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Index > United States of America > Pennsylvania > Pennsylvania Protecting Communities, Miners from Abandoned Oil, Gas Wells

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Halliburton Loophole

"Father of Fracking"
George Mitchell
concerns over environmental
impacts of fracking

History of Fracking
Only a new technology

USA Fracking Stories

A Texan tragedy

Gas injection may have triggered earthquakes in Texas

California Lags in Fracking Regulations

All In for California Water

Fracking in Michigan

Fracking in Michigan Potential Impact on Health, Environment, Economy

Hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale

Methane Gas from Marcellus Shale Drilling

Marcellus Shale Gas Economics

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Pennsylvania Fracking

Fracking in Virginia

Lesson From Wyoming Fracking

Water Pollution from Fracking

Hydraulic Fracturing Poses Substantial Water Pollution Risks

Methane in drinking water wells

Abandoned gas wells leak

Natural Gas Leaks Discovered in Boston

Methane Leaks Under Streets of Boston

Methane leaks make fracking dirty

Fracking effects real estate values

Fracking stimulates earthquakes

Protecting Gas Pipelines From Earthquakes

Gas Pipeline Earthquake - Simulations

America's crumbling pipelines

Averting Pipeline Failures

Dangers to Underground Pipelines

Gas Pipelines Could Serve as Wireless Links

Government Action needed on a National Energy Policy

EPA Releases Update on Ongoing Hydraulic Fracturing Study

Solar Booster Shot for Natural Gas Power Plants

Natural Gas Pricing Reform to Facilitate Carbon Tax Policy

Investing in fracking

What Oil Prices Have in Store?

Methane Out, Carbon Dioxide In

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Professor Ingraffea

Anti-Fracking Billboard

Natural Gas Drilling

Threats to Biodiversity

Pronghorn Migration
hindered by gas development

Microbes in a Fracking Site

Protozoa May Hold Key to World Water Safety

Shale Gas Production

Research into the Fracking Controversy

Convert Methane Into Useful Chemicals

Methane Natural Gas Into Diesel

'Natural Gas' at the molecular level

Arctic Methane risks

Arctic Methane Seeps

Great Gas Hydrate Escape

Undersea Methane Seep Ecosystem

Methane in the Atmosphere of Early Earth

Methane Natural Gas Linked to Climate Change

Cutting Methane Pollutants Would Slow Sea Level Rise

California | Colorado | Dakota | Marcellus | Massachusetts | Michigan |
Ohio | Pennsylvania | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Wyoming

Shale Gas


COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

Governor Rendell Says Pennsylvania Protecting Communities, Miners from Abandoned Oil, Gas Wells


19 September 2007 HARRISBURG – Governor Edward G. Rendell said today Pennsylvania will invest $2.3 million to plug 150 abandoned oil and gas wells on private property in 10 counties.

He said the measure will make sure that the structures, abandoned during the industry’s unregulated past, don’t lead to explosions or polluted steams.

“Abandoned oil and gas wells can pollute streams and drinking water supplies and, in some situations, pose explosive dangers to nearby residents and coal mine workers,” Governor Rendell said.

“This is a public safety concern and an environmental protection issue.

Because of the potential hazards, we’re taking steps and making the investment necessary to protect nearby residents and workers by cleaning and plugging these abandoned wells.”

Pennsylvania has the most abandoned wells in the Appalachian region and is one of the top five states nationally.

The Department of Environmental Protection has documented approximately 8,700 orphaned and abandoned wells throughout the state, and more are often found.

A small percentage of abandoned wells leak oil or acidic water from mines, which contaminates streams and drinking water supplies.

A rusted casing in a gas well may allow natural gas to flow underground and accumulate in the basement of a nearby building or in a coal mine, with potentially explosive consequences.

Because abandoned wells can cause many problems, the Oil and Gas Act of 1984 requires oil and gas well operators to plug nonproducing wells.

However, many wells were abandoned prior to when state regulations took effect.

In 1992, the legislature amended the Oil and Gas Act to allow certain oil or gas wells abandoned before April 1985 to be classified as “orphan” wells.

That amendment also gave DEP the authority and the financial means to plug them.

Landowners, leaseholders and oil and gas operators were also relieved from the responsibility to plug orphan wells on their properties.

“We are working aggressively to protect Pennsylvania residents and the environment from the dangers of abandoned oil and gas wells,” said DEP Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty.

“I commend property owners and local environmental groups who locate, map and report abandoned wells they discover on their lands.”

Generally, to plug a well, all of the pipe should be removed and the well bore cleaned.

The well bore must then be filled with cement and a nonporous material to act as a plug that prevents gas or liquids from entering or flowing in it.

Funds for well plugging come from Growing Greener grants and from surcharges on well-drilling permits issued in Pennsylvania.

The contracts for plugging the wells were awarded through an open and competitive process.

It is estimated that as many as 300,000 were drilled in Pennsylvania after Edwin Drake drilled the world’s first commercial oil well in 1859 in Titusville, Venango County.

The commonwealth produced half of the world’s oil until the East Texas oil boom of 1901.

Since then, Pennsylvania also became an important area for natural gas production.

As oil and gas prices dramatically increase, Pennsylvania is again attracting oil and gas development.

DEP processed a record 7,292 drilling permits in 2006 – a 21 percent increase over 2005, and the fourth straight year of record permitting activity.

For more information, visit website, keyword: Oil and Gas.


Details of the $2,288,379.93 in contracts awarded to clean and plug orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells:

ALLEGHENY COUNTY
North Fayette Township - $88,350 contract awarded to Hydrocarbon Well Service Inc. for four wells.

ARMSTRONG COUNTY
Kiskiminetas Township - $100,700 contract awarded to Hydrocarbon Well Service Inc. for two wells.

BUTLER COUNTY
Bruin and Parker townships - $75,000 contract awarded to Fawnwood Energy Inc. for five wells.

CLINTON COUNTY
Chapman Township - $632,311 contract awarded to Hemlock Oil & Gas Co. Inc. for 38 wells.

FOREST COUNTY
Howe Township - $129,956 contract awarded to S&T Service and Supply Inc. for five wells.

JEFFERSON COUNTY
Washington Township - $40,113.50 contract awarded to S&T Service and Supply Inc. for one well.

McKEAN COUNTY
Eldred and Otto townships - $141,946 contract awarded to James W. Day contracting for 14 wells.
Keating Township - $33,650 contract awarded to Alco Well Services Inc. for four wells.

VENANGO COUNTY
Cherrytree Township - $438,058 contract awarded to S & T Service and Supply Inc. for 43 wells.
Cornplanter Township - $214,716 contract awarded to S&T Service and Supply Inc. for 20 wells.

WARREN COUNTY
Warren City - $35,243.50 contract awarded to S&T Service and Supply Inc. for six wells.

WASHINGTON COUNTY
Amwell, North Strabane, Smith, South Strabane townships, City of Washington - $358,336 contract awarded to Hydrocarbon Well Service Inc for eight wells.
 



Media Release: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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