The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board recognized the work of Bureau of Indian Affairs field inspectors as essential to the environmental restoration of 1,000 abandoned well sites in Osage County. The agencies celebrated the milestone restoration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to break ground on construction of the site on May 17.

Through voluntary contributions from Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners, the OERB cleans up orphaned or abandoned well sites at no cost to landowners. In Osage County, the OERB relies on the work of BIA field inspectors to determine whether a site is eligible for cleanup. The sites are then referred to the OERB by the Osage County Conservation District Office.

“The work the BIA has done on behalf of our restoration program has been absolutely vital to its success in Osage County,” OERB Executive Director Mindy Stitt said. “Without their dedicated service we would not have been able to reach 1,000 restorations.”

Since 1993, the OERB has spent more than $100 million to restore more than 15,000 abandoned well sites. In Osage County, $5.5 million has been spent restoring the land.

The OERB works with Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry to improve the lives of all Oklahomans through education and restoration. Funded through a voluntary one tenth of 1 percent assessment on oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners, the OERB provides free environmental restoration of abandoned well sites and extensive educational resources for Oklahoma educators, students and classrooms. For more information, visit oerb.com or follow the OERB on Facebook and Twitter.