Supporting Indigenous vendors through our Clearwater Abandonment Program

April 2021 - Our Clearwater Abandonment Program is just one example of our ongoing work to create mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous vendors in areas where we operate. We’ve teamed up with O’Chiese Contracting and Logistics Solutions Energy to start abandoning 58 wells and decommission related facilities in our Clearwater operating area in northwestern Alberta.

Clearwater was selected as an area of focus for abandonment and reclamation because of our existing inventory of wells there. This will enable a cost-effective, area-based program to directly reduce inactive liabilities and ongoing operating expenses while completing important environmental and restoration work.

Clearwater abandonment Ochiese rig“Using Indigenous vendors is an important part of how we do business,” says Jeff Nail, Group Lead, Well Abandonment at Cenovus. “It helps us meet our labour and service needs, but more importantly, it helps strengthen local economies around our operations. We’re proud to partner with these Indigenous companies on the Clearwater Abandonment Program.”

As part of the reclamation initiative, we’re leveraging the Alberta Government’s Site Rehabilitation Program (SRP), which makes funding available for abandonment and reclamation work in the province. By taking advantage of the SRP, the Clearwater abandonment team will be able to work with local and Indigenous contractors to create jobs, proactively reduce our liabilities and restore the environment.

The Clearwater abandonment team recently completed 20 well abandonments with our partnering vendors. The remaining 38 abandonments are expected to begin after spring break-up, with a target completion date of this summer.

What is well abandonment?

Well abandonment is part of the normal reclamation process. There are several reasons to abandon a well – the most common is because of mineral lease expiration or because operations have ceased. Learn more about our land and wildlife practices.

More about the Alberta Government’s Site Rehabilitation Program

Through the Clearwater abandonment program, we are aiming to support the SRP’s goals by:

  • Helping get Alberta’s specialized oil and gas labour force back to work.
  • Safely accelerating site abandonment, facility decommissioning and reclamation efforts across the province.
  • Completing a high-volume of significant environmental work and restoration.

Learn more about the SRP.

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