Will Port Alice Rebound?

kayakwriter

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Feb 27, 2006
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I gotta say this feels a lot like the abandoned mines of yore, where the profits were privatized over the working life of of the mines, then the risks and clean-up costs wound up being made a public expense once the mines had played out. My lay-person's understanding is that currently operating mines are supposed to be posting bonds and/or taking out insurance policies to ensure taxpayers aren't left holding the toxic babies in future (though I'm taking a skeptical "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude to that). Maybe it's time to have pulp mills and forestry companies on the same program?
 

a_c

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Dec 23, 2014
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Victoria, BC
I gotta say this feels a lot like the abandoned mines of yore,
Those 'days' are not so 'yore', sadly.

Federal COVID-19 relief funds will aid in the clean up of dormant and orphan oil and gas sites in northern B.C., creating 1,200 jobs, but observers say the bad habit of leaving industry environmental liabilities to the taxpayer needs to end.

B.C. has about 25,000 oil and gas well sites. About 7,700 are dormant, meaning they have been inactive for five consecutive years and are unlikely to return to service.

There are 348 orphan wells in B.C., but that number is poised to double once 300 to 400 wells from Ranch Energy, a Calgary-based company that went bankrupt, are added to the list.


The article is a year old now but this has been standard practice (open secret?) for decades. The number of orphan wells in Alberta and SK dwarfs the BC number. Just Google 'orphan wells' and prepare to be outraged.

Curious how an oil well becomes an 'orphan' - its parents just up and died?

/s
 

kayakwriter

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Feb 27, 2006
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The article is a year old now but this has been standard practice (open secret?) for decades. The number of orphan wells in Alberta and SK dwarfs the BC number. Just Google 'orphan wells' and prepare to be outraged.Curious how an oil well becomes an 'orphan' - its parents just up and died? /s
So, contrary to that old saying, "Oil's not well that ends well."
 

eriktheviking

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Jul 4, 2009
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Prince George, BC
Curious how an oil well becomes an 'orphan' - its parents just up and died?
Not its parents. More like its foster parents twice removed. The standard practice seems to be that a new productive well is used by a big-name company (one we might have heard of) but as its production drops it is sold to a smaller company, and so on. Very often the last numbered company in that line just declares bankruptcy and walks away. Not so different to what happened with this pulp mill.
 

AlphaEcho

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Jan 24, 2010
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Quadra Island, BC
That's "kick the can down the road" management and it happens on both sides of the table -- governments and industry both want the revenue and the good will that comes from "Jobs!", but not the headaches of decommissioning and clean-up.
 
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