Wyoming regulators seize some 3,000 idle coal-bed wells from High Plains Gas in bond dispute


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CASPER, Wyoming — Wyoming regulators have seized roughly 3,000 idle coal-bed methane wells in the Powder River Basin from High Plains Gas Inc. after the company failed to post a required $6.8-million reclamation bond.

Tuesday's seizure of the wells more than doubles the number of abandoned wells the state will need to close.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Wyoming Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson said Tuesday that regulators worked diligently with High Plains. But Watson says the company ultimately did not meet the terms of an order the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issued this summer.

The move means Wyoming will pull about $8 million in bonds High Plains has on deposit with the state to help pay for plugging the company's wells.

Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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