We’re excited to share with you, on this sunny Friday afternoon, that we recently completed a successful oil and gas well abandonment project with Wiikwemikoong Unceded First Nation (Wiikwemikoong), located on the east side of Manitoulin Island.

For this project, Premier worked with staff from Eastern Oilfield Services (Eastern) acting as the well plugging contractor. Our project was directed by Patrick Fox and Jean Pitawanakwat of Wiikwemikoong.

This successful project was quite unique, in that Premier and Eastern abandoned 1800s-era oil and gas wells along with previously undescribed hand-dug pits that were installed without well licences. We, obviously, know how to abandon the traditional oil and gas wells but we did not know how these hand-dug pits were designed, so the abandonment work reflected site-specific features. For example, this work revealed that some pits were used to separate oil-water mixtures and had depths of about 9 m while other pits contained wells that were 120+ m deep. In this process, Premier and Eastern both gained valuable insights on how to cost-effectively abandon these undocumented hand-dug pits.

Due to the need for proper abandonment of legacy oil and gas wells on First Nations lands, the project was featured in Canada’s First Nations energy magazine: ‘Elements Magazine’.   The winter 2017 article starts on page 14, and available here:


This article was reprinted by the Ontario Petroleum Institute in their spring 2017 newsletter, to again highlight the need to abandon legacy oil and gas wells on First Nations lands.


If you would like to learn more, please contact Dean Fitzgerald at Premier (DFitzgerald@premiercorp.ca) or Patrick Fox at Wiikwemikoong (PFox@wiky.net).

Written by Dean Fitzgerald


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