Inactive oil and gas wells present an environmental hazard if not properly plugged. Upon drilling a well, operators are required to post a bond, which ensures that the operator has an incentive to plug and abandon (P&A;) at the end of the well’s life, and that, if the state is left with the liability of managing “orphaned” wells, it can cover the cost of P&A.; Using data from 13 state agencies on their orphaned well plugging expenditures, we provide new estimates of P&A; costs in the United States and compare them to bond amounts. Current state bonding requirements are insufficient to cover the average P&A; cost of orphan wells in 11 of these 13 states. These should be reviewed and revised where necessary. We also examine the factors influencing P&A; costs using detailed data on orphaned wells in Kansas. Given the variability of P&A; costs, bonds would be more effective if they varied by factors that are meaningful in explaining P&A; costs, such as well depth, location, and proximity to groundwater. State regulators can use the statistical approach developed in this paper to improve bonding requirements and to better predict the P&A; costs of their orphaned wells.
PG&E Power Outages Reduce Just a Portion of Wildfire Risk
Power outages imposed by PG&E will impact consumers, but won't necessarily mitigate wildfire risk.
Conferences & Panels — Oct 30, 2019
Clean Energy Standards Capitol Hill Briefing
Please join Resources for the Future on Wednesday, October 30 for a lunchtime discussion on the effects of and policy considerations for Clean Energy Standards.
Press Release — Oct 8, 2019
New Blog Post: "What Are the Costs and Values of Wind and Solar Power? How Are They Changing?”
To predict the growth of renewable energy such as wind and solar, Jay Bartlett argues that you must accurately calculate the costs and values of those renewables.