Decommissioning and Rehabilitation Project

AWE is undertaking well site decommissioning activities in the Shire of Irwin as part of a campaign to rehabilitate well sites which are no longer in use. Decommissioning is an established industry practice undertaken at the end of a well’s life using a decommissioning plan approved by the government regulator.

Well decommissioning involves environmentally sound and safe isolation of the well. Typical steps of the process include removing any production tubing, isolating productive formations from other formations by installing cement plugs at several intervals, pressure testing of the cement plugs, cutting off the well head below ground level, removing remaining surface equipment and facilities and rehabilitating the site to an agreed end use.

Approximately 80 wells are included on the project schedule, which may take up to five years to complete. Most of these sites are on cleared agricultural land. AWE is using local services and supplies whenever practical.

Landowners and nearby residents are being consulted prior to activities starting at each well site.

Regulatory approvals for the decommissioning project are in progress. Approved environmental management measures to minimise any potential impacts include; dust suppression, noise, traffic and waste management and weed and dieback management. Chemicals used during the decommissioning process are included in the Environment Plan Summary.