Orphaned Oil and Gas Well Program
Orphaned wells are oil and gas wells that are not plugged, not producing, and have no owner or responsible party, so they are wards of the State or other government entities. In Arizona, the majority of these wells were drilled for oil, natural gas, potash (a mineral used in fertilizer) and helium. Orphaned wells may provide a pathway from the wellbore for oil, gas, and other fluids to move underground between different layers, into groundwater, and/or to the land surface. Unplugged or improperly plugged orphaned wells can also be a potential route for methane to move to the air from the wellbore, contributing to increased levels of greenhouse gasses.
Orphaned oil and gas wells generally can be identified by the presence of industrial equipment or facilities at the surface, like tall metal pipes. Orphaned well sites can have a broad range of appearances, from deserted oil and gas production equipment to an open hole in the ground | View/Download Examples >
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*Please note, that wells located on federal or Tribal lands are not covered under the grant and therefore are not part of the program.