Lucas and Bice introduce a bill to remedy abandoned wells and stimulate research | New
CHEYENNE, Oklahoma. – U.S. Representatives Frank Lucas, OK-3, and Stephanie Bice, OK-5, introduced the Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act, a measure that would establish a program for research, development and demonstration of abandoned wells in United States. Department of Energy.
Oklahoma has 1,277 listed abandoned oil and gas wells statewide. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reported in 2018 that there were more than 3.2 million abandoned wells in the United States, including 2.1 million unclogged abandoned wells – the totals for the states and the federal government may be underestimated due to a lack of information.
The Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act would help improve data collection on the location of abandoned wells; advance plugging, remediation and reclamation efforts; and improve environmental sanitation practices. The bill would authorize up to $ 30 million in fiscal 2022, rising to $ 35 million in fiscal 2026.
“Locating, closing or reallocating wells is critical work that can reduce methane emissions and recover resources,” Lucas said. “But doing this job is difficult and expensive.”
Lucas said there are “thousands of abandoned wells” in Oklahoma that could cost, on average, between $ 40,000 and $ 70,000 to close properly.
“For some sites, the costs could reach close to a million dollars,” Lucas said. “This legislation will help us identify new materials and advanced techniques for finding and managing abandoned wells, which will help our environment and our energy sector.”
“The US energy sector has experienced multiple challenges in recent years, including the closure of the Keystone pipeline, lower production and job losses, in addition to the impact of the pandemic,” Bice said. “As a result, thousands of wells have been closed. “
Le Bice said Oklahoma “has an incredible program that helps deal with abandoned well sites, and it’s high time we did something similar at the federal level.” She said the bill “would help create jobs in the energy sector for so many people who have lost their jobs, while also helping the environment.”
Tens of thousands of known abandoned oil and gas wells across the country release methane into the atmosphere, pose health and safety risks and can pollute local groundwater. Many experts estimate that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of abandoned or orphaned wells across the country.