Sep 15, 2010 1:34 PM by Melissa Canone
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration says it will require
oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico to plug
nearly 3,500 nonproducing wells and dismantle about 650 production
platforms that are no longer used.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said a formal notice issued
Wednesday would make energy production in the Gulf safer and
prevent potentially catastrophic leaks at wells that in some cases
have been abandoned for decades.
More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk beneath the
Gulf of Mexico, and more than 1,000 oil rigs and platforms sit
idle. An Associated Press investigation showed that many of the
wells have been ignored for decades, with no one checking for
The order requires wells that been inactive for the past five
years to be plugged.