Pawnee National Grassland Well Site Reclamation

When an oil and gas well is no longer being used, the site must eventually be reclaimed in order for the file to be closed. Restoration of the area must meet certain standards before the Forest Service can recommend to the Bureau of Land Management for the Final Abandonment Notice (FAN) for that site.

Below is one reclamation story:

After drilling and completing a well in August 2005, an operator found the Mayfield Federal #8-42 well to be uneconomical to produce oil and gas. In September 2006, the operator started to reclaim the area. This included redistributing soil and seeding the area.

In summer 2009, the operator requested a review of the reclamation and to get a recommendation to the BLM for approval of the FAN.

In October 2009, the site was found to have no invasive plant species, but there was concern about the amount of bare soil percent. Following this additional seed was spread and a fence was put up to keep cattle temporarily off the area.

Sparse grass and bare dirt on a prairie

In August 2010, the area was once again inspected. Due to the additional seeding and fencing, the area was much improved. The fence was then removed.

Small green plants sprout up among dry long grasses and some bare soil spots on the prairie

The area was finally inspected in March 2011. The photo below demonstrates how the well location looks very similar to the surrounding area.

Dry grasses cover the ground on the prairie

On March 14, 2011, the Forest Service sent a letter to the BLM recommending approval of a FAN and release of the bond for this well. The BLM approved the FAN and the Forest Service closed the well file.