Abandonment and Reclamation


Abandonment and Reclamation

Oil and gas companies operating in Alberta must abandon all dry holes or wells that are no longer producing, typically by pouring cement down the wellbore and removing all wellhead equipment. Once a well has been abandoned, the company must return the land to its original state. This process, known as reclamation, must be completed before the company will be allowed leave the well site.

Once reclamation has been completed, the operator can obtain a reclamation certificate from the AER; the certificate is issued only after the AER is satisfied that the site has been properly reclaimed. Landowners are not responsible for the costs of reclamation.



  • Bulletin 2012-20 Directive 079: Surface Development in Proximity to Abandoned Wells in Support of the Subdivision and Development Regulation Amendment

Informational Letters

  • IL 98-02 Suspension, Abandonment, Decontamination, and Surface Land Reclamation of Upstream Oil and Gas Facilities