Community

Welcome to the Community Corner!

This page provides up-to-date information to landowners and stakeholders for wells that, due to their proximity to residents or other developments, may require additional information sharing and status updates. It is intended as a first resource for information.

If you have any additional information needs pertaining to any wells within this section, you can also contact community@orphanwell.ca for direct responses to your questions.


Vermilion – Tenwell #1

Important Information Updates: The Orphan Well Association (OWA), in conjunction with the Alberta Energy Regulator and Alberta Health Services, has developed a long-term strategy to manage methane from the well located in the playground in the Brennan subdivision. Click for details on the Long-term Management Program and the Methane Interception Operation undertaken in September 2020.

New Active Methane Management System (AMMS) To Be Installed in May /June 2022

The Orphan Well Association (OWA) is moving ahead with the installation of the long-term AMMS in the Brennan playground. The new AMMS unit will replace the temporary unit that has been in place since 2019. Installation of the new unit is scheduled to begin May 25, 2022. Operations will take about two and a half weeks. See our latest update for more details.

If you have questions about the Long-term Management Program, please contact us by email at community@orphanwell.ca.

Past Newsletters:


Turner Valley – Katana Well Decommissioning Project

The Orphan Well Association (OWA) has been managing the Katana Resources British Dominion Well #3 (Katana Well) since 1997. The well is located on the north-west edge of Turner Valley, Alberta near the Country Meadows subdivision. This 90-year-old well was originally decommissioned in 1996. However, trace amounts of natural gas (methane) were found at the wellsite after the decommissioning. The OWA is undertaking the decommissioning of the well and reclamation of the wellsite. For further information, please check out our project information sheet.

Important Information Updates: Katana Well Decommissioning Delayed

The Orphan Well Association (OWA) has delayed its decommissioning activities on the Katana Resources British Dominion Well #3. Rather than continuing its activities this spring as previously announced, OWA is hoping to resume activities in Winter 2022 / 2023. The decommissioning activities will now take place between November 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023. More information is included in our latest update.

The OWA apologizes to residents and stakeholders for this change in plan. The OWA believes this new timing will provide the best chance of a successful outcome with the least impacts to the land.

Newsletters:


Castle River

The Orphan Well Association of Alberta (OWA) is currently planning to decommission two historic oil wells located within Castle Wildland Provincial Park. The project will be initiated in early August 2022 and should be completed no later than the end of September 2022. Vertex Resource Group will be the Prime Contractor for this project.

The two oil wells were drilled between 1907 and 1910 by the Canada West Oil Company of Victoria BC., and they represent some of the oldest wells in Alberta. They are located on the margins of the West Castle River approximately 2.5 km south of Castle Mountain Resort and can be seen from the Great Divide Trail South. These two wells were never properly decommissioned and require work to ensure they remain in a safe state.

The OWA is working closely with Provincial and Federal regulators as well as the Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition to ensure the wells are safely decommissioned with as minimal impact as possible. In early August 2022, the pedestrian bridge at the south end of the Castle Mountain Resort parking lot will be temporarily replaced by a wider bridge that will allow trucks and equipment to access the wells. The Great Divide Trail South will be used to get equipment and vehicles to within approximately 50 metres of the wells. No modifications to the trail are anticipated. A second wide-span bridge will be positioned over the West Castle River approximately 400 m downstream of the current quad bridge that crosses the river (approximately 2.5 km south of the parking lot). This bridge is required as the quad bridge cannot accommodate heavy equipment. This temporary bridge also allows for minimal vegetation removal to access the site.

Wooden matting will be used in the vicinity of the two wells to provide a working surface for all equipment and to ensure sensitive vegetation is protected. Wellheads will be installed on the two wells and each will be monitored for up to a week to allow the OWA to better understand the characteristics of each well prior to decommissioning. Once monitoring has been completed, a service rig will be brought to site and up to a week will be spent on each well to fully decommission. Decommissioning of the wells will meet all Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) requirements prior to the wells being cutoff ~ 2 meters below surface and then backfilled.

Once the wells have been decommissioned, the equipment, matting, and the two bridges will be removed, and the former narrow bridge reinstalled over the river at the resort parking lot.

Emergency response equipment will be maintained at the site for the duration of the project to ensure any leaks from equipment or the wells are fully captured and prevented from contacting the ground or the river. Fire suppression equipment and wildlife management programs will also be implemented to minimize the risk of any adverse effects to the surrounding landscape.

Project Schedule Summary

Staging of equipment at Castle Parking LotEarly August
Installation of 2 Bridges and On-Site MattingMid-August
Installation of Wellheads and Monitoring of WellsLate August
Decommissioning and Cut-Off of WellsEarly September
Demobilization of Equipment and Removal of BridgesMid-September

Public access to the valley will be maintained for the duration of the project. The initial bridge and the Great Divide Trail South may require periodic closure for short periods of time while equipment is being moved to and from the site. Monitors will be on-site during these periods to ensure the public are safe. The worksite itself will be restricted to project personnel only.

A separate environmental monitor will be employed for this project to ensure all regulatory requirements and safeguards are fully implemented by our Prime Contractor. In addition, we will be working closely with Alberta Parks personnel during the entire project.

We know this is a very special part of Alberta and that is why we have put many months of planning into this project to ensure the safety of the public and our contractors, and the protection of the surrounding landscape.

The Orphan Well Association operates under the legal authority of the Alberta Energy Regulator and is a not-for-profit, industry-funded organization that decommissions and reclaims oil and gas infrastructure where no responsible owner exists. The Association is comprised of a team of technical experts in closing oil and gas sites. The Association uses some of the top contractors and consulting firms in the province to execute work.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to community@orphanwell.ca or via phone at (403) 297-6416. The OWA’s Emergency number is 1-844-440-0144.