Oil and gas drillers in Pennsylvania are starting state-mandated inspections of all of working wells under a legal requirement adopted two years ago.
“The 2011 law requires companies to inspect all of their operating wells for signs of leaks and corrosion four times a year and submit the results to the state annually,” according to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.
There are more than 90,000 oil and gas wells operating wells in Pennsylvania.
The state’s Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for collecting the data from the mechanical integrity inspections.
Implementation of the 2011 law was delayed two years while the DEP worked out the data-collection process.
Well owners have to “monitor and report the pressure in their wells, as well as check for escaping or flowing gas, brine or liquid hydrocarbons and signs of severe corrosion,” the Post-Gazette said.
The inspections are mandated quarterly and results are sent to the DEP once a year.
“Rather than responding to a problem, this proposal assumes that wells are causing a problem and then makes the operator prove, over and over again, that no problem exists,” the Pennsylvania division of the American Petroleum Institute wrote in its comments on a draft of the flow chart last summer, the Post-Gazette said.