| CALGARY, Alberta
CALGARY, Alberta Feb 15 The Alberta Energy
Regulator (AER) suspended licences on all oil and gas well
facilities and pipelines belonging to Lexin Resources Ltd on
Wednesday, nearly doubling the number of orphaned wells in
Canada's main crude-producing province.
The provincial regulator ordered privately-held Lexin to
cease all production, saying it failed to comply with multiple
orders and lacked enough staff to manage its more than 1,600
Calgary-based Lexin also owes more than C$1 million to
Alberta's orphan fund and more than C$70 million in security for
its obligations to clean up its oil and gas facilities at the
end of their producing life.
"The AER has little confidence in Lexin's ability to conduct
its operations safely and is taking measures to prevent
increasing public safety, environmental, and financial risk,"
the regulator said in a statement.
Alberta's Orphan Well Association (OWA) is responsible for
cleaning up wells that have no owners financially able to deal
with abandonment and decommissioning costs. It is overseen by
the AER and funded by levies from the oil and gas industry.
The enforcement action by the regulator means the 1,380
wells belonging to Lexin are now the responsibility of the OWA,
taking the total numbers of ownerless wells awaiting clean up in
Alberta to 2,970.
Prior to Wednesday's order there were 1,590 orphan wells in
(Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Tom Brown)