PSAC announces government funding for beleaguered oil and gas services

3/24/2017

CALGARY -- The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) was pleased to hear the federal government will provide a one-time payment of $30 million to the Government of Alberta to “support provincial actions that will stimulate economic activity and employment in Alberta’s resource sector.” PSAC has been advocating for loans to decommission orphan wells, pipelines and facilities to get workers in this sector back to work following tens of thousands of layoffs, while improving environmental outcomes, reducing carbon emissions, and strengthening Canada’s reputation as responsible stewards of the environment.

“We applaud the Government of Canada for hearing us and understanding the challenging economic circumstances faced by our sector and the need to retain skills and expertise so that it can continue to provide the economic contribution to GDP that benefits not only Albertans, but all Canadians. While the amount is less than we had hoped for, any amount helps this beleaguered sector”, says Mark Salkeld, president and CEO of PSAC.

“Decommissioning orphan wells, pipelines and facilities for which there are no current owners, would not only create middle-class jobs, the 25 plus types of services involved in this process would also support local businesses such as motels and cafes, and generate income and fuel taxes for governments. In addition, the technologies used can be taken abroad by Canadians to decommission the hundreds of thousands of wells around the world that will require such expertise and services, generating export revenue.

“Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley has said that the province will be making an announcement in a few days on how the $30 million will be used and so we look forward to hearing the details.”

“Orphan well associations collect levies from current industry players to ensure funding for the clean-up of wells where the owners have become defunct. However, the devastating drop in commodity prices and revenues these past two years have resulted in record bankruptcies, overwhelming the resources of the orphan well associations. The same impact was felt across the services sector by our members. Loans could be repaid by industry levies while allowing us to take action now, while labor costs are low, providing jobs and the beneficial impact to the environment at the same time ensuring that industry bears the cost of the clean-up.”

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