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AAPG Orphan, Idle, and Leaking Wells: Best Practices, Data Access, Funding Sources, and Business Opportunities

Occurred Tuesday, 21 February Wednesday, 22 February 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.  |  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Learn about the new opportunities and best practices for abandoned and orphan wells. There are new business opportunities, but to fully explore them, you need access to new databases, funding sources and tax incentives as well as best practices for finding and cleaning up orphaned and abandoned wells, for individual wells and the entire field.

This workshop will bring together industry practitioners, government and state agencies, nonprofit and academic institutions in a first of its kind event that will spark new ideas, motivate interdisciplinary and multi institutional collaboration and support the establishment of best practices for cleaning up and repurposing wells across the nation.

Outcomes
  • identify the types of completions used in old wells
  • share case studies, experiences, and lessons learned
  • use drones, satellites and other technologies identify orphan wells
  • combine historical, geological and current information to characterize orphan wells
  • use new data sources and registries for decision-making
  • implement best practices for cementing and maintaining well integrity
  • incorporate geological information with orphan wells to improve field development plans and
Strategies
  • explain how orphan wells and abandoned wells play a role in optimizing recovery from the entire field
  • determine suitability for geothermal, critical minerals mining, energy storage, and more
  • evaluate new business opportunities such as carbon credits, blockchain smart contracts, and more
  • meet and network with key people
Workshop Topics

This workshop will address where we are today with orphan and abandoned wells, and where the best new business opportunities are.

We will cover how to be successful with orphan, abandoned, and idle wells, including historical drilling & completion methods; evolution of applicable regulations & plugging practices and technologies; assessing risks associated with plugging operations; locating both documented and undocumented wells; measurement and ultimate elimination considerations of emissions; best practices for plugging to promote long-term elimination of emissions & environmental concerns to soil & groundwater; incentivizing plugging; methods for evaluating not only individual wells, but larger areas where many wells have been drilled; historic preservation responsibilities.

By taking a field-level view, the examination of orphan wells may also lead to better ultimate recovery of the field. In addition, we will examine how wells have been repurposed for new purposes, such as geothermal, critical mineral mining, brackish water desalination, and more. Finally, we will address the workforce needed to achieve these in the near future.

Background and Contexts

State Idle and Orphan Well Plugging programs have been active for decades across the US, and responsible operators plug and clean up most wells in compliance with state requirements. States plug and clean up orphan wells, typically using revenues collected from financial assurance instruments or through assessments on the industry. Organizations such as the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) assist in restoring old oil and gas producing sites. Further, due to recent activities, many wells must be re-plugged to facilitate unconventional development and the permitting of Class II Disposal Wells. More recently, under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Department of the Interior received 4.7 billion dollars to fund the plugging and cleanup of orphan wells by Federal land management agencies, States, and Tribes. The IIJA directs 4.2 billion of this funding to State programs to address wells on State and private lands. In addition, projects like the DOE’s Undocumented Orphaned Well Program are funding research to help Federal land management agencies, States, and Tribes identify, catalogue, and classify undocumented orphaned wells.

 
Tuesday 21 February

* Invited

7:00am - 8:00am Registration
8:00am - 8:30am Welcome and Introductions
Acknowledgments - AAPG Divisions, OSU, OGS, IOGCC, OU, Illinois Geological Survey, USGS, US Dept of the Interior, US Dept of Energy
Susan Nash, AAPG
8:30am - 10:00am Topic 1: Overview - Orphaned, Abandoned, Idle
Big Picture, History of Practices
Moderator: Susan Nash, AAPG
What Is Going on, Challenges, the Risks and Hazards of Extremely Old Wells in Sometimes Populated Areas
Dan Arthur, ALL Consulting
Orphaned Wells and the State and Federal Plugging Program
Scott St. John, Red Dirt Energy
A New Economic Yardstick for Late-Life Production
Dwayne Purvis, Dwayne Purvis, PE
State Programs—Front and Center
Lori Wrotenbery, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
Doing the Right Thing, One Well at a Time, and the Importance of Experience and Expertise for Safety and Industry Reputation
Curtis Schuck, Well Done Foundation
10:00am - 10:30am Morning Break
10:30am - 12:00pm Topic 2: Databases and Government Programs
Databases, Funding, Emissions Compliance
Moderator: Timothy Reinhardt, DOE
Databases and Government Programs Databases, Funding, Emissions Compliance
Nick Gianoutsos, Office of Orphan Wells, United States Geological Survey
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Orphaned Well Program
Kimbra Davis, Orphaned Wells Program Office
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Undocumented Orphaned Well Program
Andrew Govert, DOE Undocumented Abandoned Wells
Adam Peltz, Environmental Defense Fund
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm 2:30pm Topic 3: Finding the Orphans
Drones, Citizen Collaboration Apps, Research
Moderator: Dan Arthur, ALL Consulting
Finding the Orphans
Andrew Govert, DOE Undocumented Abandoned Wells
Methane Emissions From Legacy Oil and Gas Wells Across the United States
Amy Townsend-Small, University of Cincinnati
Methane Field Variability
Bear Givhan, Earthview
Databases for Finding Wells
Ming Suriamin, Oklahoma Geological Survey
Drone Techniques for Finding Wells
Sina Saneiyan, University of Oklahoma
Drone Geophysics for Precisely Locating Legacy Oil and Gas Wells and Pipelines: Best Practices
Ron Bell, Drone Geoscience
2:30pm - 3:00pm Afternoon Break
3:00pm - 4:30pm Topic 4: Well Data Sources and Access
Moderator: Nick Hayman, Oklahoma Geological Survey
Exploring the USGS Orphaned Well Dataset
Nick Gianoutsos, USGS
Oklahoma Well Viewer
Richard Tarver, Oklahoma Geological Survey
DOI Orphaned Well Database and Mobile Field App
Angela Smith, Project Management Director, United States Department of the Interior
4:30pm - 5:00pm Closing Remarks
5:00pm - 6:30pm Network Reception
Wednesday 22 February

* Invited

8:00am - 8:30am Welcome and Introductions
8:30am - 10:00am Topic 5: Case Studies
Lessons Learned - Well Plugging: Best Practices
Moderator: Natalie Pekney, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Department of Energy (DOE-NETL)
Troubleshooting Problem Wells for Risk Assessment and for Planning Re-Entry, Remediation, Re-Purposing or Plugging
Jason Esselburn, GHD
Biomineralization: A Natural Solution to Seal Annular Gas Leaks
John Griffin, BioSqueeze
Well Integrity Aspects of Orphan, Idle, and Leaking Wells
Les Skinner, MPG Petroleum
Orphan Wells and Redevelopment of the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Dan Arthur, Ray Sorenson, and Whitney Landress
The Art of Plugging Orphaned Wells when Faced with the Unknown
Luke Plants, Plants & Goodwin
10:00 - 10:30am Morning Break
10:30am - 12:00pm Topic 6: Geology: Why It Matters and Beneficial Additional Uses
Moderators: Rick Fritz, Fritz Energy Partners & Amanda Veazey, Well Done Foundation
Geothermal Wells of Future: Opportunities in Retrofitting Old and Inactive Wells in Sedimentary Formations
Saeed Salehi, OU Geothermal Consortium
Geothermal: The Next Frontier with Closed-Loop Technology
Rob Klenner, Baker Hughes
Glenn Pool Oil Field: History / Geology / Orphaned Wells
Mike Kuykendall, Solid Rock Resources, LLC
A Deeper Look at Giants - Are They Bigger Than You Think?
Shane Matson, Jericho Energy Ventures
Geology Matters! (Points to Consider When Plugging An Orphaned Well)
Amanda Veazey, Well Done Foundation
Connections Between Water Wells and Orphan Wells in Southern Illinois
Hannes Leetaru, Illinois Geological Survey
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm - 2:30pm Topic 7: Wellbore and P&A Materials and Processes
Moderator: Mileva Radonjic, Oklahoma State University
Solutions With Shrinkage and Cement Degradation, Temperature Focus, Etc. (Resin vs Cement, Etc.)
Matt Spirek & Luke Allbritton, American Cementing
Highlights of API RP 65-5, "Wellbore Plugging and Abandonment" and Other New Developments Eilis Rosenbaum, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Department of Energy (DOE-NETL)
Approaches to Characterizing Orphan Wells and Well Sites
Bill Carey, LANL
Plugging the Orphan Wells & Mitigating the Leaky Wells: Geomimicry Enhanced Wellbore Cements and the Potential Upcoming Needs
Yunxing Lu, University of Pittsburgh
How can a Cement Repository help with P&A and Well Repurposing?
Catalin Teodoriu, University of Oklahoma
2:30pm - 3:00pm Afternoon Break
3:00pm - 4:30pm Topic 8: The Business of Orphan Wells
Workforce Development, Contracts, Cleanups, Carbon Registries, Tax Credits
Moderator: Whitney Landress, DCARB
Orphan Wells and Workforce Development to Meet the Energy Transition Demands
Camelia Knapp, Oklahoma State University
New Modalities of Training for Orphan Wells, Emissions Reduction, and Groundwater Protection
Susan Nash, AAPG
Incentivizing Cleanup: Adding Value to Obligation
Whitney Landress, DCARB
A Robust Carbon Credit Market for Orphaned Wells Requires Defensible Emissions Measurement Data
David Elam & David Stewart, TRC Companies
Synergies in Well Plugging and Carbon Credits
Scott St. John
4:30pm - 5:00pm Closing Remarks
Special Recognition

Rick Fritz, Former AAPG President
Hannes Leetaru, President of the AAPG Division of Environmental Geosciences
Andrea Reynolds, President of the Division of Professional Affairs

Conference Co-organizers
Amanda Veazey, Well Done Foundation
Amy Townsend-Small, University of Cincinnati
Angela Smith, Project Management Director, United States Department of the Interior
Barbara Kutchko, National Energy Technology Laboratory of the US Department of Energy
Bill Carey, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Camelia Knapp, Oklahoma State University
Dwayne Purvis, Dwayne Purvis, P.E.
Geoff Pettifer, Terra
Hannes Leetaru, Illinois Geological Survey
Kimbra Davis, Orphaned Wells Program Office
Les Skinner, MPG Petroleum
Lori Wrotenbery, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
Luke Allbritton, American Cementing
Matt Spirek, American Cementing
Mike Kuykendall, Solid Rock Resources, LLC
Ming Suriamin, Oklahoma Geological Survey
Nick Gianoutsos, United States Geological Survey
Nick Hayman, Oklahoma Geological Survey
Richard Tarver, Oklahoma Geological Survey
Rick Fritz, Fritz Energy Partners
Rob Klenner, Baker Hughes
Ron Bell, Drone Geoscience
Saeed Salehi, University of Oklahoma Geothermal Consortium
Shane Matson, Jericho Energy Ventures
Sina Saneiyan, University of Oklahoma
Timothy Reinhardt, United States Department of Energy (DOE)
Whitney Landress, DCARB
Supporting Research, Governmental, and Non-Governmental Organizations in the Technical Program Design
Lori Wrotenbery, Executive Director, Interstate OIl and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC)
Nick Hayman, Director, Oklahoma Geological Survey
Timothy Reinhardt, Director, Division of Methane Mitigation Technologies, United States Department of Energy
Kimbra Davis , Director, Orphaned Wells Program Office, United States Department of the Interior
Camelia Knapp, Head of Boone Pickens School of Geology, Oklahoma State University
Hannes Leetaru, Head of Subsurface Energy Resources, Illinois State Geological Survey
Barbara Kutchko, Senior Research Scientist, National Energy Technology Laboratory of the US Department of Energy
 
AAPG Orphan, Idle, and Leaking Wells: Best Practices, Data Access, Funding Sources, and Business Opportunities
Hamm Institute for American Energy
300 NE 9th St.
Oklahoma CityOklahoma 73104
United States
 
Embassy Suites by Hilton Oklahoma City Downtown Medical Center

741 North Phillips Ave
.6 mile/4 minutes from the Hamm Institute

AAPG Rate:
2 Room King Suite - $139/night plus tax.

Price Includes: Hot breakfast and evening manager's reception.

Parking: $18/night

Contact Sara Yarbrough at 405-772-1174 or our Front Desk at 405-239-3900 Option 3 for reservations or assistance.


Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown – Bricktown

209 North Walnut Avenue
.8 mile/3 minutes from the Hamm Institute

AAPG Rate: $109/night plus tax.

Parking in garage is $12/day and charged at check-in

Contact [email protected] to make reservation updates or for assistance.


Wyndham Grand Oklahoma City Downtown

10 North Broadway Avenue
1.3 miles/6 minutes from the Hamm Institute

AAPG Rate: King Room, Non-Smoking - $125/night plus tax.

Parking: Valet parking $32/day; nearby parking garages $10–$12/day.

Contact [email protected] or 405-228-8024 for reservations or assistance.


Other Nearby Hotels
The National Hotel

120 North Robinson Avenue
1.2 miles/6 minutes

The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City

One Park Avenue
1.2 miles/6 minutes

 
Susan Nash, Ph.D. Director, Innovation and Emerging Science and Technology
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