Office of Conservation

Engineering Division >> OSR Program >> Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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1.  What is the Oilfield Site Restoration Program?

2.  How is the Program funded?

3.  How is a wellsite orphaned?

4.  Where can I obtain a list of Orphan wells?

5.  Does the state assume ownership of orphaned wells and wellsites?

6.  Are private landowners responsible for the site restoration of orphan wellsites located on their property?

7.  Can private landowners restore orphan wellsites located on their property?

8.  How can I become the operator of record of an orphan well?

9.  Does the OSR Program employ the use of contractors?

10. How are projects awarded?

11. How do I become eligible to bid on Oilfield Site Restoration Program projects?

12. Where can I find a copy of recent Oilfield Site Restoration Program bid proposals?

13. How many orphan wellsites does the OSR Program address in a year?

14. How do I establish a Site Specific Trust Account (SSTA)?

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1.  What is the Oilfield Site Restoration Program?

The Louisiana Oilfield Site Restoration Program was created in 1993 within the Department of Natural Resources to address the growing problem of unrestored orphaned oilfield sites across the State. The specific focus of the Program is to properly plug and abandon orphan wells in addition to properly restore the site to approximate pre-wellsite conditions suitable for redevelopment.


2.  How is the Program funded?

Revenue for the Oilfield Site Restoration Program is generated from a fee on oil and gas production in the State of Louisiana which is paid quarterly by Louisiana oil and gas operators. No state tax dollars are used.


3.  How is a wellsite orphaned?
The term "orphaned" refers to the current status of a particular wellsite and indicates that the operator of record is no longer a viable responsible party. Following a specific notification procedure, wellsites are declared officially orphaned after being sent to the State Register to be published on the twentieth of each month.


4.  Where can I obtain a list of Orphan wells?

A list of recently orphaned wells can be obtained by clicking here.
A list of all orphaned wells in the state can be obtained by accessing the OSR homepage and selecting the first link, "Orphan Wellsite List."


5.  Does the state assume ownership of orphaned wells and wellsites?
No, the State does not assume ownership of orphaned wells and wellsites. Ownership of property can be determined through research of courthouse records. The operator of record remains the responsible party for an orphan site by statute. The orphaning of a site means that the operator of record is either unresponsive or financially unable to address or maintain the site. Orphan status does not relieve liability nor does it affect ownership.


6.  Are private landowners responsible for the site restoration of orphan wellsites located on their property?
The owner of the property on which an orphaned site is located is not responsible for site restoration UNLESS the land owner is also a responsible party as defined by LSA RS 30:82 (9):
"Responsible party means the operator of record according to the office of conservation records, who last operated the property on which the oilfield site is located at the time the site is about to be abandoned, ceases operation, or becomes an unusable oilfield site, and that operator's partners and working interest owners of that oilfield site. A working interest owner is the owner of a mineral right who is under an obligation to share in the costs of drilling or producing a well on the oilfield site."


7.  Can private landowners restore orphan wellsites located on their property?
A landowner may elect to restore an orphaned wellsite at his/her own expense without becoming the operator of record by entering into a Cooperative Agreement with the Office of Conservation. The Program will not reimburse incurred costs. Please contact OSR staff for details.


8.  How can I become the operator of record of an orphan well?
Submit FORM MD 10-R-A-1 (single well) or FORM MD 10-R-AO (multiple wells), an Affidavit of Lease, along with any applicable financial security that may be required. The Office of Conservation has a 'take one, take all' policy regarding the operatorship acquisition of orphan wellsites. If an operator is seeking to become operator of record of a particular orphan well on a lease, they must become the operator of record for EVERY orphaned well located on that lease. For more information, please contact OSR staff.


9.  Does the OSR Program employ the use of contractors?
Yes, the Program has a list of Approved Oilfield Site Restoration Contractors that are eligible to participate in the bidding process for site restoration projects. The Oilfield Site Restoration Program does not own nor maintain any oilfield equipment - all projects are bid out. To obtain the list of approved contractors, visit the OSR homepage and select the second link, "Approved Contractors."


10.  How are projects awarded?
Projects are awarded through a competitive sealed bid process stipulated within the rules of the State Bid Law and Title 30. When an orphan wellsite is slated to be restored by the Program, a scope of work is developed (referred to as a 'bid proposal') and sent to approved Oilfield Site Restoration Program contractors. Sealed bids that are received from contractors are then opened at a designated time and place and are evaluated by Program staff to ensure that submittals meet all of the technical requirements of the bid proposal. The bid is then awarded to the lowest qualified bidder.


11.  How do I become eligible to bid on Oilfield Site Restoration Program projects?
To become an approved contractor you must complete and submit the Oilfield Site Restoration Contractor Application (MS Word, PDF). Applications are reviewed by OSR staff for completeness and then presented by staff at the next quarterly OSR Commission meeting for approval. Contractors are eligible to bid on projects once approved by the OSR Commission. Contact OSR staff for dates of upcoming quarterly meetings.


12. Where can I find a copy of recent Oilfield Site Restoration Program bid proposals?
Recent bid proposals can be obtained by clicking here.


13. How many orphan wellsites does the OSR Program address in a year?
Current funding provides for the Program to address approximately 46 (18 Urgent and High priority scored) wellsites statewide per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). This target is adjusted accordingly as funding allows.


14.  How do I establish a Site Specific Trust Account (SSTA)?
See the document entitled 'Establishing a Site Specific Trust Account (SSTA)'. See also FORM 9604 - Site Specific Trust Account (MS Word, PDF) and FORM 9604-1 - Site Specific Trust Account Reassessment (MS Word, PDF).