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As of the end of 2021, there are over 5.5 million wells under licence with the AER.   

Our organization is involved in each stage of the lifespan of a well; the benefit of this is we know how many are active or inactive as well as the number that have been abandoned (decommissioned). The final step in the well closure process is reclamation; returning the land to the equivalent state it was prior to development, which is of utmost importance to the AER.

Unfortunately, some wellsites remain inactive when a company becomes insolvent; when this occurs, the Orphan Well Association (OWA) is engaged. The OWA is responsible for closing upstream infrastructure and keeps an inventory of orphan wells in Alberta.

Number of licensed wells in each stage of the life cycle

This metric shows a snapshot of the total number of wells as of a certain point in time. For each of the past years, the last snapshot is taken on December 31 of that year. For the current year, the snapshot is taken once a month.