NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) has been making a positive impact on the environment by plugging abandoned oil and gas wells across the state. This project to clean up the wells has been funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

EMNRD’s Oil Conservation Division has reportedly prevented over 46,000 kilograms per year of methane from polluting the atmosphere through its plugging of 23 orphan wells. The organization’s work is expected to be ongoing throughout 2023.

EMNRD says their process entails “reviewing historic records, undertaking field assessments, ranking wells and facilities based upon their potential risks to the public and the environment, quantifying methane emissions from the wells, and evaluating the usefulness of drone technology to facilitate hazard identification, cleanup, and reclamation.”

EMNRD has another $25,000,000 coming in funding for this project. The organization plans to plug nearly 200 more abandoned wells to further their positive impact on New Mexico’s environment.