Fracking Impacts - Orphaned Wells

Previous waves of drilling have already littered the world with millions of orphaned wells, abandoned by their original owners, with many spewing toxic pollutants into the environment, and massive clean up costs falling on taxpayers, a situation which fracking is making far worse. Continue reading

An Abandoned Well In Oneida County, New York Whose Discharges Have Killed An Acre Of Vegetation (Click To Enlarge)

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead announces plan to plug 1,200 abandoned oil and gas wells (Casper Star-Tribune, December 2013) Wyoming has more than 1,200 orphaned oil and gas wells, an additional 912 wells likely to become orphaned from ongoing bankruptcy proceedings and another 2,300 wells of concern, many left over from declining coal-bed methane production in the Powder River Basin, which the state will need to pay to be plugged

Abandoned, Polluting, and Costly: Are the Gas Wells of New York’s Past a Glimpse into Its Future? (EarthDesk, September 2013) New York regulators estimate there are 57,000 abandoned and orphan oil and gas wells statewide – many of them leaking, risking explosions and providing conduits for water contamination, but lack the funding to plug them

Planet Sludge: Millions of Abandoned, Leaking Natural Gas and Oil Wells to Foul Our Future (EcoHearth, May 2013) Each day hundreds of thousands of abandoned leaking oil wells and natural-gas wells spew toxic pollutants into the environment — and tens of millions more will soon join them, a developing environmental calamity to which almost no one is paying attention

Orphans of the Oil Fields: The Cost of Abandoned Wells (State Impact, April 2012) Scattered across the oil and gas fields of Texas, there are at least 7,869 abandoned wells, and an additional 5,445 wells that are inactive and whose operators are delinquent in meeting regulations, and since 1984, Texas has spent over $247 million plugging orphaned wells

Deteriorating Oil and Gas Wells Threaten Drinking Water, Homes Across the Country (Pro Publica, April 2011) Abandoned wells can provide pathways for oil, gas or brine-laden water to contaminate groundwater supplies or to travel up to the surface and previous waves of drilling has littered the US with as many as a million orphan wells, which can cost $100,000 or more each to plug

What Lies Beneath (Alberta Views, March 2011)* Almost 100,000 abandoned oil and gas wells litter Alberta, one quarter of all the wells ever drilled in the province, and the total cost to reclaim all existing wells, facilities and pipelines in the province is estimated at approximately $21 billion, with the government likely to foot most of the bill

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