Orphan wells: Alberta’s $47 billion problem

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Published on: September 1, 2018

The Western Producer / Barb Glen / 22 March 2018

“It’s been my concern for many years, as an advocate for landowners and farmers, that diligence by government and the oil industry was required to ensure that farmers and ranchers don’t get left with the legacy problems of old oil and gas wells,” said Keith Wilson, a lawyer known for his work on property rights.

He quoted a report by the C.D. Howe Institute that estimates more than 155,000 Alberta energy wells have no economic potential and will eventually require reclamation.

He also quoted Orphan Well Association figures that it costs an average of $304,448 to reclaim a well.

That math leads to a big number: $47.19 billion in future reclamation costs.

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