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Four operators’ wells declared abandoned, another’s bonds revoked at WOGCC hearing | Energy Journal

In Bearcat’s case, the bankruptcy filing was converted last year from chapter 11 to chapter 7 — liquidation — leaving the company with no chance of revival. But another operator is attempting to take over some of the company’s wells prior to its dissolution.

“If we give ourselves a window of time where the forfeiture of the bonds takes place, that will probably be the best for all parties, including the state, to make sure that we go forward with an abandonment for these wells that clearly need to be forfeited, but also provide an opportunity for that other operator,” Christensen said.

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The commission will require Bearcat to surrender up to $2,250,430 in bonds by Oct. 15. But that’s unlikely to cover the full costs of reclamation, according to Lottie Mitchell, an organizer with the Powder River Basin Resource Council.

Though past reforms have improved the bonding program, “it’s still just not enough to cover the costs of actually plugging and reclaiming all of the wells that a company has,” Mitchell told the Star-Tribune.

Dozens of wells owned by four other oil and gas companies — WC Operator, Urroz Oil & Gas, Salt Creek Operating and Lodestone Operating — were declared abandoned by the commission during Tuesday’s hearing.

The companies’ reclamation bonds had already been revoked, giving the oil and gas commission authority to plug their wells. “But there’s generally some amount of oilfield equipment left on that site, and so in order to remove that equipment, we have to perform this abandoned equipment process,” Joe Scott, the commission’s natural resources supervisor, said during the hearing.

Read More: Four operators’ wells declared abandoned, another’s bonds revoked at WOGCC hearing | Energy Journal

2021-07-14 19:00:00

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