However, those in Saskatchewan are hoping it’s a first step, not the only step.
“It’s going to help to a point,” said Brad Bennett, VP of operations for Sun Country Well Servicing in Estevan.
“It will help some companies because they’re going to have revenue turning and they’ll be able to maintain the people they got.”
Bennet says additional measures will need to be taken by the federal government to alleviate pressure on oil companies, like eliminating the carbon tax, even if it’s just during the pandemic.
The government of Saskatchewan has requested federal funding to clean up inactive oil and gas wells in the province since 2016. And on Friday, Premier Scott Moe called it a “positive first step” as he awaits for more information.
“Details shared with our government to this point have been limited, and we have not been made aware of whether this is an initial step of supporting our energy industry, or the only step,” Moe said.
“With liquidity being a daily risk to energy companies, federal funding must start flowing immediately.”
The province says they will continue to engage with the federal government to garner more information as they continue to advocate for more supports.
According to the Ministry of Energy and Resources, there are 159 orphan wells in Saskatchewan that require abandonment.
Additionally, there are 481 orphan sites where the well has been abandoned, but the site is currently being reclaimed.
The $1.7 billion in funding aims to clean up these wells in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the investment will maintain 5,200 jobs in Alberta alone and will help companies avoid bankruptcy.
Sun Country Well Servicing is one company that is looking to benefit from the funding.
“We’re hoping we’ll get a chance to bid on all the work that’s coming up,” Bennett said.
“I don’t know whether they’re planning on giving everyone a little bit, but we’re definitely going to be quite interested and hopefully we’ll have work going forward.”View link »