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Abandoned well plugging

West Virginia Multi-Well Plugging Contract, Region VIII

Various Locations, West Virginia

Orphan oil and gas wells, when they leak, release contaminants into the air as well as the soil. By plugging these orphan wells, methane and carbon emissions are reduced in the air and contaminants are not leaked into the soil.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated there are approximately 3.5 million unplugged and abandoned wells in the U.S. North Wind Site Services was awarded this contract by the State of West Virginia Environmental Protection Office of Oil & Gas for well location, identification, inspection, and prioritization; permitting; well plugging; well site reclamation; and reporting. There have been 17 previously identified wells to be permanently plugged.

What does a site look like after a well has been plugged? The well in the photographs below is in the woods of western West Virginia and is no longer emitting methane. Well Done Foundation provided the post-plugging methane measurements.