BLM Announces $1.1 Million in Contract Awards to Plug Orphaned Wells in Utah and California

Agency’s first Bipartisan Infrastructure Law contracts aim to reduce methane emissions, improve public safety and restore impacted public lands


Bureau of Land Management

Media Contact:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Land Management today announced two contract awards for work to clean up orphan well sites in Utah and California to restore public lands and improve public safety. The contracts are the first to be awarded by the agency under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

BLM announced in late May that it would invest funds to plug high-priority orphaned oil and gas wells as part of a $33 million Department of the Interior initiative to improve public health and safety, reduce the impacts of water and air pollution on disadvantaged communities, and enhance the experience for visitors to public lands, national parks, refuges and forests.

BLM has awarded the first contract in the amount of $877,352 to Snow Consulting and Services, Inc. of Grand Junction, Colorado to plug 11 wells and restore the surrounding lands in the Book Cliffs region of Grand County, Utah, north of Interstate 70. The restoration work will be supervised by the BLM’s Canyon Country District.

BLM has awarded the other contract, totaling $251,503, to E2 Contracting, Inc. of Irvine, California to plug and restore lands around the Sevier 14-1 well in San Luis Obispo County. The restoration work will be supervised by the BLM’s Central California District.

BLM has separate, forthcoming contracts to measure methane at the well sites using a methane measurement protocol developed by the multi-agency Technical Working Group. For contract awards involving construction or maintenance on public lands, the BLM also requires contractors to pay local prevailing labor wages under the Davis-Bacon Act, an initiative that supports good-paying jobs.

The BLM contract is part of a multi-state, multi-agency effort to plug wells, create jobs, and restore lands on federal, state, Tribal and private lands using $4.7 billion provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Much of this funding will be distributed through grants to states and Tribes through the Department of the Interior’s Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance. BLM is partnering with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service in addressing orphaned wells on federal land.

For more information on the Federal Orphaned Well Program, please visit

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.