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Kentucky receives $25 million dollars to cap “orphan wells”

natural gas well
natural gas well

The commonwealth is receiving $25 million to cap abandoned oil and natural gas wells. These “orphan wells” can continue to emit methane or other gases. This money comes from the U.S. Department of the Interior and will be used through Governor Beshear’s “Stronger Communities Program.”

Ryan Watts is the executive director of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association. He said this is part of a larger package.

“ That came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act of 2021. What that essentially does is offer Kentucky around 104 million dollars to remediate and cap some of the state’s identified 14 thousand abandoned and orphaned wells.”

He said the money will go a long way in dealing with this problem.

“It’s going to put a fairly good dent in the issue we have in the state of Kentucky. Kentucky does lead the nation in documented orphan and abandoned wells.”

He said most of the ones located in the western part of Kentucky are oil wells, while most of those in eastern Kentucky are natural gas.

When announcing the grants Governor Beshear said the capping project would create around 180 jobs.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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