GFM Network News


Online resource on inactive oil wells updated

Online resource on inactive oil wells updated

Reading Time: < 1 minute The number of inactive and orphaned wells in the province is growing, says the Pembina Institute. In response, the non-profit think-tank focused on energy has updated its Liabilities Resources for Landowners on its website. The web page has “detailed and timely information on funding, regulations and policy, legal cases, and involved organizations,” said the organization, […] Read more

The head of the Orphan Well Association says that thanks to increased funding and working year round, the reclamation of abandoned well sites has sped up considerably.

Cleanup of orphan wells in the province is ramping up

The Orphan Well Association has picked up the pace when it comes to decommissioning wells

Reading Time: 3 minutes Alberta’s orphan well problem hasn’t gone away — but it’s got a whole lot better than it was. “We are going at a high pace of activity for this last year,” said Lars DePauw, executive director of the Orphan Well Association. “We’re probably the most active organization in the closure space in Western Canada, including […] Read more


Under the Site Rehabilitation Program, farmers can nominate abandoned well sites — like this one in the Municipal District of Taber — for cleanup.

Lots of applications on orphan wells, but few boots on the ground

Abandoned well program inundated with applications but approvals slow in coming

Reading Time: 5 minutes Progress has been slow, but Alberta farmers should soon see work being done to remove abandoned oil and gas wells. In May, Ottawa put up $1.72 billion to clean up orphan or inactive oil and gas wells, pipelines and facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C., with Alberta using its $1-billion share to create the Site […] Read more

Converting abandoned oil and gas wells to renewable power generation, like this Imaginea installation by SkyFire Energy near Tilley, could be a win win for Alberta. Some of that work is already getting underway in Taber, thanks to a pilot project set to launch next spring.

Pilot project to convert old oil and gas wells gets green light

Reusing roads and power lines from abandoned wells could make Alberta a renewable energy leader

Reading Time: 2 minutes A pilot project to convert abandoned oil and gas sites in southern Alberta to renewable power generation has been given the green light and more than $4 million in funding to make it happen. “So far, nobody has actually used abandoned oil and gas infrastructure for solar deployment,” said Keith Hirsche, who is heading up […] Read more


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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

The amount of unpaid taxes owed by oil and gas companies more than doubled last year and now stands at $173 million, says the president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta.

Will you be on the hook for abandoned gas and oil wells?

Rural property owners will be ‘significantly’ impacted by $173 million in unpaid taxes, say municipalities

Reading Time: 3 minutes Rural Albertans could be on the hook for a growing number of orphaned and abandoned wells and tens of millions in back taxes owed by struggling oil and gas companies. “This is not the first year we’ve had companies choosing not to pay their taxes, and it is escalating,” said Al Kemmere, president of the […] Read more


File photo of an oil pumpjack near Drumheller, Alta. (LaughingMango/E+/Getty Images)

Bankrupt oil firms must clean up inactive wells, Supreme Court rules

Ottawa/Winnipeg | Reuters — Canada’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that bankrupt oil companies must clean up inactive wells, overturning lower court decisions that prioritized paying creditors and potentially raising the risks of investment in the industry. The 5-2 ruling means that the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), which had appealed the earlier court decisions, can […] Read more