Orphan Wells Webinar Shares Industry Best Practices, State-by-State RFQ Experiences 

Orphan Wells

On April 28, more than 50 companies joined the Orphan Wells Best Practices Webinar hosted by the Well Servicing Committee. The webinar informed attendees about current orphan well state programs and their points of contact, shared available resources and guidelines for orphan well operators, discussed how to navigate the state-by-state bidding process, and held an open discussion on industry best practices and how to navigate the job safely.

The webinar began with a comprehensive overview of the Recommended Best Practices for Orphan Well Plugging & Abatement document from Scott Freshwater, President, ConServ. The document, created by the Orphan Wells Working Group, is intended to draw upon the experience and knowledge from Members in order to:

  • provide proper guidance for overall job safety
  • help support and educate the state-based entities for plugging orphaned and abandoned wells
  • provide resources and guiding documents for well servicing operators
  • offer insight from a quality control/quality assurance perspective

Attendees also heard from Keith May, Project Manager, Texas Railroad Commission’s State Managed Plugging division. May presented an in-depth and insightful look at the orphan well RFQ process from a state program’s perspective. The attendees received valuable step-by-step guidance on how the contract bidding process happens in Texas, as well as useful information on how to take the initial steps.

Priscilla Gagliano, P&A Principle Technical Sales Advisory, Halliburton, presented first-hand experience of how the state-by-state bidding process progressed for her team. She gave a brief overview of the Department of Interior (DOI) Initial Grant Funding Guidelines. The guidelines were sent from the DOI to states in order to provide a framework for permissible uses of the initial grant funds that were made available as a part of the REGROW Act.

Gagliano discussed her team’s experiences in the bidding processes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Colorado, Louisiana, California and Oklahoma. This multi-state overview provided a comprehensive picture of the state-by-state landscape that has emerged in the orphan well P&A process.

Orphan Well State Contact Information: State P&A Contact Document

Doug Douglass, Vice President, ConServ, opened up the group for discussion about how to maintain and ensure quality assurance and safety every day in the oilfield. Douglass explored the question of what a quality job really means and discussed how individual contributions from everyone involved in the job are crucial to that quality.

For more information about the Council’s Orphan Wells Working Group or Well Servicing Committee, contact Director – Environmental and Technical Phil DeBauche.


Phil DeBauche, Director, Environmental and Technical, writes about the Council’s environmental and HSE efforts. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.


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