Abandoned gas well in Calmar leads to more questions
Residents in Calmar are still seeking compensation after they found out their homes were built on top of an abandoned natural gas well. But the province has not said how that was allowed to happen. The energy minister is now searching for some answers from the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB).
The controversy has led to questions about other Alberta neghbourhoods. CTV News has learned many residents in Leduc County are also living near gas well sites and aren't even aware of it.
Jim Lunt didn't know the park he lives next to is on top of an abandoned well site.
Another well site was found under the pavement of a cul-de-sac in Leduc County. Resident Heather Ardron says she had no idea.
"The town hasn't told me anything, I've never heard of that."
And according to town staff, dozens of wells are buried around Devon. And there are 18 in neighbouring Calmar.
An employee with the Town of Calmar says it is common practice to build parks and roads on top of well sites, but not homes. And since many Calmar residents recently discovered their properties are sitting on top of an old gas well, the calls haven't stopped coming in.
"People get scared. They don't know the facts," said Town of Calmar employee Ed Melesko.
The gas well that is buried beneath some homes in Calmar is owned by Imperial Oil. The company says the plan is to dig up the well and make sure it's resealed.
Imperial Oil has purchased five homes in order for drills to move in next summer to reseal the well.
But it is still not clear as to why the homes were allowed to built on top of the old gas well. One industry expert thinks some records may have been lost in the shuffle.
"If somebody doesn't remember where they are, they could get lost. Although they shouldn't," said Don Hunter.
Hunter admits he doesn't know what exactly happened in Calmar, but he knows wells sometimes get lost in Leduc County.
"One of the old wells was in the schoolyard. That was drilled when people were living there. I lived there," he said.
The ERCB says it can tell residents what oil and gas infrastructure is near their home.
For more information on finding oil infrastructure near your home click here.