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Oil and gas group asks for federal money to clean up inactive wells

File: Oil well. FILE - Global News

CALGARY – An energy industry group wants $500 million in federal infrastructure funding to clean up inactive oil and gas wells.

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada says its members don’t typically ask for government money.

READ MORE: When the oil stops – 16×9 takes a closer look at old wells in Canada

The group also acknowledges that it’s a company’s responsibility to decommission wells that are no longer producing.

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of abandoned oil wells in Canada

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But PSAC CEO Mark Salkeld says these aren’t normal times, with investment plunging and tens of thousands of people in the industry laid off.

READ MORE: Alberta landowners’ advocate on ‘mushrooming’ problem of abandoned oil wells

Salkeld calls the proposal a win-win — putting member companies back to work while addressing an environmental challenge.

PSAC says as of January of this year, Alberta had more than 75,000 inactive wells that needed to be decommissioned and the sums being requested would cover a fraction of that work.

MAP: Alberta littered with inactive oil and gas wells

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