Funding approved to support Saskatchewan’s oil and gas service sector. (Credit: (credit: skeeze from Pixabay) The Government of Saskatchewan is providing an update on the Accelerated Site Closure Program (ASCP). Launched in May, with the first approved projects announced in July, $34 million worth of work packages have been approved.“Saskatchewan-based service companies were among the hardest-hit sectors by COVID-19 and the OPEC+ price war, and it was crucial to get those workers—who form the backbone of the oil and gas sector—back on the job,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. “We are proud of the ASCP program, which has rolled out smoothly and efficiently, and very pleased that workers across the province are being employed by local oilfield service companies.”The current approved work packages make up Phase 1 of the program, which will allocate $100 million in funding for eligible oil and gas operators who collaborate with Saskatchewan-based service companies to undertake abandonment and reclamation work on inactive wells, facilities and flowlines.The Saskatchewan Resource Council (SRC), with SaskBuilds, is providing procurement expertise to ensure that Saskatchewan-based service companies are employed. The ASCP continues to approve new work projects and, over a two-and-a-half year period, will access up to $400 million in federal funding. Up to 8,000 inactive wells and facilities are expected to be abandoned and reclaimed over the life of the program, which is expected to support some 2,100 full-time equivalent jobs.“The Saskatchewan ASCP funding has made the difference from having six people employed to now having 25 people employed to undertake this work, which has tripled our company’s manhours since the funding came into place,” Prairie Dog Reclamation and Fencing owner and operator Jeff Loehndorf said. “I am so appreciative of the work this funding has generated in this province as it will go a long way to sustaining my business.”There are currently 11 operators and over 100 service companies involved in the approved work packages, which are evenly distributed across all four major oil-producing regions of the province. Approximately $4.4 million in work has been completed to date, including 172 well abandonments, 312 well reclamations, 41 facility decommissions, and 38 flowline abandonments.“Onion Lake Cree Nation Well Servicing GP is much appreciative for being called upon on the abandonment well program with CNRL,” Onion Lake Business Development Corporation Executive Director Tom Chief said. “Getting back to work has been a blessing in disguise as we didn’t have a clue where the oil and gas industry was heading with the uncertainty of the market, and we’re very hopeful this work continues and keeps us busy for the next couple of years.”In addition to cleaning up inactive wells through the ASCP, the provincial government remains committed to working with the oil and gas sector to strengthen liability management programs, including policies and regulations, to ensure that licensees are responsible for environmental liabilities and inactive wells are properly reclaimed. This builds on work already completed last year, by the Ministry of Energy and Resources, on the development of a new abandonment directive that led to a record number of abandonments in 2019.“Our strong, internationally-recognized regulatory framework will continue to serve us well by protecting the environment and supporting jobs and economic recovery,” Eyre said. “Saskatchewan’s oil and gas sector is one of the most environmentally responsible in the world, and our operators recognize the importance of the timely retirement of wells and facilities that are no longer economical.” Source: Company Press Release Approximately $4.4 million in work has been completed to date, including 172 well abandonments, 312 well reclamations, 41 facility decommissions, and 38 flowline abandonments
May 07, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter The Blog, Weekly Update Severance taxLast Monday, Governor Wolf joined bipartisan legislators to announce the introduction of legislation that would create a commonsense severance tax in the commonwealth. Pennsylvania is the only gas-producing state without a severance tax.“Since day one of my term as governor, I have fought to enact a reasonable severance tax that would give Pennsylvanians their fair share of the energy boom that is powered by resources that belong to all of us,” said Governor Wolf.The proposed severance tax would generate an estimated $248.7 million in the next fiscal year alone to address critical budget needs and would also keep the current impact fee in place, ensuring that this important revenue source for local municipalities stays intact.ManufacturingBuilding on his efforts to promote job training and connect students with career pathways, on Tuesday Governor Wolf announced a new fellowship program through his Manufacturing PA initiative. This program will partner undergraduate or graduate students at Pennsylvania colleges and universities with local manufacturers and fund student specific research projects that develop new products or processes for the company. On Friday, the governor also announced a $135,000 grant to the Manufacturers Resource Center to develop a new training program with Lehigh Carbon Community College, providing 20 trainees with certifications and college credits.Criminal justiceOn Thursday, Governor Wolf hosted a press conference alongside Congressman Dwight Evans, Senator Larry Farnese, Representative Donna Bullock, artist Robert “Meek Mill” Williams and Sixers Co-Owner and entrepreneur Michael Rubin.“I believe that we can improve the criminal justice system, so that we can protect victims while also ending a cycle of incarceration that has left so many people feeling trapped, helpless, and without an opportunity to return to society after they have been released,” Governor Wolf said.View a list of initiatives outlined by Governor Wolf.Governor Wolf’s Week, April 29, 2018 – May 5, 2018Monday, 4/30/18Students, Community Members Join Wolf Administration in Williamsport for Cabinet in Your Community EventGovernor Wolf, Legislators Introduce New Bipartisan Severance Tax LegislationTuesday, 5/1/18Governor Wolf Again Asks House GOP Leaders to Advance Domestic Violence LegislationGovernor Wolf Launches New Fellowship Program to Connect Students and Manufacturers to Advance Innovation in PennsylvaniaFirst Lady Frances Wolf Joins Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs to Honor PennsylvaniansAsian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2018Wednesday, 5/2/18Governor Wolf Hosts First Opioid Command Center on the Road in Southwest PennsylvaniaGovernor Wolf Announces Plans for Special Congressional ElectionsGovernor Wolf Announces New Small Business Loan Approvals for Eight Projects in Six Counties, Supporting Nearly 700 JobsThursday, 5/3/18Governor Wolf Leads Call-to-Action for Criminal Justice ReformPennsylvania’s School Safety Task Force Hears from Students, Others in the Northeast RegionFriday, 5/4/18Governor Wolf Announces Grant for New Manufacturing Training Program in the Lehigh ValleyHighlights from TwitterI’m proud to join state legislators, @sixers co-owner @MichaelGRubin, and artist @MeekMill today to announce proposals for criminal #JusticeReform in Pennsylvania. pic.twitter.com/Bvp1Ny4mt2— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) May 3, 2018 Weekly Update: Fighting for a Severance Tax, Connecting Workers and Manufacturers, and Advocating for Criminal Justice Reform Since day one as governor, I have fought to enact a commonsense severance tax and today I’m joining bipartisan legislators to renew that call. It is well past time that we join all other major gas-producing states in getting a fair share of natural gas profits for our citizens. pic.twitter.com/vTML1Z5u2Q— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) April 30, 2018
The active funds increased their share of bonds and bond funds to 52%, from 48% in the first quarter, while decreasing the share of bank deposits by 2 percentage points to 5% because of historically low interest rates.The balanced funds likewise raised their bond share, by 5 percentage points to 75%, while cutting their equity and equity fund exposure, from 17% to 14%.The conservative plans remained relatively unchanged, with bonds and bond funds accounting for 78%, and deposits 7%. Like the active funds, they have also kept a sizeable share, of 15%, in cash.Brexit had little direct effect because the Latvian funds have relatively little investment in the UK, instead focusing increasingly on the home market.Latvia accounted for 42% of invested assets, followed by Eastern Europe (23%), and global and international securities (12%).More than 92% of investments went into euro-denominated assets, followed some way behind by the US dollar (6%).Assets accumulated in the 15-year-old second-pillar system breached the €2.5bn mark at the end of June, a year-on-year growth rate of 14.4%, with net investment income accounting for almost €400m.In the voluntary third pillar, the 12-month average fell to 0.52%, from 3.47% in June 2015, with the four balanced funds returning 1.1%, the 10 active plans minus 0.38% and the First Closed Pension Fund 0.75%.The wide range of returns from the active plans partly reflected currency developments over the period, with the two US dollar funds returning 1.23%, while the eight euro-denominated funds averaged minus 0.45%.Over the last three months, the active plans raised their share in equity and equity funds by 4 percentage points to 37%, while the balanced ones increased their bond holdings from 64% to 69%, in both cases at the expense of their cash holdings.Assets grew by 11.3% year on year to €340m and membership by 7.2% to 261,925. Latvia’s mandatory second-pillar pension funds’ 12-month weighted average return to 30 June 30 fell to minus 0.16%, from 2.71% a year earlier, according to the Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia (LKA).The best results, of 1.53%, were generated by the eight bond-weighted conservative funds, followed by the four balanced funds at minus 0.47%, and the eight active, equity-weighted funds at minus 1.54%.However, a market recovery in the second quarter was reflected in the funds’ improved three-month performance, with the active funds returning 0.37% (compared with minus 0.75% in the first quarter), and the balanced funds 0.48% (against minus 0.07%), while the conservative funds’ result was unchanged at 0.57%.The funds’ asset allocation strategies became increasingly more risk averse throughout this year.