Event Title

Reclamation of Abandoned Oil and Gas Well Pads in Arid Environments

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://www.restoringthewest.org/

Abstract

The Roosevelt Oil Field region (Duchesne and Uintah Counties, Utah) is the 4th oldest Utah oil field in continuous production. As a result there are a large number of plugged and abandoned (P&A) well sites. While restoration has been attempted at these sites, most attempts have failed. This is problematic because it limits the amount of available habitat for native plant and wildlife species. To identify the factors that were limiting restoration success, several sites of various ages and geology were randomly selected. Y-transects were established at each of the sample sites. Vegetation cover was identified at each every foot along the 200 foot transect, and soil samples were collected every 40 feet. The soil samples were analyzed for salinity, carbon content, bulk density, trace elements, and pH. The primary factors that appear to be limiting restoration success are climate, geology and soil compaction. Secondary factors affecting the success of revegetation include soil salinity and weed invasion. By understanding these limiting factors, we hope to develop improved management practices that will result in effective oil pad reclamation.

Shannon Babb, Utah State University, 4820 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT, 84322, s.babb@aggiemail.usu.edu

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Oct 30th, 8:00 AM Oct 30th, 9:00 AM

Reclamation of Abandoned Oil and Gas Well Pads in Arid Environments

USU Eccles Conference Center

The Roosevelt Oil Field region (Duchesne and Uintah Counties, Utah) is the 4th oldest Utah oil field in continuous production. As a result there are a large number of plugged and abandoned (P&A) well sites. While restoration has been attempted at these sites, most attempts have failed. This is problematic because it limits the amount of available habitat for native plant and wildlife species. To identify the factors that were limiting restoration success, several sites of various ages and geology were randomly selected. Y-transects were established at each of the sample sites. Vegetation cover was identified at each every foot along the 200 foot transect, and soil samples were collected every 40 feet. The soil samples were analyzed for salinity, carbon content, bulk density, trace elements, and pH. The primary factors that appear to be limiting restoration success are climate, geology and soil compaction. Secondary factors affecting the success of revegetation include soil salinity and weed invasion. By understanding these limiting factors, we hope to develop improved management practices that will result in effective oil pad reclamation.

Shannon Babb, Utah State University, 4820 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT, 84322, s.babb@aggiemail.usu.edu

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2012/posters/1