US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Coalition of US oil producing states appealed to the Trump administration with a request for incentives for hiring dismissed power engineers to block abandoned wells, reports Reuters.
This proposal is aimed at combating unemployment and to solve a growing environmental problem, said the representative of the group.
A request from the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission (IOGCC), a consortium of 31 states, related to the coronavirus pandemic causing a historic drop in crude oil prices and fuel consumption, forcing the once-fast-growing oil industry in the U.S. to reduce production and labor.
IOGCC spokeswoman Amy Childers said the group recently requested the Department of Energy to provide incentive funds to “help oil and gas workers work during the current crisis.” Childers did not say whether a specific amount was requested.
Ministry officials declined to comment on the proposal.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the country has about 3 million abandoned oil and gas wells, about two-thirds of which are not connected.
According to industry analysts, bankruptcy lawyers and government regulators, this number will increase as the current market collapse pushes hundreds of drilling companies into bankruptcy.
Disconnected wells are usually abandoned by problematic operators, and they can pose a serious threat to the environment and safety if left to wash pollutants into the air and water. According to IOGCC, most state governments lack funds to plug all wells.
State pressure began after Canada announced last month that it would invest $ 1.2 billion in clean-ups in three provinces as part of a package of measures that would help the affected oil and gas industry during the coronavirus outbreak.
The United States says it would like to see similar commitments from the Trump administration, said Oklahoma Energy and Environment Minister Kenneth Wagner in an email.
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