The previous presence of an oilfield at a site can present a lot of problems. Fortunately, oilfield reclamation work is often possible. It's important to appreciate, though, what this process entails.

Performing Tests

You'll need to figure out precisely what sort of mess you're dealing with. Not all types of oil deposits yield the same contaminants. Worse, the soil and rock layers throughout the oilfield can affect the acidity levels and have contaminants, too.

Testing the soil is critical. The reports that follow will guide how you address the oilfield reclamation process. In particular, it will determine whether you might have to haul off or treat the soil. In extreme cases, you may even need to replace the soil with fresh materials.

Erosion Issues

An oilfield typically removes most of the plants that discourage erosion. Consequently, the removal of the oilfield can trigger significant runoff if the area has been replanted with the right species of trees, shrubs, and grasses. Ideally, you can find indigenous plants that will thrive on the site. However, you may have to select plants that will hold up well to the increased sunlight, high erosion, and potential traces of chemicals.

There are extreme cases where significant engineering may be necessary. You may have to build hills, fill holes, create streams, and modify the terrain to encourage drainage. If the site is too contaminated to allow drainage into surrounding bodies of water, you may even have to build a pond so you can contain and treat the water.


Oilfields often go up in areas where other activities occur. A field might be in the middle of a farm or ranch, for example. If you're changing the landscape and plant life there, you will have to deconflict potential issues with these stakeholders. This may include compensating them for losses or engineering the site to accommodate stakeholders' needs.

Property Registry

The record of your oilfield reclamation efforts needs to go into the county's property registry. Such information will help future property owners make informed decisions. They deserve to know there was an oilfield on the site and what you did to remedy any possible problems. Also, you may need to cancel easements for vehicle paths on the property, especially if they no longer exist after the reclamation project.


Similarly, you'll need to send environmental compliance paperwork to local, state, and federal agencies. The reports should outline the issues at the site and how you've handled them. If there are unresolved problems, the authorities should know.

For more information about oilfield reclamation, contact a company, such as Wrango USA, to learn more.