December 19, 2018

Testing for oil, gas at Oasis Lake could begin this summer

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ADAMS TWP. — Seismic testing at the county’s Oasis Lake Park to determine whether further exploration for oil or natural gas is warranted could begin this summer.

The county board of commissioners unanimously approved a five-year mineral rights lease with Jordan Development Company of Traverse City for the Adams Township property Dec. 29, but Ben Brower of Jordan Development said any significant work is not expected any time in the near future.

“We’re a long way from exploration,” he said. “What we’re doing is putting together our leases first. After that we will do some seismic work to determine if there’s something worth exploring for. My guess is we’ll do some seismic work this summer.”

Independent land broker Mark Tate approached the board Dec. 29 on Jordan’s behalf. Tate said Jordan had previously secured leases from the state for property surrounding the park. He said the county would receive $50 per acre as a signing bonus.

According to Brower, there are roughly 80 acres at Oasis Lake Park, which would equal about $4,000 for the county’s signing bonus. If the site does produce oil, the county would receive royalties of one-eighth of the oil revenues produced at the park during the lease, he said. Brower said the property is an oil prospect for Jordan.

“There is a lot of oil production in Adams Township, but not in this area,” he said.

During the commissioners’ meeting, Commissioner Robert Luce said he leased some of his property out for oil and gas exploration and the company leasing his land was not disruptive at all.

“ I’ve got 5 acres out there,” he said. “A guy came knocking on the door. I don’t know if it was (Jordan). He said, ‘Hey, can I have a lease, because they’re throwing the whole area in.’ I said sure.”

“About four years later I got a check in the mail for $165,” Luce said. “I never saw them on my property.”

Commissioner Adam Kroczaleski asked if the presence of Jordan’s field staff or an eventual well would change anything about the park.

“If you do put a well in, will there be restrictions as to what we can use the surface for?” he said.

Tate said the only restrictions would be on land immediately around the well, if one was in fact established. Brower shared similar information with the Independent.

“We will not interfere with anything that they’re doing,” he said. “This will not have any interference with that.”

Brower said it is common for Jordan Development Company to lease the mineral rights for properties similar to Oasis Lake from counties or the state.

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Connie O.

This happened in our area on the east side of AuGres Township about 30 years ago. The only thing we gained by joining the leasing group was that they now have the mineral rights on our land. Too bad the county wouldn't check these things out more thoroughly instead of seeing the almighty dollar!!

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