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Home > Alberta's Resource Inventory > Hydrocarbons > Crude Oil > Resource Development > Drilling > Well Control > Abandonment and Reclamation

Resource Inventory

Abandonment and Reclamation

If tests indicate the well is a dry hole, not capable of producing commercial quantities of oil and gas, the drilling crew plugs the wellbore with cement and cleans up the site. A similar procedure is followed if a producing well is no longer economical to operate.

Because of the stringent environmental regulations, the cost of abandonment and cleanup is a significant factor in an oil company's planning. The company remains responsible for the site until a reclamation certificate is issued by government authorities. It can take years to complete the reclamation.

Petroleum Communication Foundation. Our Petroleum Challenge: Exploring Canada's Oil and Gas Industry, Sixth Edition. Calgary: Petroleum Communication Foundation, 1999. With permission from the Centre for Energy.

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