Number of stripper wells plugged and abandoned drops in 1999

Efforts by regulators and legislators in petroleum-producing states to save production in stripper wells has reduced the number of these wells being plugged and abandoned in the United States in 1999, according to a report released Monday by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.


Efforts by regulators and legislators in petroleum-producing states to keep stripper wells in production reduced the rate of these wells being plugged and abandoned in 1999.

The Marginal Oil and Gas: Fuel for Economic Growth, a report released Monday by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), said the number of stripper wells plugged and abandoned fell by nearly 2,700 from 13,912 in 1998 to 11,227 wells in 1999. That decrease marks the largest decrease so far in the number of idled wells in the past decade.

Strong gas prices also have reduced the number of stripper gas wells plugged and abandoned, to 3,541 in 1999 from 4,235 in 1998. That number could fall further this year if prices remain strong as producers work to meet US demand, said the IOGCC. Stripper wells produced more than 313 million bbl of oil in 1999 and generated more than 1 bcf of gas.

These wells represent about 27% of the oil and 8% of the gas produced in the US, excluding Alaska, Florida, and offshore leases, which have no stripper production.

The IOGCC has catalogued the contribution of stripper wells for more than 50 years. Stripper oil wells are defined as those producing 10 b/d or less while stripper gas wells produce 60 Mcfd or less.

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