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Ethical Considerations with Idle & Orphan Wells

Ethics Training Sponsored by the AAPG Department of Professional Affairs

Occurred Tuesday, 15 August 2023, 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.  |  Virtual Webinar via Zoom (Tulsa, Oklahoma time)

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The presence of Orphaned & Abandoned Oil & Gas Wells (OAWs) is a long known issue even extending back to 1859 and Edwin L. Drake’s well in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Left unaddressed, these wells pose an array of potential challenges, including soil & groundwater contamination, Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, and even health & safety threats. Considering there may be in excess of two (2) million idle & orphan wells that remain unplugged and even previously plugged wells that have experienced issues and may be leaking, addressing these legacy issues is critical. For instance, not only can plugging these wells be challenging and problematic, characterizing risks can be a challenge without fully understanding reservoir and geologic issues, historic drilling & completion practices, and a host of other critical details. Moreover, how all these issues are understood, characterized, and addressed is critical and also carries significant potential environmental and other impacts. This Webinar will discuss best practices and even ethical consider relative to the handling and permanent plugging of idle & orphan wells along with restoration & remediation of associated site/area contamination.

Key Take-Aways from this Webinar:
  • Best Practices considerations for well and site characterization prior to plugging and restoration.
  • Characterizing and measuring methane and other gas emissions/potential emissions.
  • Significance of historical and area information and activities.
  • Understanding and risk management planning.
  • Plugging and restoration as a permanent solution.
  • Documentation of well plugging activities.
  • Assessing possible well re-purposing options/opportunities.
  • Prioritizing / triage approach to selecting the ones to plug
  • Avoid plugging too early when a workover can stop emissions and revitalize production (ethical considerations to the mineral owners)
  • Low-bid / cutting corners business strategies

J. Daniel Arthur, ALL Consulting (AAPG member / DPA member)

Who Should Attend
  • Engineers
  • Geoscientists
  • Support Staff
$40 Professsionals
$25 Students
Attendee Limit:
500 People
Educational Credits:
.15 CEU
1.5 PDH
Technical Requirements:
Online Access
Ability to access Zoom
Cancellation/Refund Policy:
Refund upon request
J. Daniel Arthur
Susan Nash, Ph.D. Director, Innovation and Emerging Science and Technology
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The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) does not endorse or recommend any products and services that may be cited, used or discussed in AAPG publications or in presentations at events associated with AAPG.