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Completed New York Works Well Plugging Projects

Orphan and abandoned wells may present a threat to public safety and the environment. These wells have an increased potential to leak gas and inadequately contained wellbore fluids such as oil and brine. Utilizing funding from the New York Works Well Plugging Initiative (NYWWPI), the following projects have mitigated these threats by properly plugging orphan and abandoned wells.

Completed New York Works Well Plugging Projects
Well Plugging Project County/Counties Plug Start Plug End Gas Well(s)
Plugged
Oil/Injection Well(s)
Plugged
Rte. 417 Allegany 2019 2019 n/a 10
Thornton-Bradley/Warfield Allegany 2019 2019 n/a 40
Ontario County 1 Ontario 2018 2019 6 n/a
Wadsworth Hill 1 Allegany 2018 2018 n/a 1
C&G Oil Co. Allegany 2018 2018 n/a 16
Seneca County Seneca 2018 2018 5 n/a
Leichner 1 Chautauqua 2018 2018 1 n/a
Moose Oil Wells - Package 2 Allegany 2017 2018 n/a 61
Lewandowski U1 Erie 2017 2017 1 n/a
Baldwinsville Onondaga 2017 2017 6 n/a
Moose Oil Wells - Package 1 Allegany 2016 2017 n/a 73
F. E. Petroleum Cattaraugus 2016 2017 n/a 9
City of Elmira Chemung and Steuben 2016 2016 5 n/a
Davis Well Steuben 2015 2015 1 n/a
Sacilowski 1 Erie 2015 2015 1 n/a
Rome Sand Plains Oneida 2014 2014 8 n/a
Brandy Brook Oneida 2014 2014 1 n/a
Totals 35 210

Rte. 417 Well Plugging Project

County: Allegany; Town: Bolivar

Wells Plugged: 10 Oil or Injection Wells

Plug Date: 5/6/2019 - 10/17/2019

The project included the plugging of ten abandoned oil or injection wells located along Rte. 417 in the Town of Bolivar, Allegany County. Prior to well plugging, several wells were continuously leaking fluid potentially polluting the surrounding areas. Plugging operations began in May 2019 and were completed in October 2019.

Leaking abandoned well in field.
Rte 417 7 (API # 31-003-68678-00
-00) leaking fluid prior to plugging.
Abandoned well in poor condition. Well casing is shown under water.
Rte 417 8 (API # 31-003-68679-00-00) prior to plugging.
The surface casing was entriely submerged in a creek.
Abandoned well in close proximity to road.
Rte 417 3 (API # 31-003-68665-00-00) in
close proximity to Rte. 417 prior to plugging.

Thornton-Bradley/Warfield Well Plugging Project

County: Allegany; Towns: Alma and Willing

Wells Plugged: 40 Oil or Injection Wells

Plug Date: 3/28/2019 - 8/9/2019

The project consisted of the plugging of 40 abandoned oil/injection wells located in Allegany County. Between 1946 and 1953, the wells were drilled to depths from 964 to 1,209 feet. Many of these orphaned wells lacked adequate wellheads to control flow within close proximity to surface waters and wetlands. The contract was finalized in January 2019, and well plugging operations began in March 2019. All plugging and reclamation operations were completed by August 2019.

Well in poor condition
Warfield 138 (API # 31-003-65464-00-00) prior to plugging.
Rig set up over well during plugging operations in the woods.
Equipment and machinery used in the well plugging and
reclamation operations.
Reclaimed wellsite. Site is revegetated.
Wellsite after plugging operations were completed and reclamation
was in progress.

Ontario County 1 Well Plugging Project

County: Ontario; Towns: Bristol, South Bristol, Canandaigua, East Bloomfield, and Richmond

Wells Plugged: 6 Gas Wells

Plug Date: 8/9/2018 - 9/10/2019

The project included the plugging of six abandoned gas wells located throughout Ontario County. Between 1917 and 1976, the wells were drilled to target the Medina, Oriskany, and Queenston formations at depths from 884 to 3,850 feet. Four wells included in the project are leaking natural gas which is a potential environmental and public safety hazard. Well plugging operations began in August 2018 and were completed in September 2019.

Gas well in the snow. Well is abandoned and is in poor condition.
Hamilton Walter 2 (API # 31-069-03964-00-00) prior to plugging.
Rig set up over well in the woods.
Rig set up over well during well
plugging.
Reclaimed wellsite. Large clearing is covered in hay and seed.
Wellsite after plugging operations were completed and reclamation
was in progress.

Wadsworth Hill 1 Well Plugging Project

County: Allegany; Town: Ward

Well Name: Wadsworth Hill 1

Plug Date: 12/5/2018 - 12/9/2018

In 2018, the Department received notification of a crude oil spill impacting soils and a drainage ditch in the Town of Ward, Allegany County. The source of the pollution was determined to be an orphan oil well, named the "Wadsworth Hill 1" well. As the existence of the well was previously unknown, the well was likely drilled prior to the establishment of the Department. To mitigate the source of the pollution, the well was quickly prioritized for plugging. Well plugging operations commenced on December 5, 2018 and concluded on December 9, 2018. The wellsite has been reseeded and mulched with hay to help facilitate the growth of vegetative cover.

Oil well that has leaked crude oil which stained the snow and surrounding aborsbent spill response materials.
Wadsworth Hill 1 (API # 31-003-60038-00-00) prior to plugging.
Crude oil leaking from the well polluted a nearby drainage ditch.
Equipment near the wellsite that was used during the well plugging and reclamation operations.
Equipment and machinery used in the well plugging and
reclamation operations.
Wellsite has been reclaimed. The site has been graded and is covered in hay to promote seed growth. Evidence of the well is gone.
Wellsite after plugging operations were completed and reclamation
was in progress.


C&G Oil Co. Well Plugging Project

County: Allegany; Town: Wirt

Wells Plugged: 16 Oil Wells

Plug Date: 8/8/2018 - 11/15/2018

The project consisted of the plugging of 16 orphan oil wells located in the Town of Wirt, Allegany County. The wells were formerly operated by C & G Oil Co., and little information is known regarding the wells. Due to decades of neglect, the wells had fallen into states of disrepair. Most notably, the Hicks Farm 6 well was leaking fluids, including oil, from a hole in the surface casing into a nearby pond. In an effort to mitigate these environmental and potential public safety threats, the C&G Oil Co. Well Plugging Project was created. Well plugging operations began in August 2018 and concluded in November 2018. Final reclamation was complete in 2019.

Orphan oil well in woods leaking fluid onto ground. Vegetation is shown surrounding the well but not in the area in which fluid is leaking.
Hicks Farm U4 (API # 31-003-56415-00-00) in May 2018
prior to well plugging.
Orphan oil well leaking fluid from a hole in the casing. The well is located in a wooded environment.
Hicks Farm U4 leaking fluid
prior to well plugging.

Department staff member is inspecting the man-made pond. The pond is polluted with oil that leaked from a nearby well.
Man-made pond located approximately 60 feet northwest
of the Hicks Farm 6 (API # 31-003-66776-00-00), a previously
leaking oil well.
Close up of the man-made pond to show the thick oil/grease that sits on top of the pond surface. The oil/grease can clearly be seen on a blade of grass that was submerged and removed from the pond by Department staff.
As of 2018, the surface of the pond was coated by approximately
2 inches of oil. The source of the pollution, the Hicks Farm 6 well,
was plugged in September 2018.

Old oil well in poor condition in open field. Barn/residence shown in background. Winter conditions.
Hicks Farm 12 (API # 31-003-66782-00-00) in January 2018
prior to well plugging.
Large well plugging service rig set up over the well. Other equipment such as tank, dozer, and trucks are shown.
Service rig and support equipment mobilized to the wellsite
in August 2018.


Seneca County Well Plugging Project

County: Seneca; Towns: Waterloo, Junius, and Ovid

Wells Plugged: 5 Gas Wells

Plug Date: 6/21/2018 - 10/22/2018

The project included the plugging of five gas wells located in various towns throughout Seneca County. These wells were drilled in the 1930s and 1960s and ranged in depth from 986 to 1,554 feet. Two wells, the Button A and Dadson 1, were located within close proximity to New York State freshwater wetlands (Burnett Pond and Junius Ponds). Additionally, the wetlands surrounding the Dadson 1 are a known habitat for the endangered bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii). Due to the environmentally sensitive locations of these wells, a heightened potential threat existed. Well plugging operations commenced in late June 2018 and concluded in October 2018.

Old gas well in poor condition near wetland.
Button A (API # 31-099-02247-00-
00) in 2016 prior to plugging.
Well plugging service rig set up over the well. Erosion and sediment controls (silt sock) shown between the well and wetland.
Rig set-up over the Button A during plugging operations.
The well was located less than 10 feet from Burnett Pond.
Wellsite has been muclhed with hay. Evidence of the well is gone. Clear waters of Burnett Pond are shown in background.
Wellsite after plugging operations were completed and reclamation
was in progress.

Gas well in poor condition in wooded location (wetland). Well is shown in vegetated area.
Dadson 1 (API # 31-099-00918-00-
00) in 2016 prior to plugging.
Well plugging service rig is set up over well. Plugging operations are in progress. Contractor shown evaluating the well. Orange construction fencing is shown securing the eastern boundary of the site.
Rig and equipment were mobilized to the wellsite and began well
plugging operations.
Wellsite has been reclaimed. The site has been graded and is covered in hay to promote seed growth. Evidence of the well is gone.
After plugging operations, the wellsite was graded and reclamation
began.


Leichner 1 Well Plugging Project

County: Chautauqua; Town: Carroll

Well Name: Leichner 1

Plug Date: 9/18/2018 - 10/1/2018

The project consisted of the plugging of one abandoned gas well, the Leichner 1 (API # 31-013-20286-00-00), that was audibly leaking natural gas in a wooded area near a residence and wetland. The well was drilled in 1986 to a total depth of 4,465 feet, targeting the Medina formation. The well was abandoned by the responsible operator and presented an environmental and potential public safety hazard. Plugging operations commenced in September 2018 and were completed shortly after in October 2018.

Close up of a gas well showing the thread from which natural gas is escaping into the atmosphere. The well is surrounded by excessive vegetation.
Leichner 1 (API # 31-013-20286-00-
00) leaking gas prior to plugging.
Wellsite after reclamation. Ground has been graded and is covered with light layer of hay. Evidence of well is gone.
Wellsite after plugging and reclamation
operations were complete.


Moose Oil Wells - Package 2 Well Plugging Project

County: Allegany; Town: Bolivar

Wells Plugged: 61 Oil Wells

Plug Date: 6/7/2017 - 2/23/2018

The project consisted of the plugging of 61 abandoned oil and injection wells located on the Tullar Lease, a subset of the leases formerly operated by Moose Oil Company. The wells were drilled in the early to mid-1900s to target the Perrysburg Unit at known depths from 1,312 to 1,720 feet. The wells had fallen into states of disrepair as a result of being abandoned for several decades. Plugging operations commenced in June 2017 and were completed in February 2018.

Tullar p-23 injection well in poor condition. Wellsite is overgrown making it difficult to see the well.
Tullar p-23 (API # 31-003-61140-
00-00) injection well in 2013
prior to plugging.
Well plugging service rig set up over the well. Winter conditions.
Rig set-up over the well during
plugging operations.
Wellsite has been reclaimed. The site has been graded and is covered in hay to promote seed growth. Evidence of the well is gone.
Wellsite after plugging operations were completed and reclamation
was in progress.

Injection well in poor condition.
Tullar p-20 (API # 31-003-61137-
00-00) injection well in 2013
prior to plugging.
Well plugging service rig is set up over well. Plugging operations are in progress.
Rig and equipment were mobilized
to the wellsite. Well plugging in
progress.
Wellsite has been reclaimed. The site has been graded and is covered in hay to promote seed growth. Evidence of the well is gone.
After plugging operations, the wellsite was graded and reclaimed.


Lewandowski U1 Well Plugging Project

County: Erie; Town: Lancaster

Well Name: Lewandowski U1

Plug Date: 8/29/2017 - 10/20/2017

The project included the plugging of the Lewandowski U1 (API #31-029-61745-00-00) gas well. The Department received a landowner complaint that this previously-unknown orphan well was leaking methane. Department staff performed an inspection and reported an audible gas leak from the well, which was located approximately 250 feet from the complainant's residence. As the well was leaking gas in proximity to a residential dwelling, it qualified for inclusion in the NYWWPI program. Department staff conducted a pre-bid meeting at the well site in late June 2017, and the contract was awarded in August 2017. Well plugging began immediately, and reclamation was completed in October 2017.

Abandoned gas well in poor condition. The well is partially covered in snow and is amongst excessive vegetation.
Lewandowski U1
(API # 31-029-61745-00-00) prior to
well plugging.
Truck and truck-mounted rig set up at wellsite. Summer conditions.
Rig and equipment were mobilized
to the wellsite to prepare for
plugging.
The wellsite is shown graded but not re-seeded due to the landowner's request. Any surface expression of the well has been removed.
After plugging operations were completed, the wellsite was graded
and reclaimed as an access road as per the landowner's
specifications.


Baldwinsville Well Plugging Project

County: Onondaga; Towns: Village of Baldwinsville, Towns of Lysander and Van Buren

Wells Plugged: 6 Gas Wells

Plug Date: 3/27/2017 - 7/25/2017

The project included the plugging of six abandoned gas wells located in Onondaga County. There were limited records for the wells associated with the plugging project. Three of the wells were drilled in the late 1890s, while the remaining three wells were drilled in the 1960s. The wells were drilled to total depths between 1,200 and 3,000 feet to target the Trenton, Medina, or Queenston Formations. After being abandoned by their original operators, these wells were left unmaintained for decades. Well leaks and potential structural integrity issues posed a threat to public safety and the environment. The Morse 1 well was leaking natural gas less than five feet from a building. Similarly, the Dowe 2 was also leaking natural gas less than 15 feet from a building. Plugging operations became increasingly difficult due to methane encountered in the Lockport formation at shallow depths. For example, after the surface plug was set in the Unknown Well, natural gas was observed flowing through the cement to the surface. Additional efforts involving the re-setting of cement plugs were required to ensure the successful plugging of the well.

The Morse 1 well was located less than 5 feet from nearby building. Photo of well prior to well plugging.
Morse 1 (API # 31-067-02384-00-00)
prior to well plugging.
Plugging operations began and the contractor prepared the wellsite. Photo of well during well plugging. The nearby building has been covered with a tarp. Orange construction fencing marks the boundary of the work area. The wireline subcontractor can be seen on site. The wellsite is close to a body of water which is shown in the background.
Rig and equipment were mobilized to the Morse 1 wellsite,
and well plugging operations began.
The Morse 1 well was located less than 5 feet from nearby building. Photo of well after well plugging. The site has been reclaimed (graded and seeded). The nearby building is in good condition. No evidence of the well is visible.
After the Morse 1 was successfully
plugged, the wellsite was reclaimed
to match the surrounding landscape..


Moose Oil Wells - Package 1 Well Plugging Project

County: Allegany; Town: Bolivar

Wells Plugged: 73 Oil or Injection Wells

Plug Date: 6/30/2016 - 5/18/2017

The project comprised the plugging of 73 oil development and injection wells. Specifically, the contract targeted wells located on the Bradensbrook, Hoover, McCarthy, and Myrtle leases formerly operated by the Moose Oil Company. The wells and associated leases were abandoned decades before the commencement of Department plugging operations. Project development began with the Department's well inspections, which documented a substantial number of wells in an advanced state of disrepair. Some of the wells were actively leaking oil and/or, brine, while other wells exhibited dried ("caked") oil on the wellheads, evidencing past leaks. Abandoned wells have an increased potential for leaking and inadequately containing wellbore fluids, thus presenting a public safety and environmental threat. As the project included a large number of wells and disturbed more than an acre of land, staff developed a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan to mitigate erosion and sedimentation during wellsite preparation, plugging, and reclamation operations.

An abandoned oil well located in the woods is in poor condition. The well is located on an old lease road.
Myrtle 69 (API # 31-003-61017-00-
00) prior to well plugging.
A truck-mounted rig is set up over an abandoned oil well. Materials such as drill pipe and sacks of cement can be seen staged near the well. The well site is in a wooded location along an old lease road.
Rig and equipment were mobilized
to complete plugging.
After well plugging, the well site (which was along an old lease road) has been reclaimed. The site has been graded to match existing contous and is covered in leaves due to the autumn conditions. No evidence of the well is visible.
After plugging operations were completed, wellsites were reclaimed
to match the surrounding landscape.


F. E. Petroleum / Merrill Resources Inc. Lawrence Lease Well Plugging Project

County: Cattaraugus; Town: Farmersville

Wells Plugged: 9 Oil Wells

Plug Date: 12/5/2016- 1/5/2017

The project entailed the plugging of nine abandoned oil development wells located on the Lawrence Lease, formerly operated by two long-defunct companies, F.E. Petroleum Corp. and Merrill Resources Inc. The wells were drilled between 1974 and 1981 to an average depth of approximately 500 feet. The Lawrence Lease had been abandoned by the former operators for decades prior to the commencement of Department plugging operations. As a result, the wells were not properly maintained and overgrown vegetation precluded easy access for inspections. Abandoned wells can present a significant risk to public safety and the environment, as they may leak oil, brine, and/or other fluids, to surface and subsurface resources.

Oil well in poor condition. A pump jack is visible through significant vegetation. A telephone pole is laying across the pump jack.
Lawrence 1 (API # 31-009-10971-00-00) prior to well plugging.
Well is surrounded by excessive vegetation and debris.
A truck-mounted rig is set up over an oil well during plugging operations during winter.
Rig and equipment were mobilized to complete plugging
operations on the Lawrence Lease wells.


City of Elmira Well Plugging Project

Counties: Chemung and Steuben; Towns: City of Elmira, Towns of Southport and Hornby

Wells Plugged: 5 Gas Wells

Plug Date: 5/18/2016 - 9/15/2016

The project comprised the plugging of five abandoned gas wells that were located in or near the City of Elmira. Completed between 1940 and 1941, the wells targeted the Oriskany formation, and were drilled to depths ranging from 2,740 to 3,230 feet. The wells had been abandoned by their original operators for decades prior to Department plugging operations. Local fire officials had received complaints from residents because vandals periodically set the Mangin well on fire. In response to these complaints and safety concerns, the City of Elmira Well Plugging Project was developed. Due to the advanced age, lack of maintenance, and proximity to residential dwellings, these abandoned wells posed a significant threat to public health and the environment.

Close up photo of a gas well in poor condition. The gas well is on fire. Vegetation can be seen surrounding the well.
Mangin (API # 31-015-00606-00-00)
on fire prior to plugging.
A service rig and equipment are set up around a gas well. The rig's tall derrick, a truck, excavator, and other equipment can be seen.
Rig and equipment were mobilized
to the wellsite to complete plugging.
After plugging, the wellsite was reclaimed to match the surrounding land. Grass has grown in this residential environment. No evidence of the well is visible.
After the Mangin was successfully plugged, the wellsite
was reclaimed to match the surrounding landscape.

Gas well in poor condition. the well is located in a field and is shown in close proximity to a shed and other buildings.
Malacoccio 1 (API # 31-015-00613-
00-00) prior to plugging.
Well plugging operations are in progress. The site has been secured with orange construction fencing.
Malacoccio 1 wellsite being prepared
for plugging operations.
After plugging, the wellsite was reclaimed to match the surrounding land. The spread seed grew into mature grass. No evidence of the well is visible.
After the Malacoccio 1 was successfully plugged, the wellsite
was reclaimed to match the surrounding landscape.


Davis Well Plugging Project

County: Steuben; Town: Cameron

Well Name: Hall 1

Plug Date: 7/15/2015 - 7/17/2015

The project comprised plugging a 3,900-foot Oriskany gas well that had been leaking natural gas and flowing brine to the North Branch of Tuscarora Creek for decades. To compound the situation, an adjoining landowner had connected a large propane tank and fittings to the leaking well to provide natural gas service to his residence and initially resisted Department efforts to plug the well. Division of Mineral Resources staff coordinated with the Division of Law Enforcement in an effort to defuse any potential confrontations with the landowner during the plugging process. After setting the production zone plug and effectively "killing" the well, a small gas leak was detected outside the surface casing that had been installed to stabilize the well for plugging. Department staff performed additional monitoring, and the plugging contractor then returned to the site to remediate the situation. Site reclamation included grading, replacement of topsoil, seeding, and mulching in order to provide a vegetative cover similar to surrounding unaffected areas. Department staff monitored the site periodically until the vegetative cover was fully re-established.

Gas well housed in a shed. There is an old tank beside the shed.
Hall 1 (API # 31-101-00100-00-00) prior to well plugging. The
well was housed in a shed and was surrounded by equipment.
Gas well in poor condition. The well is shown inside the shed leaking gas and brine.
Hall 1 was leaking natural gas
and brine.
Gas well during well plugging operations. The shed has been removed. Well is surrounded by gravel well pad. Orange construction fence surrounds the well for safety purposes.
Hall 1 wellsite was prepared for well plugging. The housing and
surrounding equipment were removed.

Service rig is set up over the well. The rig has a tall derrick. Other equipment such as trucks, drill pipe, and dog house are visible.
Rig and equipment were mobilized
to the wellsite.
After plugging, the site was graded. Machinery is shown on the freshly graded and mulched wellsite.
After plugging operations were completed, the wellsite was
reclaimed to match the surrounding landscape.
The wellsite is reclaimed. Vegetation has grown back at the site. No evidence of the well remains.
Department staff periodically monitored the wellsite to ensure
proper reclamation.


Sacilowski 1 Well Plugging Project

County: Erie; Town: Cheektowaga

Well Name: Sacilowski 1

Plug Date: 4/20/2015 - 6/23/2015

The Sacilowski 1 was a long-abandoned gas well located along a sidewalk in a suburban residential setting. The well was drilled prior to the existence of a regulatory framework in New York, and the original operator is unknown. In the late 1960s, pressure in the well increased sufficiently to eject fluids and part of the well casing into the air. In addition, the well was also documented to have leaked hydrogen sulfide gas. The well represented a significant threat to public health and the environment.

Credit: Google Earth. A view of a neighborhood. A metal plate in a residential lawn is shown.
Sacilowski 1 (API # 31-029-55299-00-00) well prior to
plugging. Well is covered by metal plate in residential lawn.
View of a neighborhood. The well plugging contractor is evaluating the well site. Mats are laid on site to protect the lawn. Equipment is shown nearby the well.
Sacilowski 1 wellsite was prepared for well plugging operations.
Rig and equipment were mobilized to the wellsite.
View of a neighborhood after well plugging. The lawn has been reclaimed and grass has grown. No evidence of the well is visible and the wellsite matches the surrounding land.ll
After plugging operations were completed, the wellsite was
reclaimed to match the surrounding landscape.


Rome Sand Plains Well Plugging Project

County: Oneida; Town: Rome

Wells Plugged: 8 Gas Wells

Plug Date: 3/25/2014 - 6/11/2014

The project comprised the plugging of eight abandoned gas wells located in the City of Rome. These wells were drilled and completed between the 1890s and 1930s in the Trenton Formation at total depths ranging from 705 to 900 feet. As the city grew over time, the wells were disregarded by the local population and became parts of residential, commercial, or recreational properties. Two of the eight wells, Ringdahl Ivan 1 and Ringdahl Ivan 2, were located in Wright-Hazelton Park. Ringdahl Ivan 1 was located approximately 150 feet from a playground area in the park. There were reports of significant natural gas releases from the well due to historic vandalism. Another well, Finley 1, was leaking natural gas approximately 15 feet from a residence. The limited space between residential buildings posed significant challenges for well plugging operations. Mitigating the significant threats associated with these wells, plugging and reclamation was completed in June 2014.

Gas well in poor condition. Well is flush to the ground which is covered with a light layer of snow. The well is improperly secured with a cap. The well is approximately 2 feet or less from a deck.
Finley 1 (API # 31-065-61548-00-00)
prior to well plugging.
Well plugging is in progress. A small excavation has been dug around the well for access. Lines are hooked up to the well for fluid control. A residence is shown in the background of the photo in close proximity to the well.
Rig and equipment were mobilized to the Finley 1 wellsite
to begin well plugging operations.
The wellsite has been regraded and reclaimed with gravel. No evidence of the well remains.
After plugging operations were completed, the wellsite was
reclaimed to match the surrounding landscape.


Brandy Brook Well Plugging Project

County: Oneida; Town: Rome

Well Name: Stoklos & Cisek 1 ("Brandy Brook Well")

Plug Date: 5/7/2014 - 5/13/2014

The project entailed the plugging of the abandoned Stoklos & Cisek 1 gas well (termed the "Brandy Brook Well"). This well was one of the highest-scoring abandoned gas wells in the state. Drilled vertically to a total depth of 932 feet, the well was completed in the Trenton Formation. As the well was drilled prior to the existence of a regulatory framework and Department oversight, many additional details regarding the well are unknown (e.g., drilling date, original operator, construction details).

Department inspections noted the well in an advanced state of disrepair. The well was leaking natural gas, and records indicated that brine had been flowing freely from the top of the well casing onto the land surface for decades, discharging to Brandy Brook, a tributary of West Canada Creek, and resulting in the denudation of over an acre of land. The well had been set aflame by vandals many times over the years, and Department staff had responded to complaints associated with it on numerous occasions. The well was successfully plugged and reclamation of the surrounding area was completed on May 13, 2014. After the plugging and restoration efforts, the wellsite and surrounding land was monitored by Department staff to ensure the effectiveness of the reclamation. The plugging of this well and the restoration of the surrounding land surface are a great success story for the NYWWPI.

Stoklos & Cisek 1 well prior to plugging. Well is on fire and leaking gas and brine. Well is in extremely poor condition. Surrounding wellsite is barren. Evidence of destroyed vegetation is shown.
Stoklos & Cisek 1 (API # 31-065-
61553-00-00) on fire prior to plugging.
The area surrounding the Stoklos & Cisek 1 well is destroyed. All nearby vegetation has died due to the brine leak.
Stoklos & Cisek 1, prior to plugging, was leaking gas and brine
which caused denudation of the surrounding area.
Rig set up around Stoklos & Cisek 1 well. The well is shown leaking brine from the surface casing.
Rig and equipment were mobilized to the Stoklos & Cisek 1
wellsite to begin well plugging operations.

Photo of the rig set up on the Stoklos & Cisek 1. The rig has a large derrick and support equipment surrounds the rig. The wellsite is barren due to the pollution from the well.
Rig and equipment during
well plugging operations.
Stoklos & Cisek 1 wellsite after plugging. Reclamation in progress. The disturbed area has been mulched to promote seed growth.
After well plugging operations were successfully completed,
the wellsite was reclaimed.
Stoklos & Cisek 1 wellsite after reclamation. Vegetation has grown back and the site is in good condition. A field of green grass is shown.
Department staff periodically monitored the wellsite to
ensure proper reclamation.


Aerial Images of the Stoklos & Cisek 1

Credit: Google Earth Image. Aerial photo showing the large area of impact of the brine leak from the Stoklos & Cisek 1 well. A large area lacks vegetation due to the pollution.
Stoklos & Cisek 1 and surrounding area in November 2011
prior to well plugging. The extent of the brine burn is shown.
Credit: Google Earth Image. Aerial photo showing the regrowth of vegetation and improvement in the site after well plugging and reclamation.
Stoklos & Cisek 1 and surrounding area in May 2015 after well
plugging and reclamation. Regrowth of vegetation is shown.