Casper, WY (AP) - State officials say they've finalized plans to begin plugging some of the hundreds of abandoned coal-bed methane wells in the Powder River Basin.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has hired independent contractor Robert King to lead the effort. King says the state could plug as many as 300 wells a year.
Some companies have been abandoning their coal-bed methane wells as gas production drops off and the wells cease to be profitable. At least 1,200 such wells now need to be plugged by the state.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports state officials have finalized plans to plug 67 wells south of Gillette and plan to begin work on those as the weather permits.
King says the commission is accepting bids to plug another 141 wells after that.
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