More Alberta landowners can track oil and gas wells on their property through the website: www.wellwiki.org.
Designed by University of Alberta Professor Joel Gehman, the site aims to make it easier to track down information about some of the hundreds of thousands of wells that have been drilled in the province.
Gehman, an advocate of data accessibility, said “My hope is for users of wellwiki.org to educate themselves about what is going on in the towns and regions where they live and to use the data to drive understanding and informed debate about the challenges involved in energy transitions.”
Ranchers, farmers and other landowners have leased land for oil wells on their property. Municipalities also may rely on the tax revenue and jobs that oil and gas operators provide to their communities.
Although the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) regulates the industry and provides data about Alberta’s wells, Gehman said this can be difficult for Albertans to find and is not always formatted in ways that make it easy for the general public to read.
His non-profit wellwiki.org was first launched in 2013, aiming to catalog every oil and gas well ever permitted or drilled in Canada and the United States. So far, Gehman has cataloged more than 4.3 million wells.
Most recently, with financial support from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, wellwiki.org updated and expanded its coverage to include more than 619,000 wells in Alberta — including in Paintearth County. More than 780 of those wells were found to be currently inactive, but have not been capped or reclaimed.
Wellwiki.org also provides content from the Pembina Institute’s Landowners’ Guide to Oil and Gas Development. Insights on regulatory and policy changes can be found at www.pembina.org/liabilities-home.