Alberta Energy Regulator to ask tougher questions of oil well applicants

Alberta’s energy regulator is making changes that it hopes will keep bad operators out of the oilpatch.

Jim Ellis of the Alberta Energy Regulator says his agency will start asking tougher questions of companies applying for a licence to operate.

He says the regulator will look at the past performance of companies and directors before deciding to allow them to drill.

The regulator will look at such things as bill payment and past regulatory compliance.

Ellis says it’s an attempt to deal with the ballooning number of operators who have walked away from unprofitable wells during bankruptcy proceedings.

He says the problem is rooted in federal legislation and a three-year downturn in the industry, but this is one tool the regulator will use to try to control it.

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