In addition to making an effort to restore the land as close as possible to its original state per the API guidelines, the company can maintain a dialogue with local officials and community members to get their input during the decommissioning process. It can anticipate safety and environmental risks that could arise from the site and strive to reduce or eliminate those risks. The API guidelines recommend adopting a “consistent and forward-looking focus on safety and the environment.” 1
State officials have a role in ensuring that wells are properly plugged and abandoned. At this stage, any surface use agreements that were signed prior to site development can help to guide the site restoration.
Property owners can work with the operator to make sure that the site is properly restored to the specifications in the surface use agreement.
- API, “Community Engagement Guidelines,” 9. ↩