OERB Reaches 13,000 Well Site Restorations

The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board is marking another milestone in its well site restoration program. Through voluntary contributions from the state’s oil and natural gas industry, the OERB has cleaned its 13,000th abandoned well site. The project is unique because the site is located on public land owned by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, and is often used for hunting and fishing.

The cement slabs and pipes left behind years ago marred the otherwise serene landscape of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife property in Nowata County. Surface debris in 10 different sites was cleared away, leaving behind productive land that has been planted with grass and returned to its original state and make a better habitat for various wildlife. 

The state-owned property is open for public hunting, fishing, hiking and camping. That means the restored land will now be a more beautiful place for the public to enjoy. It will also be safer this hunting season when sportsmen and sportswomen of all ages try to get their trophy deer.

Completing the 13,000th restoration is a huge accomplishment but there are still many well sites that need to be cleaned up.

“We’ve got a lot of sites under our belt and we’ve got a lot of sites left to go,” said Greg Cook, the project manager for Beacon Environmental. “I don’t know what the percentage of sites that remain is, but there is a bunch. Getting the word out so we can get more sites turned in, so we can get more sites cleaned up, it is a huge deal.”

The OERB and the state’s oil and natural gas industry are committed to restoring every orphaned or abandoned well site in the state at no cost to the property owner.  This milestone will be just one of many more completed projects and properties that have been returned to their natural beauty.