A vast number of inactive wells certainly does challenge Western Canada’s energy sector, but new technologies and process improvements help industry meet the challenge of getting wellsites and associated facilities to full closure.

The Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) recently hosted a workshop in the ‘Novel Land and Wellsite Reclamation’ theme area to explore technologies, software and processes that support active liability reduction programs for legacy oil and gas sites.

Findings from the workshop and in follow-up interviews point to many opportunities for optimizing asset retirement via technology and process improvement.

Technologies and tools that support asset retirement

Husky Energy, for one, always seeks out efficiency improvements and cost reductions in its reclamation and remediation programs so the company can restore land and habitat more quickly, whether via collaborating with industry peers or service providers.

To this end, Nick Geib, vice-president of Corporate Responsibility, says the company constantly explores new technologies. “New technologies will help us speed things up in the field and just make us even more efficient.”

As an example, he notes methods to cut off a pipe and plug it below surface without excavating, as well as cutting tools that work inside the pipe. Further, he highlights soil-testing methods that can test for contamination remotely on site, rather than the usual method of sending samples off to the lab and waiting several days for the results

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