What Are Your Options For Orphan Well Abandonment Solutions?

Orphan well abandonment is a common problem in regions with extensive oil and gas drilling. That's especially the case when the industry goes through one of its many economic bust cycles. An orphaned well can contribute to a host of local, regional, and even global ecological problems.

Fortunately, there are orphan well abandonment solutions. Here is how you can assess the problem and what you might be able to do.

Is the Well Abandoned?

Notably, you'll want to first determine if the well is legally recognized as an abandoned well. County property records should tell you who is supposed to own a well. Bear in mind, though, a record doesn't mean the owner is still in business. They may have gone bankrupt and left no one in possession of the well.

If there still is an operator of the well, you should contact them and tell them there's a problem. This may not solve the issue, but it creates a paper trail in case you have to sue for the right to fill the well.

Also, you'll want to check the property records for your location to see if you can find who is liable for an orphaned well. Some drilling contracts bury language assigning responsibility to the landowner. On the downside, this would mean the company is off the hook. On the upside, you'll probably be able to act much faster.

Check for Signs of Trouble

Generally, it's best to leave a well alone if it appears to be holding up. If the cap isn't rusting and there are no signs of trouble, you at least have time to investigate and determine what the best orphan well abandonment solutions might be for your situation.

There are two clears signs of immediate trouble: dying plants and methane. If a well is on a farm, for example, you might see a circle where crops just won't grow because they're poisoned by chemicals leaching up. You may want to have a drone photographer do a flight over the property to see if there are undiscovered areas with similar problems.

You may also need to conduct an air quality test for methane. The gas won't smell like natural gas from a stove, for example, because that smell comes from an additive.

Filling the Well

If there are signs of trouble, you'll want to have a professional fill the well. Typically, this involves using some combination of sand, gravel, and clay. Don't attempt this work yourself. A technician needs to calculate the mixture to ensure it won't deteriorate and cause future leaks.

About Me

Understanding Industrial Principles

After I started reading more and more about industrial and manufacturing topics, I realized that there were some basic concepts that worked across the board that would be helpful with my own building projects. For example, getting building materials for a low price and working them properly is essential for ending up with superior products. I started focusing on understanding and applying different concepts from manufacturing texts, and it really helped me to create a more effective home and shop. Check out this blog for great information on manufacturing, and how to incorporate it into your own live every day.


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