Fellow Environmental Partners names Civitas Resources “Environmentalist of the Year”

Updated: Apr 21


Tulsa, Oklahoma – Fellow Environmental Partners

(FEP), a nonprofit focused on research and reclamation of orphaned oil & gas wells, today recognized Civitas Resources as Fellow’s 2022 Environmentalist of the Year for the company’s commitment to voluntarily plug orphaned wells throughout the state of Colorado. The award was created to recognize outstanding companies, organizations or individuals doing a commendable job addressing the global challenge of orphaned oil and gas wells.

Brian Cain (left) receives Environmentalist of the Year award on behalf of Civitas Resources, presented by Michael Vieau (right) of the nonprofit Fellow Environmental Partners. 04/21/22


Last January, Civitas committed to plug 42 oil and gas wells that were orphaned by previous operators in and around Adams, Arapahoe, Elbert, Larimer, and Weld counties of Colorado, an effort in line with the nonprofit’s mission of leveraging oil and gas knowledge to assist with environmental cleanup for future generations. Orphaned wells are often of older vintage and left in poor condition, and can emit greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide, which amplify the effects of climate change. The state of Colorado would have been responsible for plugging these abandoned wells without Civitas’ commitment.


“We are excited to award Civitas with our first Environmentalist of the Year award. Our nonprofit is committed to recognizing those in the oil and gas space doing their part to ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. We believe it is important that operators like Civitas leverage their expertise and resources to address the unfortunate legacy of orphaned wells and we call on other operators to follow this example in charitable cleanup efforts.” Staci Taruscio, Co-Founder + Board Chairman, Fellow Environmental Partners


“We are proud to be recognized for our recent commitment to voluntarily plug orphaned wells within our operating areas on the Front Range of Colorado,” said Brian Cain, Chief Sustainability Officer at Civitas Resources. “We believe this is a significant commitment because it covers all orphaned wells known to the COGCC as of January 1 throughout the Front Range – where most of the Colorado’s population is located. We encourage our peers in the oil and gas industry to make similar commitments to voluntarily plug orphaned wells located near their current or legacy operations to ease this burden on taxpayers and demonstrate our desire as an industry to leave our areas of operation in better shape than we found them.” Civitas Resources, Inc


Civitas Resources is joined by Project Canary, a Denver based climate technology company, who is deploying its continuous emissions monitoring technology to monitor and verify emissions using its TrustWell environmental assessment services for all 42 wells in the orphan well project. Project Canary’s technology will ensure the wells are properly plugged and no emitting greenhouse gases.


"If orphaned wells are left unplugged they can emit dangerous greenhouse gasses like methane and VOCs. As a B-Corp, accountability is part of our DNA and we’re proud to partner with Civitas to drive real, measurable change. Responsible environmental stewardship means improving upon the past while keeping our eyes firmly on the future—as a part of our Project Canary: Impact program we are committed to continuing these outreach programs across the United States.” Chris Romer, CEO, Project Canary


To select a recipient for the first inaugural Environmentalist of the Year award, Fellow Environmental Partners, made a nationwide call for nominations. Submissions were received via an online application on fellowenviro.org during the 2022 application period and were voted on by committee.


Additional awards program information can be found here.


About Fellow Environmental Partners

Fellow Environmental Partners (FEP) is a 501©3 founded in April 2021 by a team of volunteers dedicated to leveraging energy expertise to research and reclaim orphaned oil and gas wells, bridging the gap between the past and solutions for a sustainable future.


Fellow’s first field project was completed in 2021 with other work including educational events https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7vu8xiPb4MJxXvPFkSt0AQ, authorship of a carbon credit methodology with American Carbon Registry, Infrastructure Law collaboration at state and federal levels, having built a database prioritizing US inventory, inspection, measurement and impact of orphan wells. FEP is celebrating their first anniversary with transparent communication of work done and data in place to justify it at FEP’s core. In its second year, FEP is focused on maximizing the impact of orphan well plugging work.


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