Abandonment & Reclamation

Liability Management

AER liability management programs are designed to protect Albertans from significant potential environmental issues and costs associated with industry abandonment and decommissioning of sites that have been involved in petroleum resource recovery.


Reclamation & Remediation

Upon completion of oil and gas activity in an operating area, the responsible company must return the land as close as possible to its original state. This process is known as reclamation and is considered complete only when the habitat around the abandoned well returns to its original form and the abandoned well cannot be seen from the surface.


How are Suspensions Handled?

A suspended well is defined as a well on which operations have been discontinued. The usual context is an uncompleted well in which operations ceased during drilling but which has not been plugged and abandoned permanently.

The AER’s Directive 013 sets out the requirements for the suspension of inactive wells.


Why is Land Abandoned?

Land is abandoned because the wells on that property are no longer needed to support oil and gas development or because an operator’s mineral lease has expired. When oil and gas operators receive a drilling licence from the AER, they are also responsible for abandoning all wells.