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Environmental Impact

3.2 Million

Orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells in the United States

78 Cubic Metres of Methane Emissions

Per well, per year

USD $280 Billion+

Cost of plugging every abandoned oil and gas well.

There are about 3.2 million orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells (“AOOG”) in the United States alone1. Many of these are leaking potent greenhouse gases into the atmosphere due to insufficient bonding requirements and inadequate plugging standards. On top of this, many producing and shut-in wells are also leaking emissions from faulty or poorly maintained equipment.

With each well producing approximately 78 cubic metres of methane emissions per year, plugging leaky wells could capture as much as 23 million tons of CO2 equivalent annually. However, to plug every known AOOG well in the United States could cost upwards of USD $280 billion2.

It is Zefiro’s objective to lead the way in solving this disaster by strategically funding and executing well-plugging projects, developing advanced credit methodologies, accelerating/leveraging new technology, and scaling the market for long-term sustainability.

Our focus on reducing emissions in the energy sector drives liquidity in the carbon market towards projects that provide a higher long-term ESG impact. Plugging AOOG wells provides solid additionality, low reversibility risk, high measurement accuracy, and negligible chance of leakage.

Beyond the greenhouse gas (“GHG”) reductions from carbon offset projects undertaken by Zefiro, there are several other social and environmental benefits created. For instance, the quality of air and water in areas near leaky wells is improved once the wells are plugged. Likewise, the risk of gas migrating from underground pipes into private homes is mitigated. Additionally, the unattractive and potentially dangerous well equipment is removed when wellbore sites are reclaimed as a result of wells being plugged. Furthermore, Zefiro is investing in plugging and abatement technologies that can be brought to market for third-party use to provide environmental benefits beyond Zefiro’s own activities.

1 - https://americancarbonregistry.org/carbon-accounting/standards-methodologies/plugging-abandoned-orphaned-oil-and-gas-wells

2 - https://carbontracker.org/reports/billion-dollar-orphans/

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