Search planned for abandoned gas wells in Pa.

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 12, 2014 3:47 PM

Photo by Scott Goldsmith / The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project

(Bradford) -- A low-flying helicopter mission is in the works to search for long abandoned gas and oil wells in Pennsylvania.

The aerial survey by the federal National Energy Technology Laboratory starts Friday and runs through the end of August.

The search will be able to detect steel well casings and methane emissions. Some of the state's wells date to the 19th century.

The search will include Susquehannock State Forest in Potter County, Oil Creek State Park in Venango County and Hillman State Park in Washington County.

Pennsylvania has an estimated 200,000 abandoned oil and gas wells. Federal officials say there are about 1.2 million across the country.

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