Keely Cameron comments in Daily Oil Bulletin on environmental liabilities and diminished credit facilities in Alberta. She was a speaker at the Environmental Law Centre's seminar on insolvency, environmental obligations and the impact of the Redwater decision.
Cameron told the seminar that one of the main benefits of the RedWater decision is that it has resulted in an increased focus and dialogue in relation to liabilities, not only in Canada but also in other jurisdictions around the world. Up until recently there has been a focus on policies that encourage development in the creation of jobs without as much focus on how end-of-life obligations in the long run are addressed, she said.
In response to a question, Cameron said legislative changes would be required for the AER to introduce rules requiring operators to file applications for inactive wells with the annual fee rising over time to encourage well abandonments and reclamation. B.C. has signalled that it is looking at something similar in that operators would have to make the case for why they should be allowed to keep a well in an inactive state and to post security, she said. “At the end of the day, it’s cheaper than keeping it in that state.”