South Peace News
Two oil and gas companies have set plans in place to pay unpaid taxes to Big Lakes County.
KinMerc Oil and Gas, based in Kinuso, presented a plan to council at the Nov. 10 meeting.
“We’re going to be on track with a payment plan,” president Barry Boisvert said.
He added the company owes $490,238.42 for 2020 and 2021 and penalties of $101,683.93.
The company plans to pay $30,000 a month for three years starting in December 2021, he confirmed.
Oil and gas companies have been stretched and stressed during the last two years with the economic downturn and COVID-19.
“The industry has gone through hell,” Boisvert said.
“We’ve come close to shutting it down.”
Boisvert said staff is paid first.
He added the Alberta Energy Regulator requires gas and oil companies to make other critical payments to stay in business.
“If we don’t pay AER administration fees and orphan well levies, they shut us down,” said Boisvert.
He says the same applies to public land service and petroleum and natural gas [PNG] leases, bank and vehicle payments, and other critical vendor payments.
Property taxes to municipalities are next on the list.
Long Run Exploration surface and environment co-ordinator Kurtis Averill also addressed council with plans by the Calgary-based company.
“We’re trying to get back in good standing with our municipal partners,” Averill said.
“We want to start payments as soon as possible and bring a plan to council.”
He said the company is working on a four-year plan to pay unpaid taxes to nine municipalities with Big Lakes being one of the main municipalities.
“We’re going to be behind a little because of the large size of our operation,” Averill said.
“We had to delay payments for 2019 and then COVID-19 kicked in in 2020.”