JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska regulator has asked the legislature to make sure oil companies clean up old wells, even after the wells are sold to a different company.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reports that Cathy Foerster of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission testified before the Senate Resources Committee on Monday.

Foerster says it’s becoming more common for smaller oil companies to operate in Alaska – and those companies may be more financially unstable.

Forester warned that if a big oil field like Prudhoe Bay is sold to a smaller company that goes bankrupt and can’t pay for cleanup, it could cost the state billions of dollars.

She said the state currently has a $200,000 bond to cover the cost of plugging and abandoning all the wells at Prudhoe Bay.

Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

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