The number of orphaned wells and sites in Colorado has increased year/year, according to the latest report by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).

The latest totals issued on Monday turned up 275 orphaned wells and 422 sites, compared with last year's totals of 263 wells and 365 sites, respectively.

COGCC attributed the increase to the state's more intense crack down on facilities left with no legally responsible party for plugging and maintenance.

Under an executive order issued last year by former Gov. John Hickenlooper, COGCC is mandated to plug, remediate and reclaim all orphaned oil and natural gas wells and work to prevent future orphaned wells and sites as a means of reducing safety and environmental risks.

In addition to the report on the latest totals, COGCC is required beginning this year to produce a more detailed progress report on efforts to reduce the numbers of these abandoned wellsites. Another report on plugging, remediation and reclamation of these wells is scheduled to be submitted to the governor on Sept. 2.