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

Preliminary inquiry set for man accused of killing Belgian tourist

Sean McKenzie charged with killing Amelie Sakkalis, 28 on Aug. 22 near Boston Bar

Are Chilliwack gas prices too high? Some say yes

The amount at the pumps has locals fuming over what they say are too-high gas prices

Around the BCHL: Chilliwack Chiefs snag spot in CJHL national rankings

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Mental health first aid course comes to Chilliwack

The two-day course will take place at the Coast Hotel on Nov. 1 and 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Mental fitness questioned of man charged in Chilliwack River Valley shooting

Peter Kampos told his lawyer ‘his dreams are being stolen and turned into drugs’ at Surrey Pre-trial

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Red Sox beat Dodgers 8-4 in Game 1 of World Series

Benintendi has 4 hits as Boston cruises at Fenway

Lower Mainland boy has bike and prosthetic arm stolen

Bike has been recovered, but arm still missing

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Vancouver mom creates screen-free kids’ entertainment

Luna Cheng, who grew up in Langley, is one of the creators of BoredBox.

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Most Read