The Guardians of Orphaned Wells

Industry executives, environmental leaders and elected officials are among those working to plug millions of wells left abandoned throughout the country.

According to the EPA, there are more than 3.2 million orphaned wells nationwide, including 2.1 million that are unplugged. (Source: Well Done Foundation)

When Curtis Shuck saw his first orphaned well in northern Montana about two years ago, the sight of the dilapidated fixture shocked him.

“I was absolutely horrified by the condition at the surface and could not believe that from an oil and gas industry perspective that it was in any way acceptable or that it could have any positive reflection on the industry,” Shuck
said. “I felt strongly that—now that I had seen the condition—that I could not unsee it and that it was incumbent upon me to take some action.”

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