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Shelby Township to consider oil drilling update

Shelby Township to consider Traverse City oil company's drilling update at meeting
Posted on Aug. 15, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 15, 2014 at 6:33 a.m.

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area township will hold a public meeting next week to update residents on an energy company’s plan to drill there for oil.

The Shelby Township meeting was moved up a day to Aug. 20 so it could accommodate more residents in a banquet center, The Macomb Daily (http://bit.ly/1uWma4o ) reported.

Traverse City-based West Bay Exploration recently completed work on a test well under a permit granted by the state.

Some residents said the noise from the operation disturbed their neighborhood’s tranquility. They said drilling shouldn’t happen in residential neighborhoods.

Shelby Township attorney Robert Huth, who lives within about 200 feet of the drilling site, is among many residents who oppose the drilling and hope the company doesn’t strike oil.

“We don’t want (work) that (belongs) in an industrial district,” Huth said.

He thinks the work should be done out of eye and earshot of residences.

Patrick Gibson, vice president of West Bay, said the finished drilling phase was the most visible of its activities. He said production wouldn’t affect residents.

Gibson also said the work will be done within environmental and safety regulations.

“West Bay goes above and beyond DEQ regulations to ensure that the environment and the public are protected,” he said.

About 60 homeowners have signed leases with West Bay that would pay them royalties if oil is taken from their property. The Shelby Township Board of Trustees signed a similar lease with the company in the event that it extracts oil or natural gas from township-owned property.

According to Gibson, West Bay has doled out more than $13 million to local landowners within nearly 30 years.

Information from: The Macomb Daily, http://www.macombdaily.com


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