A new program will provide the energy industry with access to up to $1 billion, creating jobs to immediately get Albertans back to work.
The Site Rehabilitation Program – mainly funded by the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – will provide grants to oilfield service contractors to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site reclamation work. Starting now, the program is expected to create about 5,300 direct jobs and lead to the cleanup of thousands of sites.
This work will be done in Alberta, putting Albertans back to work. The program will also provide additional economic benefits, such as indirect employment, helping support various sectors of Alberta’s economy – including restaurant and hotel workers, and many other businesses – as it begins to reopen and recover after the effects of COVID-19.
“Alberta’s energy industry is the largest subsector of Canada’s economy, as well as one of its biggest job creators. We are creating almost 5,300 jobs for Alberta’s energy workers, while completing important work decommissioning and reclaiming abandoned pump jacks, pipelines and wells. This will ensure that sites are properly addressed, benefiting landowners and Albertans across the province.”Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy
This program will launch on May 1, with an initial focus on providing grants to service companies that have been significantly impacted by the unprecedented economic downturn. The program will provide funds in $100-million increments.
The first $100 million will be available for service companies to do eligible work anywhere in the province. Future increments may be allocated for work conducted in specific regions within the province, directing funds where they can have the most significant environmental benefits.
All laws, regulations, directives, and environmental and occupational health and safety standards, including physical distancing and COVID-19-related health guidelines, must be followed in carrying out the work.
- The Site Rehabilitation Program will provide grants of between 25 and 100 per cent of total project costs – depending on the ability of the oil and gas company responsible for the site to help pay for cleanup – and will be paid directly to the oilfield service company completing the work.
- Contractors can apply for a grant online during the following dates and must meet all eligibility and project requirements:
- May 1-31: Open to service companies significantly impacted by the unprecedented economic downturn for contracts of up to $30,000 per application across Alberta. This $100-million increment will focus on projects that are eligible for 100 per cent government funding.
- May 15 to June 15: Open to service companies for contracts of up to $30,000 and eligible for 100 per cent funding. This $100-million increment will focus on sites where some operators have failed landowners and where government is paying compensation to landowners as required under the Surface Rights Act.
- Future increments will be developed for larger projects.
- Application and eligibility information, as well as the online application portal, is available at alberta.ca/siterehab.
- Grant-funded work must be done in Alberta, putting Albertans to work.
- Eligible work includes:
- closure work on inactive wells and pipelines, including remediation and reclamation
- removal of abandoned in-place pipelines
- Phase 1 and 2 environmental site assessments
- Alberta has a strong regulatory system requiring that the thousands of oil and gas structures across the province – including pump jacks, pipelines, and wells – be properly decommissioned and their sites brought back to a land condition similar to the state they were in before the infrastructure was built. This work ensures that the sites are safe for landowners and Albertans and there are no negative impacts to the environment.