What resources can provide further information?

Project Closure & Land Restoration

  • American Petroleum Institute (API), “Environmental Protection for Onshore Oil and Gas Production Operations and Leases,” API Recommended Practice 51R, First Edition (July 2009). API, an industry association, developed this guidance for environmental considerations in onshore oil and gas production operations, including design, production, abandonment, and restoration procedures. API also released two sets of recommended practices in August and October 2015 specific to hydraulic fracturing:  “Hydraulic Fracturing – Well Integrity and Fracture Containment” (ANSI/API Recommended Practice 100-1) and “Managing Environmental Aspects Associated with Exploration and Production Operations Including Hydraulic Fracturing” (ANSI/API Recommended Practice 100-2). These newly released documents are available for free public viewing (or for sale to download) on the API website. To access, register, select “Browse read-only documents now,” then select “Exploration and Production,” and scroll to recommended practices 100-1 and 100-2.  
  • Bureau of Land Management, “Surface Operating Standards and Guidelines for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development,” 4th ed., U.S. Department of the Interior (2007). A guide for operators and landowners on environmentally responsible oil and gas operations on federal lands and privately owned land where the minerals are federally owned (split estate).
  • Intermountain Oil and Gas BMP Project, “Reclamation Resources Guide for Oil and Gas Development,” accessed October 28, 2015. This website maintained by the University of Colorado Law School has a resources page devoted to oil and gas reclamation. It includes a description of the reclamation process and a set of resources on revegetation, soil restoration, and reserve pit reclamation. It also links to federal and state restoration regulations and guidelines.
  • International Council on Mining and Metals, “Planning for Integrated Mine Closure:  Toolkit” (London, UK:  2008). This toolkit offers tools and guidance for planning for project closure in collaboration with communities from the initial stages of a project. It was developed for the mining industry, but the tools are useful guides and could be adapted to the oil and gas sector.

Seedlings photo © Derek Bridges CC BY 2.0