Oil and Gas Terminology

Some common terms used on this website and in OROGO’s materials are:

Abandoned Well – A well that has been permanently plugged.  OROGO’s Well Suspension and Abandonment Guidelines and Interpretation Notes also require that an abandoned well be cut and capped below the surface.

Incident – An incident is an event:

  •     that causes a lost or restricted workday injury, death, fire or explosion, a spill or leak, an imminent threat to the safety of a person or installation, or pollution;
  •     that results in a missing person; or
  •     that impairs any part of the installation or facility critical for safety or environmental protection.

Near-Miss – A near-miss is an event that would likely cause an incident but does not.

Suspended Well – A well, or part of a well, is one where drilling or production operations have temporarily ceased.   Suspended wells must be inspected regularly by the operator. OROGO’s Well Suspension and Abandonment Guidelines and Interpretation Notes provide details on suspension and inspection requirements.

Well – A well is any opening in the ground, other than a seismic shot hole, that is made by drilling, boring or other method in order to produce or search for oil and gas, obtain water to inject into an underground formation or inject gas, air, water or other substance into an underground formation.  Wells also include openings in the ground made through sedimentary rock to a depth of at least 150 meters made for any other purpose, including non-oil and gas related activities.

OROGO’s legislation also contains definitions of key terms.  If there is a conflict between a definition provided in the legislation and a definition provided on this page, the definition in the legislation applies.

A more general glossary of commonly-used oil and gas terminology can be found here. Note that this is a link to an external site and OROGO is not responsible for its content.