New Solut. 2013 Jan 1 ;23(1):103-16. PMID: 23552650
Historical analysis of oil and gas well plugging in new york: is the regulatory system working?
The aim of this work was to evaluate New York State’s regulatory program for plugging inactive oil and gas wells. Analysis of reports from the Division of Mineral Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, reveals that three-fourths of the state’s abandoned oil and gas wells were never plugged. Inadequate enforcement efforts have resulted in steady increases of unplugged oil and gas wells abandoned since 1992. Further, no program exists or is proposed to monitor abandoned wells which were plugged. These results strongly suggest that comprehensive reform and increased agency resources would be required to effectively regulate conventional oil and gas development in New York. Industrial expansion into shale oil and gas development should be postponed to avoid adding stress to an already compromised regulatory system.