Indigenous-owned Backwoods Energy Services will be leading the cleanup effort of 56 oil and gas well sites on Enoch Cree Nation land.
Premier Jason Kenney made the announcement Wednesday as part of the Alberta government’s $1-billion site rehabilitation program (SRP). Backwoods, as well as Western Petroleum Management, which will be working on 257 sites across Alberta, are the first Indigenous companies to be approved under the initial phase of the SRP.
The SRP, which started May 1, provides grants to oil field service contractors to remediate oil and gas wells. The work will include pipeline segment removal and environmental work such as site assessments, remediation, and reclamation.
Kenney said much of this work needs to be done on First Nations land, adding the program is providing funding in increments of $100 million.
“We did that in part to ensure that First Nations contractors and smaller contractors, not just the big guys, get to benefit from the program,” he said. “I’m confident that we’ll see many more Indigenous companies and employees getting back to work and many more sites getting cleaned up across Alberta, including those on First Nations and Metis settlements.”