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SD News-Abandoned Wells

SD News-Abandoned Wells

Legislative solution sought to abandoned wells


The Associated Press - August 16, 2019

PIERRE, S.D. - State leaders are considering legislation to prevent South Dakota from bearing the financial responsibility of closing abandoned gas wells.

The state is on the hook for nearly $1 million to plug 40 abandoned wells in northwestern South Dakota. State minerals and mining administrator Mike Lees says the state has never faced this problem before and has no established policy as a result.

The Argus Leader reports the Minerals and Environment Board and the governor's office have started to consider legislation for the 2020 session.

The state is suing Spyglass Cedar Creek, of Houston, Texas, for abandoning the wells after a drilling project fell through several years ago. The state is also seeking $15.5 million in penalties, the same amount regulators levied against the company for violations of the wells' conditions.



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