmers lose — and weeds win — when energy companies walk away

When well sites are abandoned, the rent cheques 
often stop while the noxious weeds flourish

“Kochia six feet tall and completely covering the whole leases. We have many that look like this. When I phone, no one even answers the phones.” This tweet from Lethbridge-area farmer Kevin Serfas in August likely could have been written by any one of hundreds of Alberta producers with abandoned well sites on their farms. […] Read more


Court ruling alone won’t fix ‘orphan’ well crisis

There are now more than 3,000 abandoned wells in Alberta, and many more that are no longer active

A Supreme Court ruling that puts cleanup ahead of creditors is a step forward — but won’t “make too much difference” to landowners with abandoned wells, says a director with the Alberta Surface Rights Federation. “The landowners are still going to be in a situation where they have to deal with contaminated land for maybe […] Read more

Orphan wells a growing problem for Alberta farmers

There are thousands of abandoned wells, which not only means 
lost rents but weed issues and contamination risks

Landowners and farmers could be left holding the bill following the bankruptcy of yet another Alberta energy company. Calgary-based natural gas producer Sequoia Resources Corp. ceased operations last month, abandoning a number of aging oil and gas wells that need to be sealed and cleaned up. “With Sequoia, there are 3,000 wells — 700 abandoned […] Read more