DEP Begins Study Of Abandoned & Orphan Wells To Determine Climate Impact

Staff from the Department of Environmental Protection’s  Oil and Gas and Air Quality programs this week kicked off a study to evaluate the integrity of plugged, abandoned, and orphan oil and gas wells across Pennsylvania, as well as provide insight into potential greenhouse gas implications associated with methane emissions from these wells.

The field team investigated three diverse well sites in Indiana County on April 25 -- one orphan well that was discharging water; one abandoned well that was venting gas; and one plugged well where no leaks were detected.

Staff employed digital manometers to measure gas flow rates, portable methane detection meters, and FLIR cameras for visual detection of methane leaks. 

A total of 208 wells were randomly selected for the study.  DEP anticipates the field data collection phase will wrap up in the fall.

(Photo: DEP Oil and Gas Program staffers Lindsay Byron, Rick Swank and Doug Catalano and Timothy Kuntz of DEP's Southwest Regional Air Quality program use a FLIR camera to detect a leak at a well site.)


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(Reprinted from the April 28 DEP NewsClick Here to sign up for your own copy.)


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