Federal Role in Orphan Oil and Gas Well Reclamation [June 15, 2022]   [open pdf - 600KB]

From the Document: "Production of oil and gas in the United States began in the late 19th century and continues to contribute to meeting U.S. fuel and petrochemical demands. Over time, federal and state requirements were put in place to manage such aspects of oil and gas development as siting, safety, emissions, and reclamation. Prior to federal and state regulations, many oil and gas wells were 'orphaned,' or left unreclaimed. In many cases, particularly for early oil and gas development, little is known about the status, location, and depth of those wells. Additionally, more recent oil and gas wells, operating subject to federal or state regulation, could become orphaned if a well operator is unwilling or financially unable to complete reclamation of a well site that has ceased production operations. The federal role in reclaiming orphan oil and gas wells has been limited to wells located on federal lands. In the 117th Congress, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA; P.L. 117-58) expanded the federal role in reclaiming orphan oil and gas wells by increasing funding for the federal reclamation program and establishing a grant program to assist state and tribal orphan well programs. This In Focus discusses the federal and state roles in permitting wells, background of orphan oil and gas wells, potential environmental impacts, and related provisions in the IIJA."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF12134
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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