Forgotten oil and gas wells linger, leaking toxic chemicals
CRANE, Texas (AP) — There are about 2 million abandoned oil and gas wells nationwide that haven’t been properly plugged with cement.
Many of the wells are releasing methane, which is a greenhouse gas containing about 86 times the climate-warming power of carbon dioxide over two decades.
Some are leaking chemicals such as benzene, which is a known carcinogen, into fields and groundwater.
Regulators don’t know where hundreds of thousands of the abandoned wells are.
That’s because many were drilled before modern regulations and record-keeping systems were established.
In recent years, abandoned wells have been found under brush deep in forests and beneath driveways in suburbia.
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