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, then reclaim the land for other purposes.

What is our Plug, Remove and  Reclaim Program?

Noble Energy maintains a field team focused on decommissioning and removing older wells and facilities, then reclaiming the land for other purposes – what we call the Noble Plug, Remove and Reclaim Program. We work hand-in-hand with local communities and landowners throughout this process.

How does the plug, remove and reclaim 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 more than 500 older vertical 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. In 2018, we plugged and removed almost 500 more, and we are on track to plug and remove an additional 700 in 2019.

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, Remove and Reclaim Program

The Noble Plug, Remove and Reclaim 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 be 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, Remove and Reclaim Program is just one of the ways we work to enhance and sustain these relationships, while being a Noble Neighbor each and every day.