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Saturday , 19 September 2020

Long term plan for Vermilion’s abandoned well

The Orphan Well Association (OWA) will be hosting a drop-in open house in Vermilion this Saturday.

Residents will be given the opportunity to take a closer look at long term plans for Vermilion’s 1935 well, abandoned for over 75 years.

Located in the Brennan subdivision, Tenwell No. 1 has been monitored for approximately seven years due to a slight methane leak.

The low levels possess no public safety risk, says the OWA, who are working with the Town of Vermilion to find a long term solution.

According to project manager, Dave Marks, Phase I is the Methane Interception Operation by completing a downhole perforation that will reduce or eliminate the methane travelling through the soil (outside the wellbore).

Phase II is the installation of a permanent Active Methane Management System (AMMS) that will allow for better management of the emissions at the surface.

“The safety and health of the community was the top priority when making this decision. This permanent system will be quieter, and will have a smaller footprint than the current temporary system,” said Marks.

The current AMMS is held together with tape and has a constant hum. Work is expected to begin this fall.

Before being abandoned Marks said the well was re-entered during WWII to recover surface casing (the metal was used for the war effort). The well-site then remained inactive for decades.

All costs directly associated with the project will be covered by the OWA. The downhole (Phase I) and surface management (Phase II) portions of the project have an estimated cost of approximately $500,000.

“We anticipate annual operating costs of $20,000 to operate the long-term AMMS unit as well as to perform regular monitoring of the well and system,” said Marks.

A non-profit organization, the OWA is funded by the Alberta oil and gas industry.

To take part in the open house, you can stop by the Vermilion Regional Centre on Saturday from 10:00am–4:00pm.

About Angela Mouly

Angela comes to Lakeland Connect Media from the Vermilion Voice newspaper where she spent the past four years reporting on community events. Her repertoire includes writing about history, politics, agriculture, sports, entertainment and art. She was the third place recipient of an AWNA General Excellence Award for “Best Front Page” during their 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. Angela has lived in rural Alberta all her life and in Vermilion for the past 15 years. She looks forward to continuing to serve and inform the Lakeland community by joining in people's many adventures and sharing their stories.