IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT OIL/GAS EXPLORATION IN ROCHESTER HILLS AND OAKLAND COUNTY
- Jordan Oil and West Bay Exploration (J/WB) want to lease city land (they have done so in Rochester Hills, Waterford, Springfield and Independence), homeowner’s association common areas (they have done it in Brookdale Woods, Hunters Creek, and Shadow Woods), and private homeowners’ land (door-to-door in our subdivisions).
- The City of Rochester Hills leased three publicly owned properties to J/WB at the 35-acre Nowicki Park (near Tienken and Adams), 10 acre Tienken Park on the southwest corner of Rochester Adams High School, and the 10 acre Stony Creek Cemetery.
- City Council/Mayor claim their Oct 2012 decision to lease city land was founded on the idea that entering into the J/WB contract would afford better financial gain and more control than not entering into the contract. Their lease likely violates the 2011 Parks Charter Amendment which states no city park or open space can be leased without a city-wide vote.
- J/WB withdrew a similar offer to City of Rochester in October 2013 when concerned citizens demonstrated heavy opposition at Rochester’s public hearing on their lease offer. Auburn Hills has not received an offer for a public land lease from J/WB, but J/WB is working through private landowners to identify a drill site.
- To earn a drilling permit J/WB is subject to group decision. The DEQ requires a 40-acre parcel in order for developers to drill, with the well being 300-450 feet from any structure. By combining leases of city areas, common areas and then individual private land J/WB can build a majority of the land within the needed parcel. The City’s leasing of 55 acres helped J/WB in pooling adjacent homes into the required parcel size. Ultimately, to get access to the non-leased land in their desired parcel, J/WB will request that the state create a “compulsory pool” which allows them to explore and drill under your property without consent. Therefore, each of you are voting for yourself and your neighbors if you lease your property mineral rights.
- Generally, these operations consist of a wellhead within 1-2 miles of the potential resource pocket (e.g. under Nowicki Park), a 6” or larger pipeline from wellhead to storage tanks, a processing facility within 5 miles of the wellhead, and heavy trucks moving to and from the various sites. Currently, no one (but the oil companies) knows where any of these sites are being planned within the local area.
- Drilling brings risks of spills, accidents, and pollution. These drilling efforts threaten health, safety, and property values. They also have significant mortgage and insurance implications, and will damage local infrastructure (e.g. truck traffic on secondary roads).
- Concerned citizens are meeting with City and State officials frequently in an effort to build awareness, rescind the Rochester Hills lease, and ultimately prevent or mitigate the effects of oil/gas drilling in high density suburban neighborhoods.