The Orphaned and Abandoned Well Section of the Division of Oil and Gas should be contacted when a suspected abandoned oil or gas well is found. If necessary a representative from our program will inspect the well and help to confirm that it is indeed an oil or gas well. If so, the Division of Oil and Gas will include the well on our inventory of Orphaned and Abandoned Wells. Money from the Environmental Fund managed by the Division of Oil and Gas is used each year to prioritize and properly plug and abandon wells for which no responsible party can be identified.
Landowners or developers should never attempt to plug an abandoned well themselves and under no circumstances should the well be cut off or buried to hide the well or accommodate construction or other use of the property adjacent to the well. Improperly abandoned wells can pose a significant safety hazard and become a source of contamination to surface and groundwater unless they are properly plugged according to state requirements.
For more information about the Orphaned and Abandoned Well Program see the following informational brochure available from our web site: http://www.in.gov/dnr/dnroil/files/abandoned.pdf