The province announced an initiative on Wednesday morning encouraging oil producers to move towards a more sustainable type of well.

The “Waterflood Development Program” wants producers to drill new waterflood injection wells, or convert existing wells to this greener option. Companies are being offered a royalty deferral for up to three years as an incentive.

The focus of the program is to extend the life of each well so fewer wells will need to be drilled in the future.

“It extends the life of wells that are already in production,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. “In fact, it value adds and this really is about sustaining those wells and growing production.”

The government says the program will invest $375 million in the oil industry and create 500 new permanent jobs.