This is the second in a two-part series on wellsite repurposing projects in the Canadian oilpatch. Part one looked at the background and advantages of repurposing projects.
Notwithstanding the potential benefits of repurposing projects and the increased amount of attention and pilot projects we are seeing in this area, we are still in the early stages of inactive site repurposing. There is still an abundance of inactive wellsites in the oilpatch and we have not seen a widespread adoption of any particular repurposing strategy. This is largely the result of the lack of a clear regulatory framework, and in some cases, a lack of sufficient flexibility in existing regulations and systems, to support such conversions.
Specific examples of the challenges that repurposing project proponents currently face in this regard include the following:
Despite many obstacles and unknowns, repurposing projects present opportunities for collaboration, innovation and reinvigoration in respect of the multitude of inactive wells and related infrastructure in Canada's oilpatch. Repurposing projects offer the potential for redeployment of skilled oilfield works and provide producers a means to flip the script to convert liabilities into income streams while contributing to energy diversification, all of which are key pillars in Alberta’s Recovery Plan and Canada's overall economic recovery strategy.