It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
No one is checking to see if they are leaking, investigation finds
More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows.
The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing.
The AP investigation uncovered particular concern with 3,500 of the neglected wells — those characterized in federal government records as "temporarily abandoned."
Originally posted by ANNED
Abandoned wells are in fields that are depleted.
not more oil to pump and the gas pressure is gone.
If they still had ether enough oil or gas to cause a problem they would still be producing.
Experts say such wells can repressurize, much like a dormant volcano can awaken. And years of exposure to sea water and underground pressure can cause cementing and piping to corrode and weaken. Story continues below
"You can have changing geological conditions where a well could be repressurized," said Andy Radford, a petroleum engineer for the American Petroleum Institute trade group.
Whether a well is permanently or temporarily abandoned, improperly applied or aging cement can crack or shrink, independent petroleum engineers say. "It ages, just like it does on buildings and highways," said Roger Anderson, a Columbia University petroleum geophysicist who has conducted research on commercial wells.
Originally posted by ANNEDWe have many onshore sealed wells (abandoned wells) in Calif and i have not heard of any problem with the one that were sealed under modern federal and state standards.
Once in a while you hear of a old well (before modern federal and state standards)that was seal 40 or 50 years ago and the records lost as to where the well was that have caused minor problems.
Offshore, but in state waters, California has resealed scores of its abandoned wells since the 1980s.
In deeper federal waters, though — despite the similarities in how such wells are constructed and how sealing procedures can fail — the official policy is out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
The U.S. Minerals Management Service — the regulatory agency recently renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement — relies on rules that have few real teeth. Once an oil company says it will permanently abandon a well, it has one year to complete the job. MMS mandates that work plans be submitted and a report filed afterward.