Alberta faces a liability not only from maturing wells, but wells, pipelines, and facilities that have been abandoned by producers. This liability will grow in the next few years as more wells reach their economic limit.
Alberta has over 70,000 wells that need to be properly abandoned, including more than 3,000 wells designated by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) as orphan wells. In addition, other well sites, pipelines, and facilities in the province also need to be properly reclaimed. These unabandoned wells, pipelines, and facilities have created more than10.5 billion Canadian dollars (B CAD) in financial liability for the oil and gas industry. This liability will grow as a significant number of gas and coalbed methane (CBM) wells drilled before 2008 approach their economic limit.