RCC releases well plugging map, efforts continue
The Railroad Commission (RRC) released an interactive map that shows ongoing orphan well plugging projects by county. The wells, which can leak methane, toxic water and chemicals into their surroundings, are prioritized by potential public safety and environmental risks.
So far, the agency has plugged 128 wells using $25 million in initial funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the plan is to plug 800 orphaned wells by the end of August. Texas will receive $82.6 million in the first allocation of funding directed to well plugging, bringing the current total funding to $107.6 million.
The cost to plug all of the state’s abandoned oil and gas wells would be approximately $482 million. There are 7,400 wells that need attention and based on data estimations from the Department of the Interior, Texas may be eligible for $344 million for well plugging.
The Department of the Interior is expected to finalize formula grant guidance for the well plugging projects later this year. The RRC will then post request for qualifications solicitations at a later date.