At ARC, we believe that responsible management is an integral part of our corporate citizenship. Our strategic and progressive practices are aimed at minimizing the impact we have on the environment.
We continuously aim to exceed regulation through the implementation of proactive and innovative projects.
Wellsite Closure Process
Reclamation is the process of returning land back to its equivalent capacity. It is a phased approach that takes place when a well is fully abandoned and absolves the company of obligations related to fees, taxes, and lease payments. The site is also removed from Provincial Liability Management programs once certified.
End land-use is considered prior to reclamation. Contractors make efforts to liaise with landowners and their intentions for the site prior to work commencing.
Phase I ESA is a desktop review of available historical and present site conditions to determine the environmental attributes of a site. It includes but is not limited to file reviews, database searches, a site visit, aerial photograph review, and interviews. Results from a Phase I ESA often dictate whether a Phase II ESA is required.
An intrusive field evaluation of the site, it delineates any suspected adverse environmental effects. Soil samples are collected and analyzed; if needed, groundwater is also characterized through installation of groundwater monitoring wells.
Remediation is the process of removing impacted material from a site as found in the Phase II ESA. It is important to note that not all sites require remediation. Reclamation is the replacing of topsoil, contouring and vegetating the site as required to meet end land-use goals. The site is then monitored for a minimum of two growing seasons, to ensure vegetation is established prior to the final assessment.
The DSA assesses landscape, soil quality and quantity, drainage, vegetation health and species, erosion and a number of other factors. Should the site fail any parameter, it is re-addressed through the reclamation process. If the site passes, it is ready for a Wellsite Reclamation Certificate Application ("WRCA").
A document package containing all assessments and reports is forwarded to the landowner for review and then the application is submitted to the Regulator for approval. Once an application is deemed satisfactory, a Reclamation Certificate is issued to the licensee. Review and certification is a period of 30 to 90 days.
The wellsite closure process is governed by the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. This Act dictates many processes for the oil and gas industry and a phased approach is used to direct a wellsite through reclamation, soil sampling, etc.
All sites are unique, are addressed individually, and may take slightly longer or shorter than the charted five years to complete. Depending upon the information or results available, completion of certain phases of the process may not be required.
Approximate timeline to obtain a Reclamation Certificate
When a reclamation certificate is issued, the Province’s Environmental Assurance Program requires industry to maintain surface liability for 25 years and a lifetime liability for potential subsurface contamination.