Pacific Steel continues role in well site restoration program

Montana-based scrap firm partners with Well Done Foundation to plug orphaned oil wells.

pacific steel well
Scrap firm Pacific Steel & Recycling has recovered more than 20 tons of scrap in its efforts to dismantle and plug emissions coming from orphaned oil wells in Montana.
Photo provided by the Well Done Foundation.

Great Falls, Montana-based Pacific Steel & Recycling remains part of a partnership with the not-for-profit Well Done Foundation (WDF) to plug orphaned oil wells in a campaign tied into Earth Day events in 2020 and 2021.

For 2021, the partners have announced “Plug 21” as the name of a campaign to plug 30 orphaned oil wells in Montana throughout this year, according to WDF founder and Chairman Curtis Shuck.

The Plug 21 initiative will kick-off on Earth Day (April 22) and will Include events tied to the campaign taking place throughout the day in Shelby, Montana.

WDF calls the Plug 21 initiative the largest plugging and reclamation project WDF has taken on in its crusade to address the hazard of orphaned wells “one well at a time.” Pacific Steel & Recycling has committed to funding the plugging of a well called Anderson #1, described by WDF as the oldest orphaned oil well in Toole County, Montana.

“We will plug the Anderson #1 well on Earth Day, thanks to the generous funding provided by Pacific Steel & Recycling,” says Shuck. “Pacific has reclaimed and recycled more than 21 tons of scrap metal from WDF sites in Toole County and was the first to purchase Well Done Climate Benefit Units (carbon offsets). The company continues to be an amazing project partner and sustainable industry leader.”

Kirby Farner, Pacific Steel’s health, safety, environmental and transportation director, remarks, “Pacific is pleased to participate in sponsoring Anderson #1, which was first drilled in 1924. This effort is good for the environment, Well Done, Pacific and the community at large.” 

WDF also has recruited Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based Radicle into a carbon-offset partnership that will help finance and complete the plugging of the 30 orphaned wells, while creating a template to expand the WDF model to states such as Kansas, Texas, Colorado, California, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, says WDF.

The Well Done process is described by WDF as involving several steps. First, WDF identifies a high-emitting orphaned and abandoned oil or gas well and qualifies it through a measurement and monitoring regimen, bonds it with the regulatory body and then launches a campaign to raise funds to plug the well and restore the impacted surface areas.

Working closely with the surface landowners, WDF says it develops a “plugging plan” and obtains a permit from the state for the project.

Next, it identifies and designates an “adoptive family” for the orphaned and abandoned well (either a corporate or individual benefactor), selects a team for the downhole and surface work and executes the project to completion.

Those interested in finding out more about how to purchase carbon offsets through the Well Done Foundation-Radicle partnership can go to this web page.

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