Supreme Court to decide on handling of abandoned oil wells

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal over a ruling that could allow energy companies to walk away from cleaning up abandoned oil wells

The Supreme Court of Canada says it will hear an appeal from Alberta’s energy regulator over a ruling that could allow energy companies to walk away from cleaning up abandoned oil wells and affect industrial sites across the country.

In May 2016, an Alberta Queen’s Bench judge ruled in favour of the bankruptcy trustee of Redwater Energy Corp., saying proceeds from the sale of assets from bankrupt energy companies should go first to creditors, not to cleaning up the mess from the company’s operations.

Redwater’s trustee and its lender wanted to sell off the company’s remaining producing wells to pay creditors, arguing a bankruptcy trustee is free to pick and choose from among the company’s assets and disclaim unproductive oil and gas wells.

Related: Politicians criticize Trudeau’s reaction to critics of Energy East demise

Disclaimed wells would be abandoned and left to the Orphan Well Association, an industry-funded and government-backed group, to clean up.

In a split decision last April, Alberta’s Appeal Court backed the original judge, saying federal bankruptcy law takes precedence over provincial environmental rules.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for agreeing to hear the appeal.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Organizers behind the Stettler history book project seeking more input

Committee members are available to assist with story development

Stettler Town & Country Museum almost back to full hours

Some buildings are closed due to ongoing hail damage repairs

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Movement for Black Lives plans virtual national convention

Movement for Black Lives plans virtual national convention

Trump, top officials defend response to Russia bounty threat

Trump, top officials defend response to Russia bounty threat

Legal battle concludes for journalist charged after covering Labrador protest

Legal battle concludes for journalist charged after covering Labrador protest

Lighthizer celebrates USMCA, promises enforcement as trade deal comes into force

Lighthizer celebrates USMCA, promises enforcement as trade deal comes into force

Brazilian cowboy nears end of epic horse ride in Calgary

Brazilian cowboy nears end of epic horse ride in Calgary

N.B. anti-racism activist among those receiving Canada Day honours from GG

N.B. anti-racism activist among those receiving Canada Day honours from GG

Virtual Canada Day citizenship ceremony celebrates nurses, care workers

Virtual Canada Day citizenship ceremony celebrates nurses, care workers

Pence backs Arizona business closures in coronavirus hotspot

Pence backs Arizona business closures in coronavirus hotspot

Most Read