Natural gas facilities on farmland near Dawson Creek. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Fund to be set up for ‘orphaned’ B.C. oil and gas wells

Levy to cover costs of decommissioning, capping wells

The B.C. government is changing the way it deals with abandoned oil and gas wells, shifting from a tax on industry to payments into a dedicated reclamation fund for cleanup and restoration of drill sites.

Energy Minister Michelle Mungall introduced changes to the Oil and Gas Activities Act Wednesday to make the change. The amendments also grant the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission new authority to require oil and gas permit holders to perform restoration work on inactive sites.

The commission’s website currently has a list of about 200 orphaned sites, including some not drilled and some listed as having restoration completed.

“We are taking action to deal with the growing number of orphaned well sites by cleaning them up, as well as preventing this from happening in the future,” Mungall said.

The amendments also give the commission authority to block roads in the event of an emergency at an oil or gas site, and to recover the costs of emergency activities from the licence holder.

B.C.’s oil and gas industry is confined mainly to the northeast corner of the province, east of the Rocky Mountains. Gas and gas liquids development has expanded greatly with the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of shale deposits in the region, leading to proposed investments in large-scale liquefied natural gas exports.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: North Island Peewee Eagles unleash avalanche of goals against Peninsula in semi-final showdown

The two teams squared up on Sunday morning at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Should aquaculture programs be offered at North Island College in Port Hardy?

“I think it would be very timely to have an aquaculture program”

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read