A pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The latest round of applications is now open under a $100-million fund aimed at cleaning dormant oil and gas wells in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The latest round of applications is now open under a $100-million fund aimed at cleaning dormant oil and gas wells in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

B.C. opens latest round of funding to clean up dormant oil and gas wells

B.C. Energy Minister Bruce Ralston says the second half of the funding is set to be dispersed in the coming months

The latest round of applications is now open under a $100-million fund aimed at cleaning dormant oil and gas wells in British Columbia.

B.C. Energy Minister Bruce Ralston says the second half of the funding is set to be dispersed in the coming months after the first $50 million supported about 1,000 jobsand reclamation activities at nearly 1,900 sites.

He says the first round included $15 million worth of work on sites in B.C.’s agricultural land reserve and dormant well sites located in habitat that is critical to the at-risk northern mountain population of woodland caribou.

The province is receiving $120 million in federal funds after Ottawa pledged $1.7 billion in April to help B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan clean up thousands of inactive and so-called orphan oil and gas wells.

Ralston says he expects the latest funding will create a similar number of jobs as the first, with priority going to local and Indigenous workers.

He says field service workers will be matched with sites nominated for cleanup by Indigenous communities, local governments and landowners.

“By aligning the nomination and the application processes, we’re able to ensure that local knowledge and concerns get first priority,” Ralston told a news conference Thursday, adding the reclamation work supports jobs during the economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bulk of B.C.’s $120-million share of the federal funding is aimed at cleaning up more than 8,500 dormant wells, which are sites that have been inactive for five years and aren’t likely to return to service.

The program provides eligible companies up to $100,000 or 50 per cent of the cost of a site cleanup, whichever is less.

B.C. has also earmarked $15 million to address 770 orphan wells, or sites owned by companies that are insolvent, can’t be located or no longer exist.

Another $5 million is set aside to address legacy sites and the impacts of historical oil and gas activities on communities and wildlife.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Chris Paulson of Burns Lake took a quick selfie with a lynx over the weekend of Feb. 20-22, 2021, after the wild cat was found eating some of his chickens. (Chris Paulson/Facebook)
VIDEO: Burns Lake man grabs lynx by scruff after chickens attacked

‘Let’s see the damage you did, buddy,’ Chris Paulson says to the wild cat

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)
Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

A collaborative genomic research project is underway to map the movements of 118 Northwest sockeye populations to better inform management decisions on at-risk stocks. (File photo)
Genomic study tracks 118 Northwest B.C. sockeye populations

Development of new tool will be used to help harvesters target healthy groups

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

Most Read