MEADVILLE -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced today it has awarded $168,485 to Phillips and Dart Oil Field Service Inc., of Gifford, McKean County, to clean out and plug 24 abandoned oil wells in Foster Township, McKean County.
“These abandoned wells, which were drilled in the 1930s, have been slowly leaking oil and other fluids,” DEP Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management Scott Perry said. “The oil has been making its way into a tributary of nearby Kendall Creek, which is a problem made worse when there is rain.”
The wells will be cleaned out, with all existing casing and cementing removed. They are estimated to be between 1,400 and 1,700 feet deep and will be filled with a non-porous material. Cement plugs will close off critical portions of the vertical well, such as oil- and gas-producing zones or underground aquifers, to prevent fluids from seeping into groundwater or returning to the surface.
The work is expected to begin in July and be completed by January 2013.
The contract is being financed by the Abandoned and Orphan Well Plugging Fund, which is paid for by oil and gas industry fines, permits and penalties. Taxpayer dollars are not used to plug abandoned wells.
For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us or call 717-772-7199.