Rising oil prices a litmus test for Alberta’s commitment to addressing inactive wells

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Dr. Sara Hastings-Simon writes an opinion piece on how recently, the Alberta Energy Regulator suspended Sanling Energy’s licences, announcing that the company has $67 million in unpaid security for end-of-life obligations (i.e. abandonment and reclamation of wells). This is but the latest in a long series of bad news regarding the oil and gas sector’s outstanding environmental liabilities in Alberta, which includes a staggering 97,000 inactive wells (wells that are neither producing nor properly abandoned and reclaimed) — up from approximately 84,000 in 2018.  March 17, 2021.