The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) recently released its latest counts of documented idle and orphan oil and gas wells in the United States and Canada.


“Many idle wells have potential for future oil or gas production or associated uses,” stated IOGCC. “If not properly monitored and maintained, however, they may pose a risk to the environment, public health, and safety.”

Idle wells have not been plugged, nor are they producing, injecting, or otherwise being used for their intended purpose, according to IOGCC. Orphan wells, in contrast, are “idle wells for which the operator is unknown or insolvent,” the Oklahoma City-based multi-state government entity added.

More federal funding is expected to go toward plugging, remediating, and restoring...