Unfracking – Plugging Orphan Oil & Gas Wells with Biochar: free webinar, February 23

A useful learning and networking opportunity for anyone interested in CDR: The Unfracking – Plugging Orphan Oil & Gas Wells with Biochar free webinar on February 23.

Orphan wells are abandoned oil and gas wells that have no owner, and create an unacceptably high risk of toxic chemical exposure and water and air quality contamination in the communities where they are located. They are also a major source of methane emissions, a powerful greenhouse gas. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that methane emissions from over 2 million inactive, unplugged wells, of which documented orphan wells are a subset, range from a CO2 equivalent of 7-20 million metric tons per year (approximately the emissions of 2 to 5 million cars) (EDF 2022)

High concentrations of orphans are located in Texas, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Colorado, California, New York State, Ohio, Louisiana, Kentucky, Illinois and New Mexico.

Unfracking is a method of plugging orphan wells similar to current oil and gas well plugging but adds biocarbon, in the form of biochar, to sequester carbon in the ground, make a stronger plug, and mitigate the ongoing climate effects of leaking wells.

In this action webinar Colorado-based OpenAir advocate Janis Hallowell will provide an overview of

1. The orphan well challenge in the United States

2. The Unfracking design approach and potential impact

3. New state legislation in Colorado that aims to study and specify biochar use in local well plugging; and how this legislation can be adapted and advanced in other orphan-well heavy states.

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