Prayer Of Comfort For Those Orphaned Or Abandoned

Problems with Abandoned and Orphaned Wells

Prayer Of Comfort For Those Orphaned Or Abandoned

Left: Cabin Run orphaned oil well, Morgan County, Ohio. Many of the older oil and gas wells were either perfunctorily plugged, or else not at all. Right: The Pennsylvania DEP thinks this Bradford Township explosion in McKean County, PA might have been due to a nearby abandoned gas well that was drilled in 1881.

In April of 2000, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a plan for dealing with the approximately 8,000 abandoned and orphaned oil and gas wells throughout the Commonwealth.

This report singled out 550 wells that were especially problematic, and of those, 129 were flagged as the highest priority, with a point score of 30 or greater on their internal scale.

Eleven years later, there are over 8,500 abandoned and orphaned wells, and 186 with a point score of 30 or greater. Most ly, this increase doesn’t suggest newly abandoned wells so much as the discovery of additional old ones.

After all, according to Independant Petroleum Association of America estimates, over 325,000 oil and gas wells were drilled statewide between 1859 and 2000. The DEP has no information on more than half of those wells–about 184,000.

  Therefore, the actual number of abandoned and orphaned wells in Pennsylvania could be much higher than the estimates provided above.

Abandoned wells are those that have been production for a year or more, and orphaned wells are wells that were abandoned prior to 1985, and from which the current landholder or operator didn’t receive any economic benefits.  When wells are designated as orphaned, the DEP is responsible for plugging them.  As of February, there are 6,251 wells classified as orphaned and 2,272 abandoned wells.

Reasons for Concern

Obviously, the prospects of houses suddenly exploding, as in the picture above, is reason enough to be concerned, and yet there are a variety of ways in which abandoned oil and gas wells can impact Pennsylvania’s environment and the health and well being of our residents.

Most unplugged wells release some amount of oil, gas, condensate, or brine, which can kill vegetation, damage fragile riparian ecosystems, and contaminate aquifers. There is also the possibility of injury due to the sudden release of pressure.

Some abandoned wells are 30 inch diameter open holes that are obviously a danger for children to fall into.

May 30, 2011 sinkhole in Allentown, PA
There is also the possibility that the presence of wells, whether active or or not, will aggravate unstable geologic formations, which are fairly common in Pennsylvania, due to mining activities in the west and soluble limestone formations in the east. This recent Allentown sinkhole was reportedly caused by a water leak, and caused significant property damage.

To give an example of the potential impact of abandoned oil and gas wells, here are some of the comments from the Abandoned and Orphaned Wells Program, with corresponding point scores:

Comments on abandoned wells and their corresponding point scores.

It is not always clear why a well was given a particular priority rating.  Indeed, there are many instances where ratings are zero, but the comments give reason for concern, such as “Oil in water supply” and “Well intact, near implement dealer facility, is a fire hazard.” Additionally, less than 15 percent of the abandoned wells listed give any comment at all.

Incidents in McKean County

Recent explosion incidents in McKean County, PA. Please click on the gray compass rose and double chevron to hide those menus.

The Bradford Township fire mentioned above (the more southern of the two), is about half a mile from the nearest abandoned well on the list.  However, the suspected well, Rogers 9, was apparently only 300 feet away. Presumably, this well was not known about until the incident occurred.  Rogers 9 was drilled in 1881.

The other incident, in Foster Township, is at the northern edge of a tight cluster of recent drilling activity.  It is entirely possible that there are abandoned wells in that region too, but again, nothing is on our list in the immediate vicinity.

This information leads one to suspect that one of the fires was probably due to recent activity, while the other was caused by a long-forgotten well. Whether or not that was the case, it is clear that drilling holes in the earth near where people live can have an adverse effect for a very long time.

Well Plugging

While well plugging technology has obviously improved over the years, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is always done right.

A single $25,000 bond currently is the only insurance that an operator will plug all of their wells statewide, once they are no longer in production.

In most cases, that is probably adequate, since there are non-monetary incentives for the operator to stay in good graces with the DEP. However, there are numerous smaller operators with wells still in production, including some residents who have their own private wells.

In these cases, the carrot of getting the bond money returned may not match the cost of plugging the well properly, especially if multiple wells are involved. In this 1998 document, the DEP put the average cost of plugging a well between $6,000 and $22,000. Last year, the DEP plugged 11 wells in Erie County for a cost of $137,348, or a cost of about $12,500 each.

According to the Bradford Era, over 2,700 wells have already been plugged statewide under the program. In McKean County, more than 950 wells have been plugged since 1989, at a cost of over $6.5 million.

As mentioned above, the DEP assumes responsibility for plugging the orphaned wells. The money for this comes from $150 fees added to oil permit applications, and $250 fees for gas permits. Money is clearly a limiting factor in how many wells the DEP can to plug.

Those 11 Erie County wells required funds from 550 new gas permits. If those wells represent the average current price for plugging a well, then the 6,251 orphaned wells still on the list would cost over $78 million to plug, requiring the permit fees from 312,550 new wells.

And that is still not including the approximately 184,000 abandoned wells that the DEP doesn’t even know about.

Maybe it is time for a new strategy.

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8 Best Comforting Prayers for the Sick

Prayer Of Comfort For Those Orphaned Or Abandoned

Whether you have loved ones or friends that are sick, recite any of these comforting prayers for those that are in need of some healing. A prayer for healing is a simple thing and one that can inadvertently grant you many blessings.

Prayers #1

Lord of Heaven, I rest underneath your mighty wings of love. I dwell within your gentle heart. I know there is healing in your touch. Through the sufferings of Christ I can ask for restoration And trust in your goodness. You are my Lord, my Saviour, My healer and my friend. I dwell within your gentle embrace.


Prayer #2

Jesus, With just one touch from your Almighty creative hand, You have healed the sick and raised the dead. How amazing is your Lordship over all the earth, How powerful is your redeeming love.

How great was your sacrifice to go before us and bring forgiveness and hope. By your stripes I ask for healing. Standing within your reign and rule I ask for restoration.

May life and wellness grow in fullness until it overflows.


Prayer #3

O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit, and relieve thy sick servant N. for whom our prayers are desired.

Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction.

In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayer #4

O Lord, Only you know how hard life has been for me. Only you have seen each moment of my day and night. Only you feel my pain and understand my discomfort. Only you are beside me through my grief and sorrow.

Only you have been within each moment to comfort me. O Lord, break through the loneliness of my suffering. You have encountered sorrow and laid a glorious path Of hope, healing and the promise of heaven in my heart.


Prayer #5

Lord Jesus, you are the master of life and death. Everything I have is yours, and I love you very deeply. Just one touch from you restores the sick, heals the broken, and transforms the darkness. Only you can do this

Only you

So I ask that you would be with (name) right now May they sense your presence May they feel your power May they know your love May their body be overwhelmed With light and truth

With healing and wellness

Just as it was in the beginning As you first intended us to be

May they be restored

I ask for your healing on their body right now

Thank you Lord that you hear my prayer That you have overcome the world That you hold all of heaven and earth in your loving hands And that you have given us the promise of eternity In our hearts forever


Prayer #6

Lord God,

We dwell in you house, Drink in your presence

And find peace and rest in your arms.

We believe in your name, Ask for your healing

And believe and trust in your love.

We thank you for your sacrifice, Receive all you have for us

And pray and ask for restoration.

We need your touch. We wait on you. You are our Saviour, our friend, and our hope.


Prayer #7

Lord of Heaven, I rest underneath you mighty wings of love. I dwell within your gentle heart. I know there is healing in your touch. Through the sufferings of Christ I can ask for restoration And trust in your goodness. You are my Lord, my Saviour, My healer and my friend. I dwell within your gentle embrace.


Prayer #8

Dear Jesus, You walked on the earth, understood the broken world, yet also rose from death into resurrected life. I pray for my loved one that they would be held at this time in your loving arms.

Bless the work of the doctors, surgeons and hospital staff, and bring the power of your resurrection life into their body. Come fill my loved one from top to toe with your restorative Spirit. May your resurrection life bring healing and wellness into their being.

May your grace carry them through this hard time into a new season filled with hope and joy.


Here is a healing prayer shared by Bishop T.D. Jakes for those in need of some comfort.

About the Author of this Blog Post
Crystal Ayres has served as our editor-in-chief for the last five years. She is a proud veteran, wife and mother. The goal of ConnectUs is to publish compelling content that addresses some of the biggest issues the world faces. If you would to reach out to contact Crystal, then go here to send her a message.

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Top 7 Bible Verses About Caring For Orphans

Prayer Of Comfort For Those Orphaned Or Abandoned

Here are my top seven Bible verses about caring for Orphans

James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

People might say they’re spiritual (whatever that means) or they might call themselves religious but God detests such talk if they neglect the widows and the orphans in the church.

God is the defender of the defenseless and their cry goes up before Him and He hears their afflictions. Talk is cheap; action is not.

Whoever says they’re religious and doesn’t provide for the widows and orphans, at least in some way, is not religious at all but actually a hypocrite. God doesn’t want more religious people; He desires disciples after His own heart.

Exodus 22:22-24 “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.”

This was a law for the nation of Israel but there is no reason to believe that this law should not apply to our world today, particularly in the church.

God’s wrath burns against those who mistreat or take advantage of the widows and the fatherless (orphans) because they are not in a position to take care of themselves, therefore it is incumbent upon Christians to make sure no one takes advantage of or mistreat any of the widows or the orphans (fatherless).

Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

Isaiah the Prophet puts it this way; we must seek justice and correct any oppression we see and bring swift justice to the orphans and plead for the widow’s cause because no one else ly will.

Isaiah says that we must “learn to do good” indicating that it doesn’t come naturally to us but we must also “seek justice” and if necessary, correct any injustices we see so it takes intentionality and not just seeing the injustices.

Seeking justice indicates that there might be injustices that no one knows about.

Psalm 82:3 “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”

The psalmist says that we must give justice to the weak and the orphans so we are without excuse if we see the orphans who are afflicted and don’t do anything about it. We must “give justice to the weak,” meaning that we have to do something about it.

Job 29:12 “Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him.”

Sadly, many in Job’s day apparently didn’t attend to the poor and the orphans because he says that he saw that they “had none to help” so he did.

Job says he delivered the poor when they cried out in hunger since nobody else did.

Those who know about the needs of the orphans in the church and do nothing about it will have to give an account for their sin of omission to God someday because Jesus sees it as if we were doing to Him (Matt 25:4).

Psalm 146:9 “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”

Aren’t we all really sojourners in this life since this is not our home? Since many in the nation of Israel, those in the world today, didn’t uphold the widows and orphans, God did. How sad that we neglect our widows, widowers, and orphans in the church while most of us have plenty (for the most part).

John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

This last verse about caring for the orphans is one that shows God’s faithfulness. He will not only never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5) but He won’t leave us as orphans either.

Just before Jesus was to go to the cross and died for sinners, they were anxious about Jesus leaving to return to the Father so Jesus reassures them that He isn’t going to ever leave them, as it were as orphans, but will come again to take them to Himself and into the kingdom of God.


We who have repented and trusted in Christ have God as our Father and His sure and certain promises are that He will come for us someday to bring us into the kingdom but in the meantime, He’s going to care for us as His own children and the last thing He’d ever do is forsake us or leave us in our time of need (Heb 13:5). Sadly, this is not so with the world that often overlooks the orphans because they’re so fixated on their own needs, pleasures, and comfort.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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