Why land reclamation is an essential part of any oil and gas site plan

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Why land reclamation is an essential part of any oil and gas site plan

Surface disturbances are required to reap the benefits of the underground oil and gas bounty. But what happens to these disturbed areas when all the oil or gas is extracted?  

Often times it requires a detailed plan to complete any project. Returning areas disturbed as part of oil and natural gas extraction to their original state and the integration of these areas back into the natural ecosystem is important, as we all want to be ecologically and environmentally responsible. Land reclamation and restoration plans are not only a way to practice being greener, but they are also becoming a common requirement of regulatory agencies.  

Restoring these disturbed areas could include restoration to topsoil, vegetation, water quality, wildlife habitat, and much more. Which is when a land reclamation and restoration plan can help streamline the process. A land reclamation and restoration plan does not always require a high cost and extended timeline. In fact, in many cases, this process will save you time and money long-term.  

Land reclamation and restoration encompass multiple services and steps to ensure proper execution and completion, which can sometimes mean hiring multiple firms for each step of the process. This can lead to increased costs, delays, and backend work. That’s where KLJ comes in, we offer all the services you need at each stage of the process, in-house so we’re with you every step of the way. One firm, one contract, less hassle.  

What services you’ll need: 


  • GIS 

  • Engineer Designed Reclamation Plan Development 

Before reclamation can begin, the site needs to be analyzed and prepared. KLJ will facilitate landowner relations, prepare any legal/official documentation required, survey the area, conduct archaeological and environmental assessments, perform geotechnical testing and reporting, and research historical imagery and knowledge of the site. After all these tasks have been completed, an Engineer Designed Reclamation Plan is developed. An Engineer Designed Reclamation Plan maps out how best to restore the site to its original state using engineering techniques and data collected during the assessments. 

Oil Reclamation Before
Before Oil Reclamation



  • Design 

  • Construction Services & Observation 

Once the site has an Engineer Designed Reclamation Plan, work can begin on designing and facilitating the actual reclamation and restoration process. Well sites, roads, and other disturbed areas are restored to original contours and grade. These areas are revegetated with a native seed mix and/or native plantings. Construction services and observation are often an integral part of the reclamation process and ensure the reclamation is completed as per the design.   

Did you know: Operators on federal lands are required to include a reclamation plan in their surface use plan of operation, which must be approved by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or U.S. Forest Service (USFS). 


  • Post Reclamation Site Assessment 

  • Release from Bond Services 

Once the site’s reclamation is complete, a post-reclamation site assessment is performed to ensure the surface revegetation plan was followed and the site was properly reintegrated into the landscape. This is when final signoffs and absolution of liability activities take place, fully transferring the site back to the original owner.   

Oil Reclamation After
After Oil Reclamation


Land reclamation and restoration is an important part of the oil and gas or energy life cycle and is often required by regulatory agencies. KLJ has assisted many clients through the reclamation process, and we are ready to support your company as it navigates the regulatory, design, and construction challenges of reclamation projects.  

If you have any questions or would like to discuss a potential project with our oil and gas experts, contact Martin Fritz at 701-355-8477 or martin.fritz@kljeng.com

To learn more about KLJ's oil & gas services click here!