Agricultural Sciences

Webinar to cover risk-based approach for oil and gas well inspections

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Using a risk-based approach to prioritize natural gas well inspections will be the subject of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21.

The presentation stems from a partnership between Penn State, Colorado School of Mines and the University of Texas at Austin, which have formed an educational consortium called TOP Energy Training.

The webinar will focus on Colorado adopting a statute for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to transition to a risk-based strategy for oil and gas inspections in 2014. This strategy, implemented in March 2016, established relative risks in six parameters regarding population density, environment, site inspection history, years in service, historic spills and corrective action. 

During the presentation, Mike Leonard, community relations manager with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, will discuss its risk-based approach to well inspections, covering the background, approach, implementation and outcomes thus far.  

“This program has enabled the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to develop a more uniform inspection process by utilizing defined parameters to determine inspection priority,” he said. “By using a manageable, GIS-based model, we can obtain daily relative risk factor scores for all wells in the state.”

Leonard, who had 26 years of experience working in the oil and gas industry in well-completion and oilfield construction prior to joining the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 2006, has worked as a field inspector, field inspection supervisor, quality assurance professional and currently the community relations manager for the commission.

Online registration for the webinar is available here. For more information about the webinar, contact Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or by email at

To learn more about TOP Energy Training and the educational consortium composed of Penn State, Colorado School of Mines and the University of Texas at Austin, visit the website.

Last Updated February 13, 2019