FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
PSAC Applauds Government of Alberta for Loans to Create Jobs
in Beleaguered Oil and Gas Services Sector
Calgary, Alberta (May 18, 2017)– The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) welcomes the announcement today by the Government of Alberta of a $235 million loan to the Orphan Well Association (OWA) that will accelerate the decommissioning of orphan wells and sites and get oilfield services workers back to work.
“PSAC is pleased that our intense advocacy efforts to help get our member companies and their employees back to work have come to fruition and applaud the Alberta government for using federal funds to create more jobs for our beleaguered sector,” said Mark Salkeld, President and CEO of PSAC. “This loan will help ensure we can retain the skills and expertise needed for responsible development of our energy resources, and positively contribute to Alberta’s reputation as responsible stewards of the environment.”
PSAC has been advocating for such a loan by federal and provincial governments throughout 2016 following tens of thousands of layoffs and numerous bankruptcies from lack of work resulting from low commodity prices and plummeting capital investment in the sector during one of the worst downturns to hit this industry in decades that created devastating economic times for our members.
The oil and gas industry in Alberta is one of the very few, if not the only industry, that proactively takes responsibility for the orphaned sites of its peers that have gone bankrupt. This is accomplished through levies industry pays to the OWA by current energy companies with no interest in those sites. With this latest downturn, insolvencies increased and therefore orphan sites too. “What better way to deal with this situation than to provide a loan that will be repaid by industry through a well-established process that ensures these wells do not become the next generation’s headache and creates much-needed jobs for the services sector at the same time,” says Salkeld.
“It is also encouraging to know that governments have listened and understand the need to retain the critical skills and expertise that the services sector provides to Canada’s explorers and producers that is also exported globally. Alberta will also benefit from the additional fuel and income taxes paid and the trickle-down effect of disposable income circulating throughout the economy.”
Today, we thank Premier Notley and the Government of Alberta for this loan to support jobs in this vital sector.