Oil and gas rights to more than 4,200 acres of land in Oakland County are expected to be available at auction next month, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Monday, Sept. 10.
The state routinely auctions oil and gas lease rights it holds on land each spring and fall. Auction proceeds go to the state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF), which is used to purchase and develop land for recreational use. Some proceeds may also be used for park maintenance under the state’s Parks Endowment Fund, as well as upkeep to the state’s fishery and wildlife habitat.
Oil and gas rights to 4,265 acres of land in Oakland County were nominated for auction by the DNR. The state’s Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will decide tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 13 whether those rights, as well as rights to another 191,416 acres of land, will be available at an Oct. 24 auction.
A map and more detailed information regarding the location of parcels nominated for the auction may be found at http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/1,1607,7-153-10371_14793-30912–,00.html, or by calling 517-373-7633.
Five-year leases of state mineral and gas rights are typically purchased by oil and gas industry companies, according to the DNR. The high bidders on the leases must obtain drilling permits and other permissions before the land may be tapped for resources.
The state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulates the drilling and completion of oil and gas wells in order to ward off potential negative impacts on the environment.
Concerns raised about potential hazards associated with drilling has resulted in protests by concerned citizens and action by some municipalities.
“I haven’t seen this type of response before in my time here,” said Julie Manson, a property manager for the DNR’s Oil and Gas Lease Management Unit, of the number of people scheduled to speak at tomorrow’s NRC meeting.
More than 50 individuals, including about a half-dozen west Oakland County residents, are signed up to speak at the meeting. The DNR reports several protesters attended the DNR’s oil and gas lease auction in May, where some were led out of the room by state officials.
In West Bloomfield Township, residents’ concern led to township Board of Trustees adoption of a resolution to try to prevent any drilling for oil or gas in the township.
About 18,347 acres located in Oakland County were auctioned in May, contributing to a total of $4.125 million collected by the state for oil and gas lease rights across Michigan during that auction.
Two Traverse City companies — Jordan Development and Pteradon Energy — leased all of the land offered in Oakland County during that auction.
The DNR will release an auction catalog with legal descriptions of each parcel offered for auction following the NRC’s meeting tomorrow.