"Infrastructure Money Could Aid Push To Plug Oil, Gas Wells"

"PITTSBURGH — By some accounts, Pennsylvania has the worst accumulation of old, unplugged, ownerless oil and gas wells in the nation. There are an estimated 200,000 of them, and the cost to plug them could exceed $6 billion.

The state’s orphan well plugging program has been underfunded for decades, but it is primed to take advantage of an influx of cash.

Part of President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion proposal to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure would dedicate $16 billion to reclaiming abandoned wells and mines across the U.S.

Cementing shut wells that were left behind during more than a century of drilling has emerged as a popular policy in the past year. It bridges environmental groups — who want to cap scattered hazards that leak brine, oil and methane, a powerful greenhouse gas — and oil and gas companies — who see it as a growth area for their business as drilling declines."

Laura Legere and Anya Litvak report for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette April 24, 2021.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 04/27/2021