US Gulf states’ inactive, uncapped oil and fuel wells a $30 billion legal responsibility

Image of an offshore oil platform.

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Oil and fuel producers within the US are required by regulation to seal and cap their wells as soon as they’re completed producing. However a brand new survey of wells alongside the Gulf of Mexico coast signifies that there are 14,000 wells that are not producing, are unlikely to be introduced again into service, and are uncapped.

The unhealthy information is that the estimated value of capping all of them would run into the world of $30 billion {dollars}. The excellent news is that, normally, one of many main oil corporations can be accountable for these prices.

Put a cork in it

The essential threat of uncapped wells is that materials would not essentially cease popping out of them when the gear the nicely was related to is switched off and eliminated. One apparent potential drawback is sustained seepage of hydrocarbons. Mild materials like methane and easy hydrocarbons sometimes finally ends up being digested by microbial life, which converts it to carbon dioxide that may sometimes discover its method to the environment. Extra difficult molecules can be insoluble and stay behind as contamination.

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