The OWA’s procurement approach ensures a fair process where we select contractors who:

  • perform quality work,
  • are experienced,
  • have the right expertise,
  • hold an exemplary safety record,
  • have competitive rates, and
  • will responsibly represent the OWA in relationships with landowners and communities.

The OWA has 22 qualified Prime Contractors—or contractors of choice—to manage field activities and ensure the safety of all workers on site. Part of their role is to select subcontractors, of which there are currently a total of close to 600. The role of a Prime Contractor has several legal and safety requirements. The OWA must ensure that any company being assigned as a Prime Contractor has the capability to meet these legal requirements.

The use of a Prime Contractor for decommissioning and reclamation work in Western Canada is unique and is a model the OWA has been using successfully for 20 years. Most oil and gas producers fill the role of Prime Contractor themselves when decommissioning their own wells, facilities and pipelines.

As an independent, industry-funded association, the OWA has a considered, clear and fair vendor selection processes that is largely consistent with those used by the oil and gas industry. The Government of Alberta’s Site Rehabilitation Program is separately funded and managed and is not administered by the Orphan Well Association (OWA). Please go to for application and eligibility information, as well as the online application portal.