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Methane release from inactive oil and gas wells in Romania – preliminary results

In spite of the decreasing production, Romania remains one of the most important oil and gas producers in Europe. The European inventories of anthropogenic methane release reveals unexpectedly high emissions related to the oil and gas industry in Romania. The number of drilled wells in Romania is exceeding 60,000, with the majority of them currently being inactive. A first approach to quantify the methane emissions from active wells was conducted within the ROMEO project. The highest emissions were observed at the facilities with poor technical maintenance. As part of the UNEP-funded project Global Analysis of Methane Emissions from Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells, an evaluation of methane release from inactive wells is ongoing. No comprehensive inventory of the inactive wells is available for the moment at a national level. The ENVERUS (DrillingInfo), database provides information on 6348 wells in Romania, out of which 776 wells in the Transylvanian Basin. More than 72% of the reported wells were dry, while different amounts of oil and/or gas have been found in the others. According to the nationally applicable closure procedure, most of the wells are plugged and buried, making their identification and detection of gas leaks difficult. In a few cases, substantial methane emissions have been reported, which may pose a threat to neighboring residents.

Acknowledgment: this contribution was supported by the project Global Analysis of Methane Emissions from Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells, funded by UNEP.


Calin Baciu1, Eduard Ghiorghiu1, Mustafa Hmoudah1
1Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
GeoBerlin 2023