Thursday, March 25, 2021 | 6:00pm - 7:00pm
The Stuart Jeffares Speaker Series presents:
Adam W. Wygant, Director and State Geologist-Oil, Gas and Minerals Division - Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
Long-gone prospectors in the 1800s drilled wells for oil and gas in Michigan, looking to cash in and fuel the American Industrial Revolution. When wells dried up and drillers went bust, wells were left uncapped, their decaying pipes plunging deep and left behind in forests, fields or farms that were later developed into towns and cities. Some operators left the pipes open — while others plugged them with mud, scrap lumber or leftover construction material. These are called orphaned wells. If not properly remediated, they can leak greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. This presentation will give an overall history of oil and gas production in our state and the Orphan Well Program’s accomplishments, which includes the plugging of nearly 400 orphan wells over the past few decades.
Format: via Zoom