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Over 350 abandoned wells in North Dakota will be confiscated and plugged

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Over 350 abandoned wells in the state will be confiscated and plugged after orders from the Department of Mineral Resources were approved by the North Dakota Industrial Commission on Friday.

The hearing for confiscating and plugging over 350 wells was held on June 10. At the hearing, more than 70 additional wells were identified as likely to be orphaned by mid-July.

The Industrial Commission received approval in May to use $33.2 million in federal CARES Act coronavirus relief funds to plug the abandoned wells.

The Department of Mineral Resources says this work is projected to maintain 500-600 oil and gas service sector jobs.

Next, the commission is asking for an additional $33 million that was allocated from CARES Act funding during the June 18 Emergency Commission meeting to be used for the reclamation of confiscated well and facility sites.

The Department of Mineral Resources says this is projected to maintain 300 additional oil and gas service sector jobs to complete the work.

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