In a nutshell, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) included $4.7 billion dedicated to remediating orphaned oil and gas wells. Of that amount, approximately $500 million was dedicated to public land agencies like the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management. Gas wells number in the thousands across National Wildlife Refuges in North Louisiana, many of which were drilled decades ago prior to Refuge establishment. Since many of these have been officially declared orphans, the North Louisiana Refuges Complex has received funding to plug and abandon (P&A) 133 wells on Upper Ouachita, D'Arbonne, and Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuges. Many of these wells have been leaking and in disrepair for years. Methane readings will be taken before and after P&A activities take place. The gas infrastructure will be capped and removed above ground and the sites will return to their native habitat conditions.
Erin Belllavia USFWS
Black Bayou Lake, D'Arbonne, Handy Brake, & Upper Ouachita NWR's