MP Leslyn Lewis Seeks Action on the Thousands of Orphan Oil and Gas Wells in Haldimand-Norfolk

Simcoe, ON – Today Leslyn Lewis, Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk, is calling on the Minister of Natural Resources Canada for answers to why the government has neglected Ontario’s thousands of orphan oil and gas wells and to address the problem.

“There are up to 10,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in Ontario and up to 4,500 abandoned wells in Haldimand-Norfolk alone,” said MP Lewis. “They are posing an ongoing environmental and public health risk to residents.”

“The Liberals announced $1.7 billion in orphan well clean-up funding for Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia back in 2020, yet Ontario has been left out of this plan, and left behind. I’m calling on this government to stop ignoring this public health and environmental hazard in Ontario, and to start working with industry stakeholders and the province for a solution.”

Haldimand-Norfolk has one of the highest concentrations of orphan wells in the country. They often emit a sulfuric smell and can damage surrounding water and air quality. In 2020, the Ontario Petroleum Institute wrote to the Minister of Finance asking for $270 million in funding for an Ontario Orphan Well Reclamation Program, estimating the clean-up cost per well at $60,000. In their letter, OPI also highlighted the potential economic opportunities with such a program, including job creation and partnerships with private sector to serve communities going forward.

View the full letter to the Minister here.


Media Contact:

Jeremy McIntee

Director of Operations

Office of Leslyn Lewis

Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk