Thank you for visiting our website. At this time, we are no longer accepting orphan well adoption applications online and our in-person Orphan Well Adoption Days are currently suspended. Please check back for updates.

Orphan Well Adoption Days allow members of the public to meet in-person at one of our off-site offices with an Orphan Well Adoption Agency representative. During your meeting, our representative will take you through the orphan well adoption interview process, which includes questions about your knowledge of and experience with orphan wells as well as your caretaking experience. If approved, you will receive the name and location of your adopted well, along with an adoption certificate and a postcard of an orphan well. Please note: the well on the postcard may not be an image of your adopted well.

Things to consider:

  • What are your motivations for adopting an orphan well?
  • Have you previously been the caretaker of an oil or gas well?
  • The life span of an oil or gas well can range from 5 to 50 years. Some wells have been inactive for less than a year, while others have been inactive for 10 years or more. Are you willing to make a commitment to this well for the rest of its life?
  • Your prospective well has and continues to go through a period of inactivity. Adopted wells may act out during the early days of adoption causing spills or leaks from deterioration or lack of proper upkeep. Many of our wells have experienced distress from lack of care and attention.
  • Reclamation of orphan well sites can take up to 10 years with costs ranging from under $20,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the OWAA cannot provide timelines for reclamation. Your site may be awaiting reclamation or efforts may already be underway. Various types of assessment, monitoring, and surveys may be undertaken by companies and associations other than the OWAA (for example, electromagnetic surveys and monitoring for contamination). Minor reclamation efforts to wells sites may include weed management, rig servicing, leakage monitoring, fence repair, paratilling, removal of debris, repairing access roads, adding small amounts of topsoil, and seeding. Major reclamation may require lease and access road stripping, topsoil replacement, soil re­distribution and/or major re-contouring, weed control and vegetation monitoring. Please visit Resources and Information and our Orphans pages to learn more.
  • Caretakers will be required to sign the OWAA Consent, Release Waiver and Indemnity form. OWAA does not facilitate in-person meetings between wells and caretakers, however, we do encourage and facilitate mailed correspondence.
  • While we make every attempt to reach all of our wells, some may be dormant and unreachable.