The DEQ’s Office of Oil, Gas, and Minerals has successfully plugged a salt water seep discovered last month in Southfield.
DEQ staff discovered the seep from an old, abandoned well during a site evaluation for thEQDEe proposed Word of Faith 16-27 exploratory oil and gas well. The seep was about 1½ miles away from and unrelated to that proposed site.
To fix the seep, work crews directed by the OOGM re-entered the abandoned well and filled it with cement, effectively stopping the flow of brine to the surface. Analyses of soil and water samples collected around the well only found elevated salt concentrations, not any chemicals associated with petroleum products. These results were confirmed by independent analyses conducted by environmental investigators hired by the City of Southfield.
The OOGM removed the salt-contaminated soils, replaced them with clean soil, and laid down new grass seed. Money for this work came from the Orphan Well Program, funded fully by a tax on oil and gas industry revenues.
The well, Prendergast Moore #1, was drilled in 1939. It was not economic and was abandoned, so the Supervisor of Wells ordered it plugged in August 1941. However, the DEQ did not find any evidence that the former operator complied with that order.