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Thursday, December 27, 2018

A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history

An oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico has gone unplugged for so long that it now verges on becoming one of the worst offshore disasters in U.S. history.
Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day have been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004, when an oil-production platform owned by Taylor Energy sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan. Many of the wells have not been capped, and federal officials estimate that the spill could continue through this century. With no fix in sight, the Taylor offshore spill is threatening to overtake BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster as the largest ever. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Orphan Wells Plague, Feds Lag Behind State

Bill and Marge West farm out near Arvada on land originally homesteaded by Bill West’s dad in 1919.
“We’re about the last farmers in Campbell County. Everyone else quit,” Bill West said.
With a miniature schnauzer on his lap, he drove around his property pointing out all the orphan wells that pepper his land. There are nearly 100 of them, and none of them have been reclaimed yet.
“We’re going to be one of the last ones they clean up, I suppose,” he said.
Not only are these wells crowded with noxious weeds and a hazard for West’s farm equipment, there’s a potential for groundwater contamination. Read more:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Orphan Wells: States Wrestle With Soaring Costs For Oil & Gas Industry Mess

Brittany Patterson / Ohio Valley ReSource
William Suan is no stranger to the problems abandoned oil and gas wells can cause.
“It's just an eyesore,” he said, standing inside a barn on his cattle ranch near Lost Creek, West Virginia. “I had to fence one off because it's leaking now.”
There are five inactive wells on his land, most installed in the '60s and '70s, and the companies that owned the wells have long since gone out of business.
On a recent rainy Monday, Suan treks down a muddy hill on the backside of his property. Hidden in the wooded thicket is a three-foot-tall rusted tube jutting out of the ground.
A soft bubbling sound emanates from the well.