Kansas grapples with growing number of abandoned wells

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Kansas residents and oil and gas leaders are calling on regulators to address the growing number of abandoned wells over the past five years.

   The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kansas is home to 22,000 deserted oil and gas wells. More than 19,000 of those reside in a 32-county area of eastern Kansas.

   Judith Wells says she bought property in Douglas County without being informed the land had unplugged wells. She's been fighting with the energy sector's oversight agency, the Kansas Corporation Commission, about how to deal with operators who abandon wells.

   Wells says a fund to finance well plugging hardly exists.

   The commission found that the fund isn't adequately keeping pace with the demand for plugging.

   Commission Chairman Dwight Keen says the agency doesn't have the resources to hold every absconder accountable.
 

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