A well is considered dormant when it has remained inactive or has not met a certain level of activity for five years or more. A site is considered dormant when every well on the site is dormant. Companies that own a dormant site are still viable.
A site is considered a former site when no certificate of restoration has been issued for it but the well permit has been cancelled, declared spent or has expired.
Steps a Company Must Take to Restore Dormant and Former Sites
This includes abandoning the well and removing any facilities and equipment on the site. An abandoned well is permanently plugged and the wellhead has been removed.
An assessment of a dormant site must be completed or supervised by a qualified professional to identify environmental concerns or potential contaminants. Once assessments have been completed, the company must submit either a Dormancy Site Assessment Form or a Certificate of Restoration to the BC Energy Regulator.
Remediation involves the elimination and removal of any contaminants or adverse effects on the environment or human health that have been identified during the assessment.
Restoration includes the reclamation of the site, and any neighbouring land that may also have been impacted by contamination, to restore soils and natural surface drainage. It also includes revegetation of native plans and the restoration of wildlife habitat.
More detailed information is available on the BC Energy Regulator’s website regarding: