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Orphaned Gas wells Ohio
















 (440) 521-5399. I want to relay some of the information on the pamphlets that the department of natural resources shared with me when this abandoned gas well was encountered and inspected by the state of Ohio representative. A good reference site is http://www.ohiodnr.com/ . All of the following is copied from the materials handed to me at the inspection.This is in response to my previous posting.

1. How will I know if I have a leaking abondoned oil and gas well on my property?

 These oil and gas wells have been found under buildings, houses and streets, as well as in lawns and recreation areas. Some of the signs you may notice are:

           - large diameter pipe or wellhead

           - an area where vegetation will not grow.

           - the odor of crude oil or natural gas

           - water well contamination by saltwater(brine), crude oil or natural gas

 Saltwater contamination may increase water hardness or inhibit freezing. Crude oil may appear as either a thick layer or thin "rainbow" sheen on the water surface. Natural gas in a water well may be signaled by:

          - pressure surges

          - a natural gas odor at the tap

          - bubbling in the water

2. Who is responsible for plugging oil and gas wells in Ohio?

 Ohio law requires the well owner to plug and abandon any well which cannot produce oil or gas in commercial amounts, except wells that are used for a domestic supply. The owner of a well is the person or company who has the right to produce the oil and natural gas.

3. What is the orphan Well Program?

 The orphan well program was established in 1977 to plug improperly abandoned oil and natural gas wells. Funded by a portion of the state tax on oil and gas production. Ohio`s program has plugged more than a thousand wells and is recognized as one of the best in the nation.

 Proper plugging of orphaned wells is necessary to protect public health and safety, conserve natural resources, and allow the efficient development of Ohio`s oil and gas resources. Three separate programs are used to plug these wells:

 - Emergency Services Program is used when a sudden problem threatens physical harm to the public. For example, if an abandoned well near a house or school suddenly begins to release natural gas in explosive amounts, the problem could be addressed quickly through this program. Only wells that are an immediate hazard qualify for plugging through this program.

 - Traditional Program is used to plug wells that do not qualify for emergency action. These wells are grouped by priority and geographic location for state contract bid.

 - Landowner Grant Program allows prequalified landowners to act as the general contractor to act as the general contractor to plug and restore the well through a well-plugging contractor, then be reimbursed for 100 percent of the reasonable costs.

4. What happens after a complant is filed?

 The division will investigate each complaint to determine if the well qualifies for the Orphan Well Program. To qualify, a well must be verified as an oil and gas well and 1) have no legal owner with the money to plug the well, or 2) the has forfeited the owner`s surety bond. An inspector must be able to observe and document the condition of the well during a site visit. The Division does not excavate property to look for abandoned wells. Instead, it is the landowners responsibilty to locate and expose the well for inspection. The inspector then completes a title search at the county courthouse to determine the legal owner. If an owner is found, the Division will require the owner to plug the well.

5. How long does it take the Orphan Well Program to plug a well once a complaint is filed?

 The time from filing the complaint to plugging the well various depending on the program. Wells may be plugged through the Emergency Services Program in five to ten business days. Wells plugged under the Landowner Grant Program must be plugged within six months of the permit being issued. Wells plugged through the Traditional Program may take five or more years depending on the safety ranking of the well.

6. Who actually plugs the well?

 The Division of Mineral Resources Management awards a contract to the lowest qualified bidder who has experience in oil and gas well drilling and plugging.

7. What is the plugging contractor`s normal work schedule?

 Contractors generally work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless all parties agree otherwise.

8. What is the well plugged with?

 All wells are plugged with class A Portland cement prepared according to strict standards for materials and methods.

9. What type of equipment will the plugging contractor use?

 The contractor will use a rig that weighs about 16 tons and is about 40 feet high. Along with the rig, one or more steel tanks measuring 20 feet by six feet will be used to hold liquids during the plugging process. A registered saltwater (brine) hauler will then remove these wastes for disposal at a permitted injection well. The inspector will talk to the landowner about the location of utilities, drain tiles, and other information that will be useful in choosing the best access route.

10. How long will the plugging operation last?

 The plugging procedure may last from one day to six weeks with the usual being one to two weeks.

On a personell note..I live in a double house about eight years ago which was situated next door to a old farm house were the current homeowner is tapped off the original well for the last one hundred years. The vent pipe for this well was situated on my property. I have since sold the home and the entire time I lived at the double I encountered no problems. So I guess you can look at this in two different ways as a homeowner. Vurtually unlimited amounts of natural gas or a enviromental hazard.

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