A pair of Alberta ministers are praising their government's efforts on the clean-up of orphan wells.

Minister of Energy Brian Jean and Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz have issued a joint statement following the release of the Alberta Energy Regulator’s Liability Management Performance Report.

The report says Alberta's oil and gas industry spent almost $700 million in 2022, that's 65 per cent more than they were required to spend.

According to the report they took 8,000 inactive wells off the books.

"In 2022, a mandatory closure spending quota was introduced by the AER, requiring industry to spend at least $422 million collectively on closure and cleanup work," said Brian Jean. "At the same time, the Alberta Site Rehabilitation Program provided grants to service sector companies to conduct closure work, and the Orphan Well Association continued its cleanup of orphan sites."

Minister of Environment and Protected Areas, Rebecca Schulz, says they are planning to do more.

"We will keep building on this momentum. In the coming weeks, we have two new pilot projects, the Well Site Reduction Pilot and the Reclaiming Peatland Pilot, that will begin testing ways to make the current reclamation certificate issuance process faster, clearer and more effective," said Schulz. 

"As this moves forward, we will continue looking at new ways to speed up closure and cleanup work while maintaining world-class environmental standards, and at ways to reclaim sites as quickly, safely and effectively as possible for future generations."

Figures for 2023 are not available.