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Directive 020: Well Abandonment

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Release Date: February 04, 2021

Effective date: February 4, 2021
Replaces previous edition issued December 6, 2018
Released with Bulletin 2021-03.

Purpose of this Directive

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) Directive 020: Well Abandonment details the minimum requirements for abandonments, casing removal, zonal abandonments, and plug backs as required under section 3.013 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules.

The objective of a well abandonment is to cover all nonsaline groundwater (water with total dissolved solids less than 4000 milligrams per litre [mg/l]) and to isolate or cover all porous zones.

All open-hole and cased-hole abandonments must be conducted in accordance with the requirements in this directive.

Notes:

  • Well status (set through Petrinex) and licence status (set through the Digital Data Submission system) should align. For a list of valid combinations, refer to the well/licence status matrix link under Attachments below.
     

Draft Directive 020 (released November 2020) Stakeholder Feedback and AER Response
Well / Licence Status Matrix (updated April 2012)

The table below sets out the designated information submission system to use when submitting information under Directive 020. In addition to using the designated information submission system indicated below, nonroutine requests and the required supporting information must also be submitted to @email.

Item (section of directive) Designated Information Submission System
Obtaining approval for nonroutine abandonment operations (section 2.1) DDS > AER > Submissions > Licence Abandonment > Non-routine Well Abandonment
AER notification (section 2.2) DDS > AER > Notifications > Field Surveillance
AER reporting requirements – surface casing vent flow/ gas migration (section 2.3) DDS > AER > Incidents > Surface Casing Vent Flow/Gas Migration
AER reporting requirements – casing failure (section 2.3) DDS > AER > Incidents > Casing Failure
AER reporting requirements – surface abandonments (section 2.3) OneStop > Close > Abandonment >  Wells
Leaking wells/Lowering casing stubs (section 3.3) OneStop > Close > Abandonment >  Wells
Gas migration testing for open- and cased-hole wells (section 7.1) DDS > AER > Incidents > Surface Casing Vent Flow/Gas Migration
Fluid level test for open-hole wells (section 7.2) DDS > AER > Submissions > Licence Abandonment > Non-routine Well Abandonment
Surface casing vent flow test for cased-hole wells (section 7.3) DDS > AER > Incidents > Surface Casing Vent Flow/Gas Migration
Surface abandonment (section 8) OneStop > Close > Abandonment >  Wells