FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. & BRADFORD, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zefiro Methane Corp. (ZMC), which seeks to reduce methane emissions by plugging orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells, while originating methane emission offsets, announced today it has acquired a majority ownership stake in Plants & Goodwin, (“P&G”), a leading Pennsylvania-based provider of services to plug orphaned oil and gas wells over the past 50-plus years.
This acquisition will position Zefiro to address the burden to communities posed by millions of non-productive wells left idle by oil and gas producers over recent decades. Curt Hopkins, CEO of Zefiro, points out that this allows the company “to provide an immediate solution, at scale, to this long-standing and often environmentally dangerous legacy problem.” Zefiro plans a roll-out to various states across the country.
Zefiro seeks to address the nationwide problem caused by the impact of un-remediated oil & gas wells, chief among them the emissions of methane into the air. According to the latest estimates, there are more than 4 million orphaned oil and gas wells spread out across 26 different states. Experts believe that many of these wells are currently emitting methane that is approximately 25-84 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. With the ability to seriously harm air quality, these unplugged wells are quickly becoming one of the nation’s most pressing challenges to continued sustainable economic growth. This is evidenced by the fact that last year, as part of the 2022 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the U.S. federal government set aside $4.7 billion to help states permanently plug orphaned wells. So far, 26 states have applied for funding.
Plants & Goodwin will play a key role in addressing this challenge. Founded in 1970, family-owned Plants & Goodwin is a long-standing leader in plugging orphaned wells in shale and sandstone formations across the Appalachian Basin. With the Zefiro transaction, Luke Plants will assume the CEO duties for P&G, taking over for his father, Steve, who will remain with P&G as President of Abandonment Operations. The company has approximately 100 employees, all highly skilled and experienced in this crucial specialization. Steve Plants said, “Our family has been plugging wells for more than 50 years and our partnership with Zefiro is a game-changer for finally bringing about a large-scale, nationwide solution to methane emissions from abandoned wells.” Luke Plants said, “Public concern and awareness about the health and environmental implications of orphaned oil and gas wells is at an all-time high. And with the federal government behind a solution and the support of Zefiro, we will be among the first to tackle the problem and take our experience and lessons learned to other basins across the U.S.”
Zefiro Methane Corp. seeks to reduce methane emissions by plugging orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells while originating methane emission offsets. Under executive leadership that includes members of the former carbon market team at J.P. Morgan, Zefiro actively deploys crews to decommission wells throughout the United States. In addition, with unprecedented global demand for carbon offsets as corporations and institutions work towards net-zero targets, Zefiro’s methane emission reductions strategically align with industry leaders for a greener future. Zefiro’s Founder & Chairman, Talal Debs, PhD., said, “Zefiro’s strategy is to integrate real (physical process) innovation with new forms of capital, through the ‘environmental’ credit markets; the result will be a new kind of enterprise. By enlisting veteran operators like Plants & Goodwin, we are taking the first big step to making our unique vision a reality.”