How long does it take to plug a well

How long does it take to plug an oil and gas well?

Some shallow and easy wells can be plugged in one work day.  More typical is three to five work days.  However, GonzOil has plugged some very difficult wells that required more than six weeks to plug.


Usually the paperwork, permissions and funding take more time than the actual well plugging operation.

Are permits required?

Yes.  Ohio requires ODNR Form 1 “Well Plugging Permit Application.”  This enables ODNR to develop specific well plugging requirements for that particular well in order to protect all potable water zones.

How much does a Well Plugging Permit cost?

The permit application fee is $250.00 to plug one well, and the permit is valid for one year in urban areas and two years in non-urban areas.  An expedited well plugging permit application costs an additional $500.00.

Does the local Fire Department have any jurisdiction over well plugging?

Yes, but more so in municipalities than in rural areas.  As an experienced well plugging contractor, GonzOil notifies the local Fire Department in advance alerting them to the fact there may be a natural gas odor when the well is opened up for plugging.  An ODNR Well Inspector oversees the plugging operation.  However, the local Fire Department is responsible for fire safety and to assure access to the well site in the event of an emergency.

Does ODNR approve the plug job?

Yes, if the well has been properly and effectively plugged in compliance with ODNR plugging requirements.

When is the well plugged properly and effectively according to ODNR?

An ODNR Well Inspector must be notified when a well is being plugged, and usually a Well Inspector is at the job site until the end of the plug job.  The Inspector will prepare a well plugging report that details the location of the cement plugs and other plugging information.  Typically the Well Inspector will re-visit the well within 30 days of plugging to confirm that the well is not leaking.  The Well Inspector will also review the former location of the tank battery, wellhead and pipelines.  If they meet with the Inspector’s approval in the field, the Inspector will submit a report to ODNR in Columbus that the well has been properly and effectively plugged and abandoned.  Once the Inspector’s report is processed in Columbus, the ODNR well database will be updated with the “Plugged and Abandoned” box checked.  The Well Inspector’s report also indicates if the well site has received “Final Restoration” or “FR” approval and the “FR” box is checked off in the ODNR Well Database.

© 2020 by GonzOil. Proudly created with