More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one -- not industry, not government -- is checking to see if they are leaking.
The oldest of these wells dates from the 1940's.
According to records, 3,500 of these are listed as "temporarily abandoned" which make them in a class not as regulated as an abandoned well. Many of these temporaty classed wells , though, date back to the 1960's.
It is important to note that the Deepwater Well which blew on April 20 was being sealed in accordance to the regulations for temporary abandonment. As we know, this well, has caused the gravest man made ecological disaster in the history of North America.
For further information as to the gravity of this threat and the irresponsible attitudwe of both the Federal Government and the Oil Industry, check out this link which is an AP Special report in the Louisiana Press regarding the immediacy of this threat.