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Idaho Well Abandonment (20-ID-a)

This flowchart illustrates the well abandonment procedures in the state of Idaho. The Director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources (Director) oversees all well abandonment procedures. Rule 45 of the Drilling for Geothermal Resources Rules, part of the Idaho Administrative Code, governs the procedures for well abandonment.

Well Abandonment Process

20-ID-a.1 – Notice of Intent to Abandon

The developer must file a notice of intent to abandon with the director 5 days prior to the beginning of abandonment procedures.

20-ID-a.2 – Is the Proposal Approved?

The director may approve or disapprove a proposal to abandon. An approval order may be made conditional or limited.

20-ID-a.3 – Conduct Well Abandonment Procedures

General requirements for well abandonment which are subject to review and modification for individual wells or field conditions include the following:

  • All wells must be monumented and the description of the monument must be included in the history of well report. The monument must consist of a 4 inch diameter pipe 10 feet in length of which 4 feet must be above ground. The remainder shall be embedded in concrete. The name, number, and location of the well must be shown on the monument. Alternate methods of monumentation may be approved by the director;
  • Good quality heavy drilling fluid must be used to replace any water in the hole and to fill all portions of the hole not plugged with cement;
  • All cement plugs with a possible exception of the surface plug must be pumped into the hole through drill pipe or tubing;
  • All open annuli must be filled solid with cement to the surface;
  • A minimum of 100 feet of cement must be emplaced straddling the interface or transition zone at the base of groundwater aquifers;
  • 100 feet of cement must straddle the placement of the shoe plug on all casings including conductor pipe;
  • A surface plug of either neat cement or concrete mix must be in place from the top of the casing to at least 50 feet below the top of the casing;
  • All casing must be cut off at least 5 feet below land surface;
  • Cement plugs must extend at least 50 feet over the top of any liner installed in the well;

Other abandonment procedures may be approved by the director if the developer can demonstrate that the geothermal resource, groundwaters, and other natural resources will be protected. The approval must be given by the director in writing prior to the beginning of any abandonment procedures.

20-ID-a.4 – Notify Director of Completion of Abandonment Procedures

The developer must notify the director within 5 days after the completion of the abandonment of the well on all work done with respect to the abandonment.

20-ID-a.5 – History of Geothermal Resource Wells

The developer must file with the director a history of geothermal resources wells within 60 days after completion of abandonment procedures.

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