Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall has asked the federal government for $156 million in funding for an accelerated well cleanup program.
The idea is to stimulate employment in the oil and gas support sector by cleaning up old wells that are no longer producing.
The province estimates that the program would accelerate the decommissioning and reclamation of 1,000 wells in the next two years and generate 1,200 direct and indirect jobs.
Dan Cugnet, chair of Valleyview Petroleums Ltd., an exploration and production company in Weyburn, said aside from jobs, the program would eliminate fugitive emissions from non-productive wells.
The program would include environmental site assessment, safe removal and disposal of old equipment, remediation of oil and salt water spills, and restoration of agricultural land and critical habitat.