On 1 June, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, part of the House Natural Resources Committee, hosted a virtual forum entitled, “Reclaiming Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells – Creating Jobs and Protecting the Environment by Cleaning Up and Plugging Wells.” Discussion centered on the committee members desire to assist natural oil and gas workers who have been laid-off with a program that will focus on plugging orphaned oil and gas wells.
In a letter to subcommittee chairman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), IADC noted that while such a program would help in providing employment for around 1,300 people, that number represents less then 1% of those that are currently out of work. The work is also temporary in nature and does not provide a long-term solution in assisting the tens of thousands of oil and gas workers who are currently unemployed. The letter also points out that the equipment and rigs used by drilling contractor companies is not the same equipment needed to plug an abandoned well, and therefore the program would not help drilling contractors in a time of significant need.
The full content of IADC’s letter can be found at: https://www.iadc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/IADC-letter-re-House-EMR-forum-on-orphaned-wells-and-job-creation.pdf