Gillette meeting to focus on orphan wells problem

By: AP
By: AP

Gillette, WY (AP) - An upcoming public meeting in Gillette will address the state's plans for plugging abandoned coal-bed methane wells.

The meeting is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. April 2 at Gillette College. Gov. Matt Mead will be there to talk to state officials and the public about the plugging program.

The number of abandoned coal-bed methane wells in northeast Wyoming is growing as production of coal-bed methane slows down.

Operators have abandoned more than 1,200 wells on state and private land. The Gillette News-Record reports another 2,300 wells could join that list soon. Abandoned wells can become an environmental hazard if they're not plugged soon after production ceases.

The Legislature recently set aside an extra $3 million to help the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission begin plugging wells more quickly.

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