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Repairing the Damage from Hazardous Abandoned Oil & Gas Wells

After more than a century of oil and gas drilling, unplugged or improperly plugged abandoned oil and gas wells are causing extensive environmental damage and imposing health and safety risks because they are leaching pollutants into the air and water. Some of these abandoned wells are leaking large amounts of harmful methane into the atmosphere, which is a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, as well as volatile...

One Researcher’s Quest To Quantify The Environmental Cost Of Abandoned Oil Wells

Amy Townsend-Small has been chasing methane her entire professional life. The quest has taken her from Southern California freeways to sewage plants to animal feedlots. Sniffing out the potent greenhouse gas, which traps 86 times as much heat as carbon dioxide after it’s emitted into the atmosphere, has required her to breathalyze cows and take chemical measurements at large manure lagoons. When fracking took off around 2010, Townsend-Small shifted her...

Methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells underestimated

A recent McGill study published inEnvironmental Science and Technology finds that annual methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas (AOG) wells in Canada and the US have been greatly underestimated – by as much as 150% in Canada, and by 20% in the US. Indeed, the research suggests that methane gas emissions from AOG wells are currently the 10th and 11th largest sources of anthropogenic methane emission in the US and Canada, respectively....

Unplugged: Abandoned oil and gas wells leave the ocean floor spewing methane

The Gulf of Mexico is littered with tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, and toothless regulation leaves climate warming gas emissions unchecked. Out on the deck of a research boat, Tara Yacovitch looked out to the water. In the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the seascape is peppered with lights. And every light is part of an offshore oil or gas platform....

Plugging Abandoned Oil Wells Is One ‘Green New Deal’ Aspect Loved By Both Republicans And Democrats

Few climate proposals have been politicized more than the Green New Deal, although it is essentially a jobs program intended to put people to work fighting climate change – regardless of their political affiliation. But as oil and gas jobs have shriveled up amid the COVID-19 recession, a green jobs proposal has become incredibly popular among Republicans and Democrats: plugging abandoned oil and gas wells....

Gas Companies Are Abandoning Their Wells, Leaving Them to Leak Methane Forever

In the past five years, 207 oil and gas businesses have failed. As natural gas prices crater, the fiscal burden on states forced to plug wells could skyrocket; according to Rystad Energy AS, an industry analytics company, 190 more companies could file for bankruptcy by the end of 2022. Many oil and gas companies are idling their wells by capping them in the hope prices will rise again. But capping...

Special Report: Millions of abandoned oil wells are leaking methane, a climate menace

More than a century of oil and gas drilling has left behind millions of abandoned wells, many of which are leaching pollutants into the air and water. And drilling companies are likely to abandon many more wells due to bankruptcies, as oil prices struggle to recover from historic lows after the coronavirus pandemic crushed global fuel demand, according to bankruptcy lawyers, industry analysts and state regulators....