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Alberta easing restrictions for oil companies

A pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Energy Minister Sonya Savage said this easement will help bring investment back to Alberta

The curtailments came under the NDP government to address the massive oil price differential

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – The Government of Alberta will be easing restrictions on curtailment for oil and gas companies.

The update to the curtailment policy means producers can drill new conventional wells without restrictions.

Existing wells will remain under the curtailments.

Energy Minister Sonya Savage said they hope to bring jobs and investment back to the province.

“Our job here and our focus from a government perspective is on bringing back investment and creating jobs first and two is protecting the value of the resource for Albertans.”

The new rules apply to companies drilling new wells outside the oil sands, which includes fracking.

The announcement comes despite several oil and gas companies making cuts in recent weeks. This includes layoffs at Husky Energy and the move of Encana to the United States.

WATCH: Big oil flocking south

Savage says she’s disappointed by these decisions but points the finger at the previous provincial and federal governments.

“They built nothing and they drove away investment and jobs. Basically, they burnt it to the ground and salted the earth. We’re doing everything they can to bring back investment, to revitalize the economy.”

Decreases in oil production were brought in under the NDP government as an emergency measure to deal with a growing price gap between Western Canadian Select and other oil prices.