The term inactive, when used with regard to well status, is broadly defined by regulatory agencies and covers a wide spectrum of wellbore conditions. Furthermore, Federal and state regulatory programs rarely make a distinction between inactive wells which have the completion interval isolated from the wellbore and those which have open completion intervals. Well status terms such as shut-in, standing, temporarily abandoned (TA), inactive, suspended, etc. have generally been used interchangeably by regulatory agencies. Industry and regulatory agencies should standardize the terminology used to describe inactive wells. API recommends that inactive wells be classified as either shut-in or TA as defined below.
Source: API BULLETIN E3, Environmental Guidance Document: Well Abandonment and Inactive Well Practices for U.S. Exploration and Production Operations, First Edition, January 1993 (Reaffirmed June 2000). Global Standards
“Inactive well” means a well that is not being used for beneficial purposes such as production, injection or monitoring and that is not being drilled, completed, repaired or worked over.
Source: Oil and Gas, New Mexico Administrative Code Title 19, Chapter 15, January 2013. Regulations