Canada Watchdog Says Funds For Inactive Oil Well Cleanup May Fall Short

"CALGARY, Alberta/OTTAWA - Funds allocated by the Canadian government to help clean up the country’s orphan oil and gas wells may fall short if the main oil-producing province of Alberta continues to allocate the money to financially viable companies, the parliamentary budgetary watchdog said on Tuesday.

About half the funds in Alberta went to 10 companies that are expected to remain financially viable over the next few years, including some of Canada’s largest energy producers - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, Imperial Oil, and Cenovus Energy, budgetary officials said. All have benefited from surging oil prices in recent months.

Canada is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer and sixth-largest natural gas producer and its western provinces are dotted with hundreds of thousands of oil and gas wells. Some of those wells are orphans, meaning the companies that owned them have gone bankrupt or ceased to exist."

Nia Williams and David Ljunggren report for Reuters January 25, 2022.

Source: Reuters, 01/26/2022