Oil companies are being held more responsible to ensure all wells are reclaimed.
The government of Alberta announced on Thursday new rules industry must follow to help shrink the growing number of abandoned sites.
This includes having five-year spending requirements on reclamation, forcing companies to justify pushing back the cleaning of any wells, and more.
“This new approach will further ensure everyone who benefits from development also addresses their ongoing reclamation responsibility in a way that is fair and achievable,” said Sonya Savage, Energy Minister.
“By clarifying the rules and improving the process, industry can confidently make long-term investment decisions, which will help the province’s recovery efforts and create jobs, putting thousands of Albertans and Canadians back to work.”
Right now, over 96,000 wells are inactive and another 73,000 are abandoned.
An exact cost to reclaim all these sites is unknown. However, the province has provided $100 million and the federal government is allocating $1.7 billion for Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.