Kentucky to Clean Up Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells

Gov. Beshear Announces Kentucky Eligible for up to $104 Million to Clean Up Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells

Frankfort, KY (STL.News) Gov. Andy Beshear announced that $103,981,000 through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has been made available to Kentucky to create jobs and clean up orphaned oil and gas wells throughout the state.

Kentucky was one of 26 states that applied to the?Department of the Interior (DOI) for funding to clean up thousands of orphaned oil and gas wells.  Kentucky received the eighth highest amount among the 26 states.

“This grant will allow us to make great progress in locating and capping these abandoned wells,” Gov. Beshear said. “Cleaning up these wells helps our environment and economy by creating good-paying jobs in communities that need them.”

The Division of Oil and Gas has been plugging priority orphan wells since 1984, with over 4,100 wells addressed since that time.  There currently are 14,367 documented orphan wells in Kentucky, with new ones discovered regularly through citizen reporting and inspections by division personnel.  Some wells are covered by trees, brush overgrowth, roads, ponds and residential/industrial development and are plugged through a state fund established in 1990.

“This is a shot in the arm for this vital program,” Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “This additional money will allow the division to make significant progress in plugging these wells.”

In the coming weeks, the DOI will release guidance on how Kentucky can apply for?the funding.?Once the money is received, the Division of Oil and Gas will begin cleaning up?additional high-priority wells as well as identifying wells not yet in the state’s database.

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