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B.C. dormant well clean-up program sees surge in applications

B.C. dormant well clean-up program sees surge in applications

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A new British Columbia government program to restore dormant and inactive wells is seeing significant interest.

The first application to the Dormant Sites Reclamation program was received within 15 minutes of opening on May 25 and by the end of the day 1,100 applications from more than 80 service companies were received, a government release stated.

“The applications we have received in a single day propose upwards of $152 million worth of reclamation work, which, if completed, will reclaim over 2,400 inactive wells. The extraordinary interest in the program is great news as we work to get our economy moving again and help clean up the environment,” said B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Bruce Ralston in a statement.

The program could support up to 1,200 jobs for British Columbians predominantly in the northeast region of the province, the release stated.

On April 17 the Government of Canada announced $120 million in funding for B.C. to support cleanup of oil and gas sites and the Province of B.C. rolled out three new programs on May 19 to bring the funding to the provincial oil and gas industry.

The $100 million in funding allocated to the Dormant Sites Reclamation program will provide successful applicants with up to $100,000, or 50 per cent of total costs, whichever comes to less, to clean up dormant sites. The program is split into two phases of $50 million each and applications for the second half open on Nov. 1, 2020.

The remaining $20 million will go to the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission’s Orphan Sites Supplemental Reclamation program ($15 million) and the Legacy Sites Reclamation program ($5 million.)

These programs are open to oil and gas field service companies and contractors based in B.C., with registration, office and operations in the province as well, the release stated.

More information can be found at the B.C. government’s Dormant Sites Reclamation program site.

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