New AER Push for Compliance

Neal Ellis Environment • Energy

We're seeing the Alberta Energy Regular continuing to push the Oil & Gas industry for better regulatory compliance with decommissioned and inactive wells. Starting April 1, 2015, the new Inactive Well Compliance Program (IWCP) initiative is aiming to bring all inactive non-compliant wells in line with suspension requirements (Directive 013) within five years. That means they're aiming for 100% compliance by 2020. Random audits and field inspections will begin next year to verify compliance with the new program.

As of April 1, 2015, each licensee will be required to bring 20 per  cent of its IWCP inventory into compliance every year, either by reactivating or suspending the  wells in accordance with Directive 013 or by abandoning them in accordance with Directive 020: Well Abandonment.

"We have a lot of gas wells out there which have been impacted by the economics and I think we are seeing a regulatory response to that," he said. "It's reasonable to assume that [the AER] felt that it required some additional focus from the regulator to accelerate the level of compliance with the directive on inactive wells." - Gary Leach, president of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada.

Quotes and data from this Daily Oil Bulletin piece. The AER bulletin is here.

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