CALGARY – The Alberta Energy Regulator says a court has upheld its decision to prevent equipment from being removed from Lexin Resources Ltd. sites.
Last month the regulator took the unusual step of shutting down all Lexin operations, accusing the Calgary-based oil and gas producer of ignoring orders and regulations.
Lexin was ordered to shut down its estimated 1,660 sites, including 1,380 wells and 201 pipelines across the province.
The regulator says it submitted evidence to Court of Queen’s Bench that equipment has been removed from some sites without approval.
The AER says the unauthorized removal of equipment could present a risk to public safety and the environment.
It says it has hired security for sites to watch for vandalism and theft.
“Lexin has a history of noncompliances with AER requirements and has admitted it is unable to fulfil all its duties as licensee,” the regulator said in a release Tuesday.
“For that reason, the AER has designated certain Lexin sites as orphans for the purposes of facilitating safe suspension and will be looking to companies with working interests in Lexin’s AER-licensed sites to do the same.”
According to the regulator, Lexin owes more than $1 million in levies to the Orphan Well Association, which reclaims wells left by owners who can’t or won’t clean up depleted sites.
The AER has said the company also owes more than $70 million in security for its reclamation obligations.
Lexin officials were not available for comment.