Alberta unveils process for paying out $1 billion in oilfield cleanup grants

Alberta unveils process for paying out $1 billion in oilfield cleanup grants

CALGARY — Oilfield services companies in Alberta will be able to apply through an online portal starting May 1 for $1 billion in grants under the oilfield rehabilitation program announced by the federal government last week.

The funds will be doled out by Alberta Energy in $100-million increments with an initial focus on service companies that have been most impacted by the current economic downturn, said Energy Minister Sonya Savage.

“First and foremost, this program is about job creation. It’s about getting Albertans back to work and getting them back to work quickly,” she said on Friday.

The grants will cover between 25 and 100 per cent of project costs depending on the ability of the oil and gas company responsible for the site to help pay for cleanup, and will be paid directly to the oilfield service company completing the work, Savage said.

About 5,300 jobs are expected to be created in Alberta, she said, adding the government expects the process to be quick enough that some of those jobs will begin before the end of May.

Dispersing the money as a grant instead of a loan violates Canada’s and Alberta’s polluter pay principles, said Regan Boychuk, co-founder of the Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project, a group critical of how the province deals with oilpatch remediation liabilities.

“By releasing $1 billion in Canadians’ tax dollars as grants not loans to industry, the Alberta government is bailing out oil and gas companies that have profited from our public resources, but now refuse to adequately fund their own cleanup,” he said.

Job creation and environmental benefits would be much more significant if the money was leveraged through loans, Boychuk added.

The first $100 million of grant money is to be available for eligible work anywhere in the province with a cap of up to $30,000 per application.

A second increment will focus on sites where the government is covering lease payments to landowners because the oil and gas company can’t or won’t meet its obligations, again with a $30,000 cap.

Future increments may be made available for larger projects or for specific regions.

The federal government announced a total of $1.7 billion to clean up wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, as well as $750 million in loans to help cut methane emissions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2020.

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

oil & gas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Curbside concerts to start this month in some Red Deer neighbourhoods

Red Deer Arts Council is organizing at least eight outdoor shows

46 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in Alberta

Province has completed more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests

Red Deer RCMP downtown detachment to reopen front counter service

Police say new health protection measures will be in place

Two suspects arrested in connection to Parkland Mall shooting

Two suspects connected to the June 30 shooting at Parkland Mall have… Continue reading

High unemployment, $343B deficit projected in Liberals’ fiscal snapshot

Slow economic growth forecast until at least the end of 2021

Alberta bill proposes major changes to union strike rules and funding

Alberta bill proposes major changes to union strike rules and funding

Alberta air force base to use goats, sheep to chew down unwanted vegetation

Alberta air force base to use goats, sheep to chew down unwanted vegetation

Calgary officer justified in fatal shooting of man having mental crisis: ASIRT

Calgary officer justified in fatal shooting of man having mental crisis: ASIRT

Gave up seat for Kenney to run: Premier defends hiring ex-MLA for trade office

Gave up seat for Kenney to run: Premier defends hiring ex-MLA for trade office

Southern Alberta hailstorm caused almost $1.2B in damage: insurance bureau

Southern Alberta hailstorm caused almost $1.2B in damage: insurance bureau

Kanye West breaks with Trump, claims 2020 run is not a stunt

Kanye West breaks with Trump, claims 2020 run is not a stunt

With a satirical fictional memoir, Jim Carrey gets real

With a satirical fictional memoir, Jim Carrey gets real

Cancer trial to focus on protecting patients from COVID-19 infection

Cancer trial to focus on protecting patients from COVID-19 infection

Most Read