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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Staggering Number Of Abandoned Wells In Pennsylvania

The world’s first com­mer­cial oil well wasn’t in Texas, Alaska or the Mid­dle East. It was in Titusville, Penn­syl­va­nia, about 50 miles south of Erie, where Edwin Drake drilled a hole in the ground and had the good idea to line it with pipe to keep the earth from cav­ing back in. That was in 1859. Drake’s suc­cess trig­gered Pennsylvania’s — and the nation’s — first real energy boom.

It was a hap­haz­ard affair. Boom towns sprung up around wells and were quickly aban­doned; oil prospec­tors carted wag­ons of drilling explo­sives over bumpy roads; oil men would rush bar­rels of black gold down rivers by damming up water and then releas­ing it all at once, in order to cre­ate an arti­fi­cial tidal wave. There were no envi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions in the 19th cen­tury. Many drillers sim­ply walked away from their wells once the oil and gas stopped flowing.

That was the norm for most of Pennsylvania’s his­tory with oil and gas drilling. It wasn’t until 1955, almost a cen­tury after Drake drilled his well, that the state passed a law requir­ing oper­a­tors to report the loca­tions of their wells. The result is that west­ern and north­ern Penn­syl­va­nia are pock­marked with hun­dreds of thou­sands of wells whose loca­tions are essen­tially unknown.  Read More...


Anonymous said...

So whats the difference between then and now?

Anonymous said...

There's alot of difference. Maybe you should educate yourself some before you comment!!

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact Einstein, they still do the same thing! Can take you to 2 wells right now that were drilled last fall that they told the land owners "it was wet so we are done here" or "everything that will come out of it already did". So they pack their shit up and walk away leaving you with your garbage land that can never be used for anything again