Office of Orphan Wells to Help Administer $4.7 billion in Orphan Well Closure Funding

January 10, 2023
Cecile Brown, (202) 271-6534,

(Washington, D.C. – January 10, 2023) The Department of Interior today announced the creation of an Office of Orphan Wells to help administer the $4.7 billion in orphan well closure funding provided by the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.

“This is an important step for efficiently and effectively distributing these federal funds where they are needed most. The more than 120,000 documented orphan oil and gas wells nationwide leak climate pollution and pose direct threats to people’s health. Properly plugging these inactive wells– which have no solvent owner of record – is critical to reduce methane emissions, toxic air pollution and groundwater contamination. It also creates jobs in oil and gas communities. We look forward to continued work with Congressional allies in finding and closing orphan wells across the country.”

  • Adam Peltz, EDF Director and Senior Attorney for Energy Transition

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