FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — While conceding disappointment that last week’s Alberta budget failed to specifically address its request for well decommissioning funding, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada is still hopeful of soon receiving a favorable response.
President and CEO Mark Salkeld says the budget submission urged immediate action on the P-SAC proposal noting the industry is losing tens of thousands of workers from the oil and gas services sector. Along, with them the intellectual capital and expertise it will need when the economy turns around.
He also confirmed P-SAC refined its original proposal in response to previous discussions with provincial and federal government officials to include orphan and legacy wells managed by the Orphan Well Association in addition to inactive wells, which are the responsibility of producers.
He says the idea remains to try and get the Alberta government on side first, because the majority of the wells in question is in that province, especially considering that the Saskatchewan government has already moved ahead with a similar initiative.
However, down the road the P-SAC plan still calls for similar talks with the B.C. government and Salkeld suggests the main stumbling block with all the governments is the oft repeated theory, “That winning politics remains largely a matter of public perception”
In this case, the unwanted public perception is being a government which bails out big oil…and to that argument Salkeld says this.
He repeated his previous argument that it’s a win-win-win situation for all the key stakeholders, industry workers, politicians, and environmentalists.