Northern Colorado has been an active oil and natural gas development area for decades. As we shift our new development to an Integrated Development Plan approach in rural areas where we have large acreage positions and can strategically combine facility locations with innovative processes and the latest technology, it makes a lot of sense to remove older wells and the equipment associated with them.

What is our Plug and Removal Program?

Noble Energy maintains a field team focused on decommissioning and removing older wells and facilities – what we call the Noble Plug and Removal Program. We work hand-in-hand with local communities and landowners throughout this process.

How does the plug and removal process work?

After the equipment is removed, the land reclamation process begins. We restore these locations to their original condition, and by the time our operations and reclamation teams finish work, you would never know an oil and natural gas well had been there in the first place.

In many cases, after we reclaim the land, sites can be repurposed for other uses such as playgrounds, dog parks or farmland. The reclamation process is subject to stringent state requirements and must be approved by state officials and landowners before it can be completed.

Benefits of the Noble P&R Program

In 2017, we plugged a total of more than 500 older wells and removed associated facilities in both urban and rural areas while we only installed approximately 100 new wells – that’s a 5 to 1 ratio, further reducing our footprint in Colorado. And we are on track to plug and remove an additional 600 in 2018, while installing approximately 105 new wells.

Most new wells and facilities constructed by Noble Energy are part of one of our Integrated Development Plans, which incorporate technological advantages like horizontal drilling and increased automation. This allows us to further reduce our footprint by minimizing surface impact while increasing the amount of energy we are able to produce safely and responsibly.

Learn more about our Plug and Removal Program

The Noble Plug and Removal Program is all about being a sustainable partner for our communities, listening to our communities, and improving as we go. When it comes time to remove a facility, we know it is crucial that it is done right.

As members of Colorado communities who work and live in many of these areas where wells and facilities are plugged and removed, we value our long-term relationships with our neighbors. The Plug and Removal Program is just one of the ways we work to enhance and sustain these relationships, while being a Noble Neighbor each and every day.