U.S. energy drilling boom could mean $6 billion in federal well cleanups

U.S. energy drilling boom could mean $  6 billion in federal well cleanupsBy Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cleaning up the tens of thousands oil and gas wells on U.S. federal land after they stop producing could cost over $ 6 billion, and taxpayers may need to pitch in, according to an analysis of state and federal data commissioned by a conservation watchdog group. The study released on Monday reflects one of the downsides to a years-long drilling boom that has made the United States a top world oil and gas producer. The analysis by consultancy ECONorthwest on behalf of the Center for Western Priorities, estimates the potential reclamation costs for the 94,096 oil and gas wells now producing on federal lands at $ 6.1 billion.

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