Orphan wells are oil wells that have abandoned by their caretaker oil and gas company, often located on private property. Before wells become orphans regulators investigate for “legally responsible and/or financially viable parties.” As the oil and gas industry enters hard times, the orphanage is growing. With over 80,000 inactive wells across the province of Alberta, there are almost 2,000 orphan wells up for adoption this year.

At this time, it is critical that these wells receive time, attention, and care, not only for their own well-being but for the safety and health of their immediate environment including natural resources (soil and groundwater), plants, wildlife, and the humans that live near them. YOU can make a difference. View some of our orphans below and visit our Resources and Information section to learn more about the economic, social, and environmental impacts of this growing issue.

Interested in becoming a caretaker for an orphan well? OWAA has adoption days at our off-site offices. Check back for upcoming opportunities to meet with one of our OWAA representatives in person and adopt a well. In the meantime, you can view a selection of orphan wells below.