COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120
DEP: 259 Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells Plugged in 2010
Protects Public Health and Safety Repairs Damage from Past
HARRISBURG -- Environmental Protection Secretary
John Hanger today reported the department managed 14 project sites
during 2010 in nine counties that successfully plugged 259 abandoned
oil and gas wells.
That work, he said, is important not only to protect the
environment, but the public’s safety, as well.
“Abandoned wells create passageways for pollution to enter and
contaminate drinking water. They also can allow natural gas to enter
water supplies or build up in a home, which can create a dangerous
enclosed space,” Hanger said.
“Modern regulations require that wells be cased
properly during use and sealed once they are taken out of service,
but unfortunately, there are thousands of wells that were simply
abandoned before people understood the dangers.”
The 259 wells addressed in 2009 are located in the western and
north-central regions of the state, and were discovered by
department inspectors and local citizens who work collaboratively to
locate and map wells in the region.
Many of the wells were leaking oil, acid mine drainage or natural
Abandoned wells can be found in many settings from residential
backyards to remote hillsides.
Well-plugging costs can vary
depending on terrain and the age and depth of the well. In most
cases, once DEP receives landowner permission, work crews will clear
a site and clean or remove the old well.
After any old well casings are
removed and the well bore is clear, the well is filled with grout or
cement and other fill materials.
Pennsylvania has the highest number of abandoned wells in the
Appalachian region and is one of the top five states nationally.
The department has documented
more than 8,600 wells throughout the state that were abandoned prior
to passage of modern oil and gas drilling regulations.
Since the first commercial oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in
1859, DEP estimates as many as 350,000 oil and gas wells have been
drilled in the state, with many of those wells having been abandoned
without proper plugging.
Funding for Pennsylvania’s Abandoned and Orphan Well Plugging
Program comes from surcharges on well-drilling permits issued in
Pennsylvania and from the Growing Greener program.
For more information, visit this
Below is a list, by county, of the 14 abandoned well plugging
contracts awarded in 2009:
Tarentum Borough: Stray Gas Migration Project -- $9,546. Contractor:
Carlucci Construction Co. Inc., Cheswick, Allegheny County.
Erie, Girard Borough, Millcreek and Northeast townships: 10 wells --
$93,564.81. Contractor: S&T Service and Supply Inc., Pleasantville,
Fayette and Washington counties
Fallowfield Township and Belle Vernon: 3 wells -- $161,512.50.
Contractor: Hydrocarbon Well Services Inc., Buckhannon, W.Va.
Howe Township: 4 wells -- $37,892. Contractor: S&T Service and
Supply Inc., Pleasantville, Venango County.
Bradford Township: 23 wells -- $103,678. Contractor: Phillips and
Dart Oil Field Services Inc., Gifford, McKean County.
Eldred Township: 39 wells -- $351,970. Contractor: James W. Day
Contracting, Bolivar, N.Y.
Kane: 7 wells -- $49,220. Contractor: Phillips and Dart Oil Field
Services Inc., Gifford, McKean County.
Keating and Otto townships: 46 wells -- $243,692. Contractor: James
W. Day Contracting, Bolivar, N.Y.
Otto Township: 28 wells -- $228,216.40. Contractor: ALCO Well
Services Inc., Bradford, McKean County.
Delmar Township: 1 well -- $117,000. Contractor: Hydrocarbon Well
Services Inc., Buckhannon, W.Va.
Cherry Tree and Oil Creek townships: 29 wells -- $256,504.
Contractor: S&T Service and Supply Inc., Pleasantville, Venango
Cornplanter Township: 64 wells -- $554,776.26. Contractor: S&T
Service and Supply Inc., Pleasantville, Venango County.
Warren: 4 wells -- $19,760. Contractor: Hemlock Oil and Gas Co.
Inc., Bradford, McKean County
Upper Burrell Township: 1 well -- $91,439. Contractor: Hydrocarbon
Well Services Inc., Buckhannon, W.Va.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA