There are Now Over 80,000 Inactive Oil Wells in Alberta • Most Will Never be Activated Again

There are now over 80,000 inactive oil wells across the province of Alberta. This is getting to be too much, and something needs to change.

ALBERTA — Truth be told, 80,000 of anything is a lot. Sadly, when it comes to Alberta, there are now more than 80,000 inactive oil and gas wells spanning the province from north to south, and east to west.

This number has been steadily growing year over year, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be stopping anytime soon.

If oil prices rise 200 per cent, the modeling shows that just 12 per cent of oil wells become reactivated, and just seven per cent of gas wells.University of Calgary’s The School of Public Policy and author Lucija Muehlenbachs

In other words, it would take for WTI Crude oil prices going from today’s $53 mark, up to $106 a barrel to get 9,600 oil wells, and 5,600 gas wells reactivated. Even with that, it would still leave 64,800 inactive, which just isn’t right.

Inactive wells can either become an asset, if they eventually are reactivated and contribute to our energy supply, or they could become a liability if they are never reactivated, cause potential environmental degradation, and require costly cleanup.The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

The School of Public Policy suggests that a limit be placed on the amount of time wells can be considered inactive before they must be torn down and removed from their site. They are entirely against allowing the industry to keep wells inactive indefinitely, which let’s be honest, makes complete sense.

In the end, being able to leave an oil well in an inactive state is a convenience for their owners, but there are no added benefits to Albertans.

View the full press release by The School of Public Policy, UofC.


Jody Mitoma

Founder of Edmonton Talks News.

9 thoughts on “There are Now Over 80,000 Inactive Oil Wells in Alberta • Most Will Never be Activated Again

  • Kelley Wright
    February 11, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    First of all its spelt scenery! Dum dum. And those so called ugly machines kept Canada’s economy going last 35 years. Must be from the east. Dumb people bug me.

  • Pamela Schwarz
    February 11, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    I’ll take your phone, computer and car please since you’re done with them and against them!
    Oh wait.. you don’t wanna give them up? Then stop being anti oil. Hypocrites.

  • Tara-Lee Orgill
    February 11, 2017 at 9:51 AM

    Like your more than welcome to have a funeral or celebration at the take down if it means that much to you. But no sense in keeping something as ugly as those up if their done serving their purpose.

  • Deanne Burt Ballantyne
    February 11, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Good thing as these pump jacks aren’t used in the oil sands Two totally different ways of extracting oil. The oil sands look more like a mining operation .

  • Edmonton Talks News
    February 11, 2017 at 9:25 PM

    They’re inactive because price of oil is too low, not because they need repairs. I mean, I’m sure some need repairs, but the vast majority do not.

  • Brad Wittal
    February 12, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Why would you sell oil for less when you can sell it for more? Companies will wait till the price of oil rises to activate the wells this has been happening since before I was born and will continue till after I die this is old news imo


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