Site Closure Support and Project Manager Announcement
As noted in Indian Oil and Gas Canada’s May 2020 COVID-19 Update #4, the Government of Canada committed to providing up to $1.72 Billion to the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, and to the Alberta Orphan Well Association to clean up orphan and inactive oil and gas infrastructure. From this funding, $85 Million (Alberta) and $20 Million (Saskatchewan) was set aside for the closure of inactive and abandoned well sites on First Nation lands as part of the provincial site rehabilitation programs.
In March 2021, Mr. Shawn Williams was appointed as IOGC’s Site Rehabilitation Project Manager to provide focused support to First Nation and oil and gas company efforts in closing these inactive and abandoned wellsites. In addition to supporting First Nation and oil and gas company efforts, Shawn will be supporting coordinated efforts with the Indian Resource Council, Saskatchewan Business Centre of Excellence, and provincial governments and regulators. For additional information, see the frequently asked questions and contact information below.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where do I find more about inactive oil and gas provincial site rehabilitation programs (SRPs)?
2. Why should contract holders coordinate with First Nations to complete site closure work through the provincial SRPs?
As part of the draft Environment Module for the next phase of the Indian Oil and Gas Regulations, SOR/2019-196 (Regulations) IOGC has proposed a requirement for complete wellsite reclamation applications within seven years of well abandonment. While work on the Environment Module has been suspended for 2021-22, IOGC is currently examining its authority under section 78 of the existing Regulations to require companies to complete site closure within a specified period of time. Therefore, prior to any changes in IOGC’s current site closure timing requirements, IOGC is encouraging contract holders to coordinate with First Nations to complete closure activities and access available funding through the provincial SRPs.
3. How do industry contract holders work with First Nations and First Nation owned businesses or contractors?
Contract holders are encouraged to work with the First Nation to identify First Nation economic opportunities. Indigenous owned businesses and contractors are encouraged to contact First Nations, the Indian Resource Council, Saskatchewan Business Centre of Excellence, and oil and gas companies to provide information on potential services related to site closure.
4. How will the land will be left and what are IOGC’s reclamation and remediation requirements?
IOGC’s environmental requirements, including Remediation Action Plan and Reclamation and Surrender processes. Contract Holders are responsible for returning back the land to the First Nation in a state that equivalent to the pre-disturbance surrounding land use. The Contract Holder is responsible for contacting the First Nation to discuss end land use and reclamation goals. For example, if there are any facilities to be left in place or if there is a change in land use, a First Nation Band Council Resolution will be required to be secured by the Contract Holder.
5. What is IOGC’s role in supporting the SRPs?
Although IOGC does not have authority over the provincial criteria, eligibility, or awarding of funding, IOGC is providing support to First nations and oil and gas companies to coordinate information. IOGC is encouraging First Nations and companies that have inactive infrastructure on First Nation lands to work collaboratively with each other and IOGC to ensure mutual program benefits. Additionally, IOGC is also supporting the coordination between the Indian Resource Council, Saskatchewan Business Centre of Excellence, and provincial governments.
6. Are orphan wells included in the provincial SRPs?
No. Orphan well oversight is through provincial well associations and is outside the provincial SRPs. For further information, First Nations can contact Environmental Analyst (by First Nation), or email email@example.com.
Shawn Williams, Site Rehabilitation Project Manager
Environmental Analyst (by First Nation)