IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 15, 2023
Mr. Luján (for himself, Mr. Cramer, Mr. Heinrich, and Mr. Mullin) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To amend the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to require the Secretary of Energy to establish an abandoned wells research, development, and demonstration program, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act.
Abandoned well remediation research and development
Title VI of division D of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Public Law 117–58; 135 Stat. 1080) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Abandoned wells research, development, and demonstration program
Definition of abandoned well
In this section, the term abandoned well means a well originally drilled in connection with oil and gas operations that—
is not being used;
has not been plugged; and
has no anticipated use in oil and gas operations.
Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of the Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act, the Secretary, in coordination with relevant Federal and State agencies and entities, shall establish a research, development, and demonstration program to improve—
data collection on the location of abandoned wells;
the plugging, remediation, reclamation, and repurposing of abandoned wells; and
strategies to mitigate potential environmental impacts of documented and undocumented abandoned wells.
Research, development, and demonstration activities carried out under the program established under subsection (b) shall include activities to improve—
remote sensor capabilities, light detection and ranging (referred to in this section as
LiDAR) capabilities, optical gas imaging, magnetic survey technology, and any other technologies relevant to the efficient identification of abandoned wells;
understanding of how certain parameters of abandoned wells affect methane emission rates of the wells, including parameters such as well age, well depth, geology, construction, case material, and geographic region;
the efficiency and cost-efficacy of processes for plugging, remediating, reclaiming, and repurposing abandoned wells, including—
improvement of processes and technologies for the unique challenges associated with plugging remote abandoned wells;
use of low carbon, lightweight cement or use of alternative materials and additives for plugging purposes; and
repurposing of abandoned wells for alternative uses, including geothermal power production or carbon capture, utilization, and storage; and
understanding of the impacts of abandoned wells on groundwater quality and contamination.
In carrying out the program established under subsection (b), the Secretary shall ensure coordination of activities carried out under the program with—
institutions of higher education;
the National Laboratories; and
the private sector.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section—
$30,000,000 for fiscal year 2023;
$31,250,000 for fiscal year 2024;
$32,500,000 for fiscal year 2025;
$33,750,000 for fiscal year 2026; and
$35,000,000 for fiscal year 2027.
The table of contents for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Public Law 117–58; 135 Stat. 437) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 40601 the following:
Sec. 40602. Abandoned wells research, development, and demonstration program.