“Decaying wells leak methane gas, contaminate groundwater, and are safety hazards for wildlife and communities alike.”

Latest well data

The Oklahoma-based Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) has studied idle and orphan oil and gas wells for many years, publishing reports on the issue in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008 and in 2019.

Its most recent report issued in December was based upon survey responses from 30 states and five Canadian provinces belonging to the organization.

“Many idle wells have potential for oil or gas production or associated uses; however, they may pose a risk to the environment, public health, and safety if not properly maintained,” the commission stated as part of its 2019 report.

Based on survey responses, the commission estimates nearly

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