An Alberta energy company that shut down operations on Tuesday says low gas prices and high property taxes led to its demise.
In a statement, Trident Exploration Corp. said, “Alberta has no mechanism to allow a struggling energy company such as Trident to address its inflated surface lease and property tax obligations.”
The company handed over responsibility for approximately 4,700 wells to the Alberta Energy Regulator—a cleanup Trident estimated at $329 million.
AER said it “will pursue all options to ensure that Trident’s infrastructure is transferred to responsible operators, safely decommissioned, or, as a last resort, transferred to the Orphan Well Association.”
OWA is a non-profit organization that protects and manages wells without owners. According to its website, there were 3,172 Orphan Wells for Abandonment in its inventory as of mid-April.
“We’re very concerned about the challenge of well-reclamation in Alberta and our platform speaks to that,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said.
Trident also criticized the Redwater decision, a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that prohibits energy companies from walking away from unprofitable wells without cleaning it up.
The premier vowed to “closely review” the decision and sit down with Alberta municipalities to attempt to lower property taxes.