Orphaned Wells in Northwest Pennsylvania

Orphaned Wells in Northwest Pennsylvania

Duration: 3 months


    Orphaned Wells in Northwest Pennsylvania

    Otto Township, McKean County, Pennsylvania

    Plug and Abandonment


In rural Northwest Pennsylvania, 15 orphaned wells posed a significant environmental threat. With two of these wells located in residential yards and one perilously close—within 20 feet—to a person’s home and a state road, the challenges were immense. The lack of proper records, common in these cases, complicated the project. The delicate nature of the residential locations demanded a careful approach.


This project marked a historic milestone as the first one completed in Pennsylvania with federal funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Plants & Goodwin (P&G) utilized their expertise and specialized equipment, including their 1965 Bucyrus-Erie 60-L Cable Tool Rig brought out of retirement for this project. Additionally, one of their veteran employees, with 30 years of experience, left his desk job to run this rig in the field.

Completed over a span of three months, from February to May 2023, this project marked a significant milestone for P&G and the state of Pennsylvania. The state is set to receive a total of $400 million in funds to plug thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, with this project being a testament to the efficient utilization of these funds. 

With the support of federal funding, P&G efficiently plugged and abandoned 15 orphan wells in their own community. Their work not only mitigated environmental risks but also provided essential restoration services. The successful completion of this project enabled P&G to expand their impact, embarking on subsequent projects like FS22-17 in McKean County and initiating work on FS22-20 in Forest and Clarion Counties. P&G’s commitment to environmental stewardship and community welfare continues to drive their efforts in orphan well plugging and restoration.

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