WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Regulatory filings show natural gas is leaking through unplugged abandoned wells that have penetrated a massive underground storage field in Kansas. It is creating a public safety hazard amid a dispute over whose responsibility it is to fix the problem.
Northern Natural Gas Co. told federal regulators in a filing this week that the Kansas Corporation Commission “has sat on its hands with full knowledge of the risk.”
The Kansas agency filed a motion last month with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., seeking an order forcing Northern Natural to keep its storage gas from escaping through the wells.
But Northern contends Kansas law requires well owners to plug the abandoned wells.
Northern owns the Cunningham Storage Field spanning Pratt, Kingman and Reno counties.