Alabama has only 7 agents to inspect thousands of gas and oil wells on private land

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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 15 Jun 2014 01:15:23 EST

Nearly all of Alabama's 8,000 gas and oil wells are located on private land, and it is up to seven agents at the Alabama Oil and Gas Board to inspect them.

A board official says one agent checks about 650 conventional wells, especially oil or natural gas, each year.

Other agents are responsible for checking about 6,350 coal bed methane wells. The board says the high number of methane wells makes annual visits difficult.

Alabama has few oil and gas wells on federal land. But at least one well classified as having a high pollution risk has been inspected, according to federal data supplied to The Associated Press. Alabama is just one of six states where all oil or gas wells identified as high risk were inspected by federal regulators.

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