The next three phases of Alberta’s $1-billion program to clean up inactive oil wells will open within 10 days, as the federal government establishes monitoring committees to track the progress of well-cleanup activities funded by its $1.7-billion grant to Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
Close to 100 Alberta Ministry of Energy staff were redeployed from their usual duties to assess cleanup applications, with another 30 employees from Service Alberta and Treasury Board and Finance brought in to help deal with the 35,758 applications that flooded the department when Phase 1 opened on May 1. All of those applications have now been processed, along with 400 additional ones for Phase 2. Close to $65-million has been approved for 140 Alberta-based companies.
But some company owners, such as Scott Darling in Calgary, feel trapped in limbo as they await answers and the next rounds of the program.
“It’s hard to have faith,” he said. “It’s really been kind of a schemozzle, truth be known.”
The Globe and Mail