ODNR Has the Money to Plug Abandoned Wells, Now Looks for Contractors to Take on the Work

From the Canton Repository:
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is still seeking contractors to plug the state’s backlog of orphan and idle wells. 
ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management wants to award up to $25 million in contracts to plug some 200 wells before the fiscal year ends in June. 
Contractors who wish to bid have until Jan. 20 to be certified through the state’s Department of Administrative Services. 
ODNR spokesman Adam Schroeder said the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has been focused on enlarging the pool of contractors eligible to bid. 
“We certainly have budget dollars in the Orphan Well Program to plug more wells and there’s definitely an inventory of wells to be plugged,” Schroeder said. “So, the more contractors we can have bidding on these projects, the better.” 
Orphan wells are oil and gas wells that weren’t plugged properly in the past and don’t have an owner who could pay to have them plugged now. The wells are health and environmental hazards because they can leak oil, natural gas and brine, and even cause explosions when natural gas collects in a building near a leaking well. 
Orphan wells in Ohio have been found under a school, next to houses, in farm fields and even under a reservoir. ODNR has identified nearly 1,000 orphan wells in 71 counties. (Stark has seven while Summit has nine, Carroll has 13, Wayne has 10 and Tuscarawas has three.)
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