Oil and gas companies operating in Alberta must abandon all dry holes or wells that are no longer producing, typically by pouring cement down the wellbore and removing all wellhead equipment. Once a well has been abandoned, the company must return the land to its original state. This process, known as reclamation, must be completed before the company will be allowed leave the well site.
Once reclamation has been completed, the operator can obtain a reclamation certificate from the AER; the certificate is issued only after the AER is satisfied that the site has been properly reclaimed. Landowners are not responsible for the costs of reclamation.