What is an Orphan Well?

These are Orphan Oil Wells
Texas had 14,747 oil wells in this category
According to the Texas Railroad Commission.
As of March, 2004.
May 2004: 14,376, Nov. 2005: 11,733
July 2006: 10,547, Dec. 2006: 9,955   May 2007: 9,112  

IN TEXAS
Orphan Well, Throckmorton County

These pictures were taken in 1984-5 when the wells were
pumping oil
Archer, County,Texas
Orphan Well, Hardin County, Texas

Archer County, Texas

Throckmorton County, Texas

What is an
Orphan Well?
The wells daddy is gone!

Hardin County, Texas

An Orphan Well is one that the required Organization Statement (P-5 form) was not filed with the TRRC.  Financial Assurance (a bond) must be in effect. 

The operator did not plug and abandon the well as required.

A Stripper Well is generic term for a marginal well. Marginal is a matter of degree and opinion. The IRS has an opinion. 


"The number of operators has consistently declined since the 1980's. The number of
oil operators has declined from over 16,000 in 1990 to about 7,800 today. The steepest decline in the number of operators was the period from 1990 to 1994."
The bottom fell out of the domestic oil business in 1986.
There were no
"boom days in the late 1980's" for  oil operators, drilling contractors, equipment industries: etc.
... Since 1940 the highest weekly US rig count was 4,530 recorded on December
28, 1981. The lowest
rig count of 488 was recorded on April 23, 1999.     

The sheer number of  over 9,000 Orphan Wells is staggering. 
You will be interested in the following:
The Texas Railroad Commission has Orphan Wells listed on their web site
The list is on our page 5 and on our links page, it will amaze you! 

Why do these Orphan Wells exist?
Oil prices collapsed in 1986 is the main reason. More reasons are on the next page.

Page 1.

Money In Oil, Tyler, Texas 903-561-1554