DEN Closes Oil Wells, Boosts Sustainability
Denver International Airport (DEN) has completed the capping of 64 oil and gas wells across its property as part of a $12.5 million programme to decommission all of its 38 tank battery locations.
This achievement supports DEN's sustainability efforts and its mission to become one of the greenest airports in the world.
The wells were the only ones located within Denver, and their closure effectively ceased all oil and gas activities in the city. This is in line with Denver's commitment to climate-aligned, sustainable policies and action to ensure that it remains a top place to live.
DEN opened in 1995 with dozens of working oil and gas wells on its property. At one time, these wells produced a positive financial return for the airport, but when a critical supporting partner left in 2018, DEN was required to shut them down and spend close to $500,000 annually to maintain field and regulatory compliance.
DEN CEO Phil Washington said that he is "immensely proud" of the work and dedication of the teams that achieved this milestone. He added that this accomplishment underscores DEN's dedication to being a leader in airport sustainability and setting an example for others to follow.
The capping and decommissioning process required extensive coordination within DEN and externally with oil industry engineers, contractors, and state regulatory agencies. Once the wells are completely closed, the land will be turned over to the airport's tenant farmers and other stakeholders to repurpose and rejuvenate.
The closure of the wells will allow DEN to grow and move forward in a way that is conscientious, sustainable, and smart. It will also help avoid the risk of methane leaks and other related pollutants while conserving water, resources, and energy.