How to get away with dumping your orphan wells on the public - 2020-05-25
The case of Manitok Energy shows just how easy the Alberta Energy Regulator makes it for oil and gas executives to dump their environmental liabilities on the Alberta public.
When the oil and gas company Manitok Energy went out of business in 2018, it sent tens of millions of dollars worth of environmental liabilities to the Orphan Well Association or OWA, the non-profit agency responsible for cleaning up the environmental messes left behind by bankrupt oil and gas companies.
But less than a year later, a new company with a different name but the same CEO was able to acquire all of Manitok's remaining non-orphan well assets -- while dumping the liabilities on the rest of us -- and all with the tacit blessing of the Alberta Energy Regulator or AER. And while the OWA is supposed to be industry funded it is now majority funded by public money due to recently receiving hundreds of millions of dollars worth of taxpayer dollars.