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New guidance is available on decommissioning wells authorized under the Oil and Gas Activities Act. The B.C. Well Decommissioning Guidelines, effective Jan. 1, 2022, replace the previously referenced guidance issued by the Alberta Energy Regulator, Directive 20.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Jan. 1, 2022

The BC Oil and Gas Commission (Commission) has published new guidance for permit holders decommissioning (also known as “abandoning”) wells authorized under the Oil and Gas Activities Act. The B.C. Well Decommissioning Guidelines, effective Jan. 1, 2022, replace the previously referenced guidance issued by the Alberta Energy Regulator, Directive 20.

Highlights of the Guidelines include:

The Guidelines describe the minimum expectations for permit holders to meet the objectives of section 26 of the Drilling and Production Regulation – Plugging requirements for wells. Permit holders should note, however, that additional work beyond what is described in the Guidelines may be required to meet those objectives if there are indications of inadequate hydraulic isolation, leaking fluids, excessive pressure buildup or well integrity failures. The unique characteristics and subsurface environment of each well must be evaluated, and good engineering practice applied, in the development of a well decommissioning program.

If you have any questions regarding this bulletin, please contact:

Jordan van Besouw, P.Eng.
Supervisor, Drilling & Production
BC Oil and Gas Commission
Jordan.vanBesouw@bcogc.ca
(250) 980-6089

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