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Drones will help find thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells in Ohio. Ohio authorities are planning to implement the plan after successful trials were conducted using drones to discover abandoned oil and gas wells.
According to Ohio authorities, there are around 1000 such abandoned sites. The plan is to use drones equipped with magnetometers that could help locate wells that are not yet on the state’s radar.
These abandoned oil wells need to be addressed soon, as they can continue to emit methane, health, and fire risk if not properly contained. The abandoned oil and gas wells have contaminated the soil and groundwater, as methane is 84 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is over a 20-year time span.
The popularity of drones and the use of magnetometers that look like a yard-long white surfboard has paved the way for the surveys to be done. The magnetometer hangs from a remote-controlled drone with a wingspan of 4 to 5 feet.
According to Rob Lowe, a survey section manager at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, it is a pretty big piece of equipment. His section was formally established in 2016.
Eric Vendel, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management said, “People would just put multiple wells close to each other. That just led to an obscene amount of wells in a small area.”