Before you consider adopting an orphan well, what do you need to know? Here you will find links to just a few of the resources, news articles, and information available about orphan wells and related issues. Orphan well sites in what is colonially named and defined as Alberta may be located on private land, crown land, First Nation reserves, and Métis settlements. Please familiarize yourself with the treaties and Indigenous territories where your prospective wells are located and reflect on how this information impacts your responsibilities as an orphan well caretaker. We hope this can be a starting point on your journey and encourage you to continue to seek out more resources and information. If you have a suggestion or a resource for this page, please contact us


Orphan Well Association Inventory 

Closure: Abandonment, Remediation and Reclamation Fact Sheet Alberta Energy Regulator (2014)

List of Defunct Companies Orphan Well Association (2019)

Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project 

Liabilities Resources for Landowners Pembina Institute 

Alberta Surface Rights

Crown Land  The Canadian Encyclopedia (2011)

Canada is Fake The Outline (2020)

An Annotated Guide to the (Mal)Interpretation of Confederation Era Treaties in Canada Yellowhead Institute (2020)

Land Back: A Yellowhead Institute Red Paper Yellowhead Institute (2019)

Alberta Government Passes Bill 12, Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 – What You Need to Know McMillan LLP (2020)

Ottawa Paying Clean-up Alberta’s Inactive Wells. Are the Oilsands Next? The Narwhal (2020)

‘Zombie’ oil wells in Canada are a climate threat New York Times (2020)

11 things you need to know as Trudeau announces $1.7 billion to clean up ‘festering’ orphan and inactive wells The Narwhal (2020)

Unpaid Taxes Owed from Oil and Gas Companies to Rural Municipalities Rural Municipalities of Alberta (2020)

Oil and Gas Companies Owe Albertans 20 Million in Unpaid Land Rents The Narwhal (2019)

Orphan Oil and Gas Wells Raise Contamination Fears on Northeast BC farmland The Globe and Mail (2019)

Investigation finds misuse of funds, scant oversight at Alberta Energy Regulator Global News (2019)

Orphan Well Association v. Grant Thorton Ltd.  Supreme Court of Canada Case Summary (2019)

Supreme Court rules energy companies must clean up old wells — even in bankruptcy CBC News (2019)

What the Redwater ruling means for Alberta’s thousands of inactive oil and gas wells  The Narwhal (2019)

The catch-22 of the Redwater case Pembina Institute (2018)

Canadians Should Be on Red Alert over Alberta Redwater Energy Case The Leap (2018)

Alberta failing on Risk from Leaking Oil Gas Wells, Says Expert The Tyee (2017)

Lexin Resources and the dark side of Alberta’s downturn CBC News (2017)

Energy Industry Legacy: Hundreds of Abandoned Wells Leaking Methane in Alberta Communities The Tyee (2017)

Critics say abandoned Alberta oil wells pose environmental risk CTV News (2015)

INTERACTIVE: The hidden cost of abandoned oil and gas wells in Alberta Global News (2015)