Suspended producer SanLing Energy to cease operations in Alberta

A Calgary-based energy company whose operations were suspended last month for its repeated failure to fulfil maintenance and cleanup orders is shutting operations.

The Alberta Energy Regulator said it’s been notified that SanLing Energy Ltd. will cease operations in the province as of April 30. The Orphan Well Association has sought a court order to have a receiver take control of the Chinese-owned company’s inventory.

“Our repeated attempts to bring SanLing into compliance have failed,” Blair Reilly, AER director of enforcement, said in a news release Wednesday.

“While it’s unfortunate SanLing has decided to cease operations, we have systems in place for when companies cannot meet their responsibilities to close and clean up their sites.”

In March, the regulator suspended all of the oil and gas producer’s Alberta operations, including more than 2,200 wells. SanLing owed $67 million in security payments to the AER related to the decommissioning of well sites and infrastructure, it said at the time.

The company holds AER licences for 2,266 wells, 227 facilities and 2,170 pipelines. It’s listed six times since January 2019 on the AER’s compliance dashboard for numerous infractions, including payment defaults and environmental and operational shortfalls.

The AER said Wednesday that SanLing has committed to an orderly transition of its assets to a receiver before it ends operations.

This includes maintaining its 24-hour emergency response number and responding to any incidents, ensuring adequate staffing and maintaining care of its assets, the regulator said.

“The receiver will support a transition of SanLing’s inventory to responsible parties, and the AER will orphan any remaining assets to the OWA for closure,” the release states.

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