Hello, my name is Laurie Barr and thanks to the support of friends, associates and also the unwavering support of my husband Dan Tomkinson, I have had the opportunity to work to raise awareness and promote the plugging of abandoned oil and gas wells for the past decade.
After spending the past 10 years visiting abandoned wells in Pennsylvania, New York State and Ohio, it’s clear to me abandoned wells are causing significant long term environmental impacts.
Experts estimate there may be as many as 750,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania alone. And according to the EPA, the number of abandoned onshore wells in the U.S. range from 1.5 - 3 million. Off shore there are over 28,000 abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Many are releasing methane the main component of natural gas.
Methane is the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas, and plays an important role in global warming.
Reducing methane emissions and the industry’s rate of oil and gas well abandonment are problems that need to be tackled by government officials, legislators and industry leaders. Legislative and regulatory changes that will have a lasting effect on our natural resources and climate are urgently needed.
I began working on the documentary film " Releasing Methane" in order to bring a complete picture of the concerns surrounding abandoned oil and gas wells to the attention of industry leaders, lawmakers and the public, in order to encourage regulatory and legislative initiatives which are urgently needed to prevent these wells, from releasing methane, for the life of the planet.
The idea for the project came while guiding researchers in the oil and gas fields in Pennsylvania in order for them to take measurements of the amount of methane escaping from abandoned wells.
On May 1, 2019 I will embark on a journey across the US to visit onshore and offshore abandoned wells. I will be accompanied by a crew which includes environmental advocates and experienced abandoned oil & gas well hunters.
We will meet with legislators, academics, environmentalists and industry workers in order to create the documentary “Releasing Methane” a comprehensive picture of the environmental and regulatory issues surrounding abandoned oil and gas wells and emerging solutions.
As I travel to the oil and gas producing states, I will do everything possible to keep the costs down and I will continually post updates on Facebook with videos, photos and live feeds to keep all my supporters up to date on the film’s progress. Thank you for all your support. I’m looking forward to interacting with you on social media over the coming months as we work on Releasing Methane!
This documentary will not be possible without donations from my friends and supporters. So I‘m asking for your help, even a small amount would help to bring Releasing Methane, for the life of the planet to life!