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The Amazing Coudersport Ice Mine

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

DEP Spends $$ Millions To Plug Old Oil & Gas Wells

DEP: 259 Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells Plugged in 2009
Protects Public Health and Safety Repairs Damage from Past Unregulated Drilling


HARRISBURG -- Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger today reported the department last year managed 14 project sites in nine counties that successfully plugged 259 abandoned oil and gas wells.

That work, he said, is important not only to protect the environment, but the public’s safety, as well.

“Abandoned wells create passageways for pollution to enter and contaminate drinking water. They also can allow natural gas to enter water supplies or build up in a home, which can create a dangerous enclosed space,” Hanger said. “Modern regulations require that wells be cased properly during use and sealed once they are taken out of service, but unfortunately, there are thousands of wells that were simply abandoned before people understood the dangers.”

The 259 wells addressed in 2009 are located in the western and north-central regions of the state, and were discovered by department inspectors and local citizens who work collaboratively to locate and map wells in the region.

Many of the wells were leaking oil, acid mine drainage or natural gas.

Abandoned wells can be found in many settings from residential backyards to remote hillsides. Well-plugging costs can vary depending on terrain and the age and depth of the well. In most cases, once DEP receives landowner permission, work crews will clear a site and clean or remove the old well. After any old well casings are removed and the well bore is clear, the well is filled with grout or cement and other fill materials.

Pennsylvania has the highest number of abandoned wells in the Appalachian region and is one of the top five states nationally. The department has documented more than 8,600 wells throughout the state that were abandoned prior to passage of modern oil and gas drilling regulations.

Since the first commercial oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, DEP estimates as many as 350,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in the state, with many of those wells having been abandoned without proper plugging.

Funding for Pennsylvania’s Abandoned and Orphan Well Plugging Program comes from surcharges on well-drilling permits issued in Pennsylvania and from the Growing Greener program.

For more information, visit: www.depweb.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Tom Rathbun, 717-787-1323

Editor’s Note: Below is a list, by county, of the 14 abandoned well plugging contracts awarded in 2009:

Allegheny County
Tarentum Borough: Stray Gas Migration Project -- $9,546. Contractor: Carlucci Construction Co. Inc., Cheswick, Allegheny County.

Erie County
Erie, Girard Borough, Millcreek and Northeast townships: 10 wells -- $93,564.81. Contractor: S&T Service and Supply Inc., Pleasantville, Venango County.

Fayette and Washington counties
Fallowfield Township and Belle Vernon: 3 wells -- $161,512.50. Contractor: Hydrocarbon Well Services Inc., Buckhannon, W.Va.

Forest County
Howe Township: 4 wells -- $37,892. Contractor: S&T Service and Supply Inc., Pleasantville, Venango County.

McKean County
Bradford Township: 23 wells -- $103,678. Contractor: Phillips and Dart Oil Field Services Inc., Gifford, McKean County.

Eldred Township: 39 wells -- $351,970. Contractor: James W. Day Contracting, Bolivar, N.Y.

Kane: 7 wells -- $49,220. Contractor: Phillips and Dart Oil Field Services Inc., Gifford, McKean County.

Keating and Otto townships: 46 wells -- $243,692. Contractor: James W. Day Contracting, Bolivar, N.Y.

Otto Township: 28 wells -- $228,216.40. Contractor: ALCO Well Services Inc., Bradford, McKean County.

Tioga County
Delmar Township: 1 well -- $117,000. Contractor: Hydrocarbon Well Services Inc., Buckhannon, W.Va.

Venango County
Cherry Tree and Oil Creek townships: 29 wells -- $256,504. Contractor: S&T Service and Supply Inc., Pleasantville, Venango County.

Cornplanter Township: 64 wells -- $554,776.26. Contractor: S&T Service and Supply Inc., Pleasantville, Venango County.

Warren County
Warren: 4 wells -- $19,760. Contractor: Hemlock Oil and Gas Co. Inc., Bradford, McKean County

Westmoreland County
Upper Burrell Township: 1 well -- $91,439. Contractor: Hydrocarbon Well Services Inc., Buckhannon, W.Va.

18 comments :

Anonymous said...

To; brother nature
125 of these wells are in Potter Co.
If you are worried about your water this is where the problem will come from not the new drilling.
Go to the dcnr web site and read some of the comments about these wells one said 3 foot opening down to water about 60 feet.Good place to drop your favorite tree hugger..

Anonymous said...

One of the worst wells here in the Co. is in sweden twp. :gas migration within 1 mile.
Two of these wells are in Marshlands right in the middle of the Marcellus drilling. I hope they know about them or they will find out when they FRAC...

Anonymous said...

259 out of over 8600 let me see???
that means it will take over 40 years just to clean up the ones they know about now... not a good response if you ask me...

Anonymous said...

35 years sorry

Anonymous said...

10:31 how do you know there are 125 of these in Potter County? Looks to me like you just made that up. Prove it!

Anonymous said...

Poster 2/7 @ 7:47AM prove that you're smart!

Anonymous said...

DCNR WEBSITE WELL#4762 through 4887
all potter co. = 125 well sites.
IF YOU GET ON THE WEBSITE YOU CAN FIND IT FOR YOURSELF... DCNR oil% gas page abandonded&orphan by co. download
A lot of these wells were drilled in the 1930's and are oriskeny sand
Meaning they were drilled through the Marcellus shale...

Brother Nature said...

He is making this up because the truth of my previous posts hurts. These old wells were not driled wth 5 million gallons of frac water a piece. You can read all of the personal comments that you want to...the well fracking is just a disaster waiting to happen. It is just amazing to me that the first poster can be so narrow minded as to make the statement that he did.

Anonymous said...

DCNR WEBSITE WELL#4762 through 4887
all potter co. = 125 well sites.
IF YOU GET ON THE WEBSITE YOU CAN FIND IT FOR YOURSELF... DCNR oil% gas page abandonded&orphan program then abandoned & orphan well listing.downloads to MS EXCEL you need more help iust ask.

A lot of these wells were drilled in the 1930's and are oriskeny sand
Meaning they were drilled through the Marcellus shale...

Anonymous said...

Frac water is not used to drill a well... It is used to complete a well long after the drilling rig is gone ..Get your facts straight ...

Anonymous said...

I tried the DCNR website to find this information with no success. A friend of mine had the same experience. We need a better link or something, Brother.

Anonymous said...

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/OILGAS/oilgas.htm

on the left side (top of blue)
abandoned/orphan well program.
click on it on that page under
indormational doc. 3rd line
abandonded & orphan well listing
this downloads to a ms excel format
you must have ms office or ms word
to view

Anonymous said...

Curious question here.

Were these wells leased back then? And if so, are there mineral rights still being paid.

Brother Nature said...

I am middle aged and I think I am one of the residents of this county that cares more for the area and environment than I do about making a few extra dollars by allowing the gas compsnies to use my land. I am all for using our natural resources such as clean burning naural gas....just as long as they can GUARANTEE that here will be no contamination caused by this drilling and fracking. I have several hundred acres of land that I allow to be timbered periodically that also has a pristine, spring fed stream on it(yes..I have had it tested) that I would like to enjoy and pass on to my children someday. My property is in jeopardy because of the possible drilling that may happen on surrounding properties. Now ask yourself.....do you have enough confidence in what these companies are telling us and their track record..to believe that there is no possibility of my water getting contaminated? Once it happens, we can't go back!!!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should give them all lie detector tests. Then I still would doubt them IF it came back in their favor.

Anonymous said...

Brother nature.I am with you.I have worked in the oil and gas bus.for 30 years.All over the U.S.Make my home in Potter County.Am considering getting out of here.But this is where the work is.Will it be too late to sell,when I can retire?

Anonymous said...

"Will it be too late to sell,when I can retire?"

No. But don't expect top dollar for you home/property.

Anonymous said...

Marshlands is in Tioga County, so ha ha. Who's da man now?