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Trudeau says $1.7B coming for orphaned-well cleanups

Last Updated Apr 17, 2020 at 2:48 pm MST

A pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Alberta's Orphan Well Association is warning that the financial failure of Calgary junior producer Houston Oil and Gas Ltd. leaves more than 1,400 wells without a responsible owner. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will support work in the oil and gas sector by spending $1.7 billion to help clean up “orphaned wells.”

He says restoring abandoned oil and gas wells is good for the environment, for landowners who have to contend with them, and for thousands of workers, the effort will employ.

The federal government is also creating a $750-million fund to cut methane emissions.

Speaking outside his Ottawa residence, Trudeau says the government expects all the spending to maintain 10,000 jobs across the country.

He adds that the government is going to provide $962 million to regional development agencies to help more businesses, particularly those that don’t have relationships with traditional financial
institutions.

And he’s promising hundreds of millions of dollars in support for the arts and culture industries through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) issued a statement this afternoon saying they recognize the Government of Canada’s support for the oil and natural gas industry.

“The $1.7 billion announced today, for the closure and reclamation of orphan and inactive wells in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, is welcome news. Reducing environmental liabilities is a priority for the oil and natural gas industry and this initiative will allow important work to accelerate, while supporting thousands of jobs,” said Tim McMillan, President and CEO of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

“The government also announced a $750 million emissions reduction fund which will help companies continue their progress to reduce methane emissions. Canada’s oil and natural gas industry has committed to a 45 per cent reduction of methane emissions by 2025, and the government is helping ensure that innovation and progress in this key area can continue during the economic crisis.”