texas oil wells gushing water
Credit: Jonathan Cutrer/Flickr

Water gushes from abandoned oil wells in Texas

A troubling trend of water erupting from abandoned oil wells in West Texas raises unanswered questions about the cause and impact on the environment.

Dylan Baddour reports for Inside Climate News.


In short:

  • Water has been gushing from abandoned oil wells on Schuyler Wight's West Texas ranch, with no clear explanation from regulators.
  • The Texas Railroad Commission has been unable to determine the cause, despite numerous incidents and cleanup efforts.
  • Experts suggest that the injection of fracking wastewater might be increasing underground pressure, leading to these blowouts.

Key quote:

“There’s been such an increase in disposal of produced water over the past decade, there’s an overwhelming amount of water being disposed. That pressure has to go somewhere.”

— Dominic DiGiulio, an environmental consultant and geoscientist

Why this matters:

These unexplained water eruptions, occurring in an area with weak regulatory oversight, could have severe long-term effects on local ecosystems and agriculture.

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