Native State Environmental, Inc. shall lessen the burden of government, combat community deterioration and promote the preservation of the environment by funding the plugging of orphaned oil and gas wells in the State of Texas.
A Public-Private Partnership
A Community-Centric Approach
Methane Emission Rate Data
Effective January 1, 2006, the Texas Legislature established a new program (Section 89.048 of the Natural Resources Code) allowing the State of Texas to reimburse surface estate owners up to 50% of the cost of plugging Orphan Wells on their property. Under the law, a surface estate owner is defined as the owner of interest in the surface estate of a tract of land on which an orphaned well is located. An "orphaned well" is defined as a well for which the Commission has issued a permit, for which production of oil or gas or another activity under Commission jurisdiction has not been reported to the Commission for the preceding 12 months, and whose operator's Commission-approved Form P-5, Organization Report, has been lapsed for more than 12 months.
The surface estate owner must contract with a Commission-approved well cementer to plug an orphaned well on his or her property. The list of approved cementers is available on our Resources Page and the Commissioner's website.
Native State Environmental, Inc. plans to carry out its mission by working within Section 89.048 of the Natural Resources Code and funding the remaining 50% of the cost of plugging not reimbursed by the State of Texas.
Our landmark program, Drill One. Plug One., provides a clear path for the oil and gas industry to meet its environmental, social and corporate responsibilities, while maintaining balance between regulation and opportunity.
For every well drilled in a county, an orphan well will be plugged in that same county using Native State Environmental funds.
Texans will benefit from Native State Environmental, Inc. conducting a methane emission study around a group of adopted orphan wells.
Proposed studies can aid Native State Environmental-led efforts to plug orphan wells through:
Many orphan wells remain unplugged and are not monitored due to a lack of resources by government agencies, which are increasingly responsible for more wells. Recent measurements have shown that abandoned and orphan oil and gas wells are sources of methane to the atmosphere. In addition to contributing to air quality degradation and increased greenhouse gas emissions, orphan wells are subsurface leakage pathways, linked to groundwater contamination. Therefore, mitigating leaky orphan wells can improve air and water quality and contribute to human health and ecosystem benefits.
The steps are:
Two of the leading methane emission researchers have proposed studies in collaboration with Native State Environmental, Inc. The result of this project will be a dataset and report specific to Texas on the methane emissions from orphan and abandoned wells.