Oil and gas wells and facilities are deemed to be “orphaned” when the energy companies bankrupt or abandon the site without stopping or to complete reclamation work and can not be located by the authorities.
Nearly 200 Ranch Energy, new wells are being abandoned on farm land or private property. Most of the owners of real estate in B. C. do not own the rights to oil or natural gas under the surface of their land.
The cleanup of these sites, it could take up to 10 years, the bc Oil and Gas Commission told CBC News, even though some may be restored “much earlier,” he said.
The regulator said the cleaning of all 404 sites will cost around $40 million.
Energy companies are required to do such a job of cleaning, but in cases such as the bankruptcy of an industry fund is supposed to pay a cleaning fee. The Office of the B. C. Auditor General said last year that the fund of several millions of dollars less than what it needs.
In April, the federal government announced $ 1.7 billion worth of support to help clean up orphan oil and gas wells in B. C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The B. C. Oil and Gas Commission, said Ranch of the Energy went into receivership in 2018, but it was not until last week that Alberta has approved the sale of the assets of the company.
It is only when the provincial regulatory agency officially designated as Ranch B. C. orphaned sites, according to a written statement.
More recently orphaned sites are former gas wells operating within a 50 kilometre radius of Fort St. John, B. C.
Two of the Ranch of the Energy of the abandoned wells are on Arthur Hadland farm in Baldonnel, near Fort St. John.
He did not think that oil and gas companies should be allowed to operate if they can’t afford to clean up after themselves.
“I’m pretty disappointed,” said Hadland, who grows grass seed and malt barley on his 1,400-acre farm. “It was obvious years ago that there was going to be restoration of these sites and [regulators] let the industry get away with murder. “
Hadland, said his family, which has farmed in the area since 1928, has never wanted to drill on their land in the first place. He said the drilling began on their land in 1956.
Hadland said he received a call from the bc Oil and Gas Commission this week, saying the two wells on his land had been designated as orphans and would be cleaned.
He shared the news on the phone with his 99-year-old father, who lives in a care home.
“This thing stuck in [his] craw her entire life. It has always been a wound, ” said Hadland, who was once a local politician.
Most of the B. C. landowners do not own subsurface rights to petroleum or natural gas under their property. The provincial government may grant rights to the resources of the companies with exploration or drilling on private property, and a provincial of the surface rights board may order the landowners to give energy companies access.
“The industry has the full powers of the exploration to run on the interests of the individual,” Hadland said.
Now he hopes crews will be dispatched to clean the Ranch of the Energy left behind on approximately eight acres of its land.
“I think we are on the way of get, it is resolved to have laid to rest,” he said.