Lucas, Bice Introduce Legislation Addressing Abandoned Oil Wells, Stimulating Research

Cheyenne, OK – Recently, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) and Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (OK-05) introduced the Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act, which would establish an abandoned wells research, development, and demonstration program at the Department of Energy.

Oklahoma currently has 1,277 listed abandoned oil and gas wells across the state. In 2018, the United States Environmental Protection Agency reported there were over 3.2 million abandoned oil and gas wells in the United States- including 2.1 million unplugged abandoned wells.  Yet, both the state and national numbers could be underestimations due to the lack of location data.

The Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act would help improve data collection on the location of abandoned wells; advance plugging, remediation, and reclamation efforts; and improve environmental remediation practices. The bill also authorizes up to $30 million in FY22, increasing to $35 million in FY26.

“Locating, closing, or repurposing wells is critical work that can reduce methane emissions and reclaim resources. But doing this work is difficult and costly,” said Congressman Lucas. “In Oklahoma, we have thousands of abandoned wells with an average cost of $40k to $70k to properly close. For some sites, the costs could rise to nearly $1 million. This legislation will help us identify new materials and advanced techniques to find and manage abandoned wells, which will help our environment and our energy sector.”

“America’s energy sector has experienced multiple challenges in recent years, including termination of the Keystone Pipeline, lower production and job losses, in addition to the impact of the pandemic,” said Congresswoman Bice. “As a result, thousands of wells have been shuttered. My home state of Oklahoma has an incredible program that helps address abandoned well sites, and it’s past time we do something similar on the federal level. This legislation will help create energy sector jobs for so many that have lost employment, while helping the environment.”

Tens of thousands of known abandoned oil and gas wells across the country leak methane into the atmosphere, pose health and safety risks, and can pollute local groundwater. Many experts estimate there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more abandoned or orphaned wells across the country. 

Read the bill here

###

Recent Posts


Jul 23, 2024
Press

Lucas Votes to Authorize Millions in Funds to Local Community Projects

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2024, which authorized millions of dollars for community projects in Woodward and Stillwater. Lucas voted in favor of the legislation.   “At a time when our political system appears to be in a constant […]



Jul 18, 2024
Press

Congressman Lucas Welcomes New Field Representative to District Staff

Yukon, OK – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) today announced an addition to his District Office staff following the hiring of Nathan Dethloff as a Field Representative. Originally from Lone Grove, Oklahoma, Nathan graduated in May of 2022 from Oklahoma State University. Most recently, in May of 2024, he earned a Master of Science in Agricultural […]



Jul 10, 2024
Economy

Lucas and Chair Powell Agree: Bank Regulators Should Re-propose Basel

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Lucas and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell discussed the need for a re-proposal of Basel Endgame and plans to address inflation. On a Basel Re-proposal: Lucas: “You have reiterated how Members of the Board would like to see a revised Basel proposal put out for public comment, but you’re working […]