Gowling WLG successfully represents Grant Thornton Limited, Receiver and Trustee, in Redwater Energy’s receivership and bankruptcy proceedings

17 May 2016

Gowling WLG successfully represents Grant Thornton Limited in Redwater Energy Corporation’s receivership and bankruptcy proceedings.

On May 17, 2016, an Alberta court ruled in favour of Grant Thornton Limited, the Receiver and Trustee in the Redwater Energy Corporation receivership and bankruptcy proceedings, upholding its right to disclaim Redwater’s non-producing oil wells and sell its producing ones.

The Honourable Chief Justice Neil Wittmann dismissed an application by the Alberta Energy Regulator and Orphan Well Association to set aside the Receiver’s disclaimer of non-producing wells and for an order requiring the receiver to perform abandonment, reclamation and remediation obligations relating to those wells. Further, he granted an application by the Receiver to approve a sale process with respect to the producing wells, which required that the Alberta Energy Regulator approve applications to transfer wells, notwithstanding the non-performance of Redwater’s abandonment obligations, so long as the purchaser was in compliance with the rules under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act of Alberta. 

The decision brings clarity to the complex relationship between the federal insolvency regime and the provincial regulatory regime relating to the exploration and production of oil and gas. Both the Alberta Energy Regulator and the Orphan Well Association have appealed the decision. The appeal is expected to be heard in October 2016.

Gowling WLG acted as co-counsel to Grant Thornton with a team led by Tom Cumming that included Geoffrey Macleod, John Cusano, Peter D. Morrison, Katherine Ratcliffe and James Smellie.

Read a detailed case summary.


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