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February 22, 2024
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Filling orphaned wells in West Texas | newswest9.com – NewsWest9.com

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ODESSA, Texas — There’s plenty of oil wells in service here in west Texas that create energy for the rest of the country, but there are also abandoned ones that really don’t serve a purpose.
“In a lot of cases in the Permian basin they are legacy wells that were drilled back during the world war two era that just don’t have a responsible party and so it basically becomes an obligation of the state or federal government to cover the cost to plug these orphaned wells,” said Texas Rep. Brooks Langraf District 81. “Orphaned wells can be a problem for property owners and can also lead to quite a few environmental problems.”
With a new federal infrastructure bill and with the help from the state of Texas, the process of getting these wells filled is in the works.
“About $25 million is expected to arrive here in Texas for the purpose of covering the cost of plugging these orphan wells and we want to make sure that we have those resources in the places they need to be and I think that’s going to have a tremendous impact here in the West Texas oil patch.” Landgraf said.
There are orphaned wells all throughout the country, but here they are especially a problem.
“Right now the railroad commission estimates we have almost 8,000 orphaned wells that need to be plugged in the state of Texas, in reality there are probably more than that because we just don’t know how many there are or where they’re at.” Landgraf said. “Especially if your here in the Permian Basin and your a land owner that has a orphaned well that needs to be plugged contact the railroad commission’s regional office located in Midland and they are supposed to be the first point of contact.” 
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