“The regulator’s first performance report shows how Alberta’s promise to take bold and strong action under the liability management framework to clean up inactive oil and gas sites is making a big difference.

“The AER report demonstrates the progress made in moving oil and gas infrastructure through stages of closure work. For example, in 2022, the number of inactive wells in Alberta decreased to 83,000 from 91,000 – a nine per cent reduction.

“Industry is doing its part. In 2022, companies spent approximately $700 million to clean up liabilities – exceeding the closure spending requirements of the AER by 65 per cent. In total, more than $1.2 billion was spent on cleanup and closure work in 2022.

“In 2022, a mandatory closure spending quota was introduced by the AER, requiring industry to spend at least $422 million collectively on closure and cleanup work. At the same time, the Alberta Site Rehabilitation Program provided grants to service sector companies to conduct closure work, and the Orphan Well Association continued its cleanup of orphan sites.” 

Brian Jean, Minister of Energy and Minerals

“The AER report shows that Alberta is making real progress in cleaning up oil and gas sites using the highest environmental standards. This report shows more sites reclaimed, more funds invested into more cleanup work and more action being taken with industry at sites across the province. Our government has made this a priority, and we are delivering.

“We will keep building on this momentum. In the coming weeks we have two new pilot projects – the Well Site Reduction Pilot and the Reclaiming Peatland Pilot – that will begin testing ways to make the current reclamation certificate issuance process faster, clearer and more effective. As this moves forward, we will continue looking at new ways to speed up closure and cleanup work while maintaining world-class environmental standards, and at ways to reclaim sites as quickly, safely and effectively as possible for future generations.”

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas