Finding, Assessing and Abandoning or Repurposing Orphan & Idle Wells

Recorded On: 08/16/2022

The 2021 US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will allocate some $4.7B to the States, the Federal land management agencies and the Tribes to fund the plugging and remediation of 100,000+ documented orphaned wells in the USA over the next decade. It is, therefore, pertinent to discuss the technologies and best practices that could help with these initiatives.

This webinar will discuss:

  • The use of drone deployed magnetometer surveys to find the exact location of old wells in wooded terrain.
  • The data challenges in assessing the condition of orphan wells and planning for equipment access and re-entry operations, which generally implies that abandonment is a more likely path than re-use.
  • The data management challenges with wells that have repeatedly passed from one Operating Company to another.
  • Evaluating potential opportunities and functional specifications for the re-use of suspended wells.

This webinar is categorized under the Projects, Facilities, and Construction technical discipline.

All content contained within this webinar is copyrighted by Tim Sorensen, Robert Lowe and Jason Simmerman and its use and/or reproduction outside the portal requires express permission from Tim Sorensen, Robert Lowe and Jason Simmerman .

This webinar is a collaboration between SPE, IOGCC and EDF.


Tessa Sorensen

Tessa Sorensen joined the Petroleum Engineering Department at the Colorado School of Mines in the fall of 2021. She has a BS in Geological Engineering (2003) and an MP in Petroleum Reservoir Systems (2005) from Colorado School of Mines. She specializes in drilling engineering, workover design, operational execution, and well abandonment.

Professor Sorensen has 18 years of experience in the petroleum industry, including wellsite and field geology, reservoir surveillance, field-level facilities engineering, with a specialty in drilling, completion, and workover design.  She has experience with fields on all major continents, in more than a dozen countries and eleven US states. Her work includes both offshore and onshore wells, deepwater and isolated assets, and toxic and hazardous operations (HPHT, sour, acid, NORM).

Tessa has been public speaking since high school and taught petroleum engineering courses at ExxonMobil for 12 years.  She has instructed a wide range of upstream engineering topics across the globe, including: drilling engineering, completions design, workover design, well control, drillstring mechanics, tubular design, well data management, facilities engineering, and reservoir surveillance.  She has a broad background in advanced tubular design, high pressure design, sour applications, and workover/re-entry operations.  She is also a member of the Society of Petroleum EngineersAmerican Association of Drilling Engineers, and International Association of Drilling Contractors.

Robert Lowe

Rob Lowe is the Survey Operations Manager for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. Rob has been instrumental in implementing the use of magnetometers and UAS for the specific purpose of locating hard to find Idle and Orphan wells. He has been with the Department for 14 years and is a Registered Professional Surveyor in the State of Ohio. Rob received his bachelor’s of science in Geomatic Engineering with a specific interest in satellite Geodesy from the Ohio State University.

Jason Simmerman

Jason Simmerman is the Engineering Manager for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, Orphan Well Program. Jason has served in the this role for the previous five years. During that time the Orphan Well Program has grown from a $1 million plugging budget to a $25 million plugging budget. Prior to that Jason spent three years working in the Division’s Horizontal Well Pad and Waste Facilities Programs. Jason has a total of fourteen years with the Department of Natural Resources and five more years of work experience in the private sector completing civil engineering projects. Jason earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Ohio University along with his surveying certificate. Jason has been a registered professional engineer in Ohio since 2008.

Todd Boesiger

Todd Boesiger currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Energy Resources, Research and Technology Committee (ERRT)for the IOGCC and as theDeputy Director of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commissionsince 2019.  In the 15 years prior to his position at the commission, Todd worked as a geologist and Biostratigrapher in exploration, development and appraisal projects in basins around the world for Hess Corporation, BP America and Ellington Geological Associates.  

This SPE webinar is sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.



Finding, Assessing and Abandoning or Repurposing Orphan & Suspended Wells.
08/16/2022 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 08/16/2022
08/16/2022 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 08/16/2022
20 Questions
Live and Archive Viewing: 0.15 CEU/1.5 PDH credits and certificate available
Live and Archive Viewing: 0.15 CEU/1.5 PDH credits and certificate available