Oil Well Reclamation Service
Upon ceasing production, an operator of an oil well has to clean up the site. This process, called reclamation, involves replanting the site with native vegetation and revegetating the soil. This process can take years. A properly performed reclamation is essential in protecting the public and the environment.
Wells that have been abandoned may contain toxic materials, such as chemicals left behind from oil spills. These chemicals can cause human health problems and damage wildlife. The chemicals can also end up in nearby bodies of water. They pollute marine life, such as fish, and the coastline. If contaminated water is released into the ocean, it can harm people living in nearby areas.
A reclamation plan is required to be submitted by a well operator to the state government. This plan should include details on the proposed reclamation work and plans for reclaiming associated facilities. Well owners should be consulted on the reclamation plan before it is submitted to the state. If the plan does not meet the state’s requirements, the well owner has the right to appeal. If a well owner feels that the reclamation plan was inadequate, the well owner can request a statement of concern. If the statement of concern is not approved, the well owner has one year to appeal.
Reclamation of an oil well site involves the removal of soil, equipment, and other materials. The goal of reclamation is to return the land to its original condition. The reclamation process has criteria, such as the amount of land disturbed and the level of soil contamination. A reclamation plan should also include the reseeding of the site with native vegetation. Reclamation of a well site can be challenging, especially if the well owner is no longer in business.
Currently, there are approximately 90,000 inactive wells in Alberta. The average life of a natural gas well is about twenty to thirty years. However, wells may sit abandoned for years. They can leak toxic gases and contaminate the land around them. The Government of Alberta has strict rules on how well sites should be cared for after a company ceases production. These rules are designed to protect both the well and the environment. If you are the owner of an inactive well, contact the AER before you encounter any problems. It can help you avoid financial and environmental burdens from inactive sites.
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has established guidelines for abandoning wells above the surface and below the surface. AER also offers practical guidance to struggling operators to maximize their assets and avoid environmental burdens. They also have an area-based closure program to help operators close their sites before they become orphaned. In addition to these programs, the oil well reclamation program is administered by the Department of Interior.
Oil well reclamation services include soil and groundwater testing to ensure the site is safe for human use and wildlife. The soil is assessed by analyzing the physical properties of the soil and collecting samples. If the soil is found to be contaminated, it will be removed from the site.