Report: Companies Pull Offer for Mineral Rights Lease in Rochester

Jordan Development, West Bay Exploration withdraw offer, citing 'vocal minority' opposing horizontal drilling for oil, gas beneath public land.

Photo Credit: Patch File Photo.
Photo Credit: Patch File Photo.
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David Gifford October 21, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Sounds like good news. Reminds me of the story of The Lorax in a way. Natural resource exploration and exploitation can go afoul and leave prime land polluted.
Ray Henry October 21, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Agree; good news. Thanks to those who attended the City Council meeting to voice concerns. From those I've talked to around town, I think we have a majority of citizens opposed to this type of drilling.
Patricia October 21, 2013 at 04:12 PM
As resident of the City of Rochester that actually spoke I was not for or against as I was concerned about the fact the communities around us already signed as well as some private property owners in Rochester which put Rochester smack in the middle of this quandary. I had questions and wanted further "exploration" of the situation and a tighter contract, especially a higher bond to insure adequate money would be available to cover damages and losses should there be an "oh crap" moment and to protect our water. Please review the Council tape. I am the women that said water weighs less than oil and gas.. and Jordan focused on that in as an untrue fact and lumped me with persons who have no respect for the gas and oil industry. I do respect the industry. However, I have lost some respect for Jordan. Jordan did a typical knee jerk reaction" because they couldn't shove through what they wanted quick and fast like in the other communities and time is money for them. They came to Rochester last because Rochester asks the questions and engages the taxpayers they serve in an open and transparent manner. Big difference from surrounding communities. To explain better and support my statement , in many cases oil does weigh more than water. I guess I wasn't specific enough for Jordan, after all, I am only a resident taxpayer with a background in health care administration, contracts and marketing, but a life long personal passion for this State, natural resources, geology and conservation. Oil is heavier when the density is greater than 1gm/cc. In oil field terms this is stated as an API gravity of 10. I hope my statement is now better clarified to the satisfaction of Jordan. Their professionalism leaves a bit to be desired at this point in this town. Patricia Kane
Dave Mulford October 21, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Apparently Rochester has enough " know-it-all's " that we don't need to do our due diligence or exhibit open mindedness. We obviously care more about our resources and our health than say the good folks in New York or Pennsylvania or Ohio or North Dakota etc... Good thing the Wright brothers weren't trying to develop and fly a plane in Rochester. C'mon people.
Patricia October 21, 2013 at 06:15 PM
30 Municipalities is up state New York banned horizontal drilling and 80 municipalities in New York that allowed horizontal drilling placed a moratorium on it. Rochester was only attempting to do "due diligence". Rochester wanted to further look into this, gather more information etc. It wasn't the city that walked, it was Jordan. Rochester asks questions because no one pretends to "know it all". But we do care about our water, emissions, lights, noise etc that are close to or effect residential investment, quality of life and our air and water. Glad to see good people in other States are taking the time to do what Rochester was trying to do. But come on, comparing this to the first experimental plane? Oil/gas exploration and drilling is not new--it is what it effects, what can happen, and where it is done....big difference no comparison at all to the Wright brothers. And the Wright brothers did not fly over low on the first flight private homes, crowded beaches, or a busy road..and they didn't bring noise 24/7 to the community for a month or so, or more trucks and pipes for transfer or emissions. Didn't have to worry about our water or environment for year and years either.
Erin October 21, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Who knows what might have happened if Rochester Hills had called a public hearing last Fall. It could've gone either way, but at the very least, we would have had more information a year ago with which to make the most informed decisions for the residents and the city. After all, none of us should be afraid of more information.
Dave Mulford October 22, 2013 at 08:37 AM
Erin, your last sentence says it all ... Thank you. - DM.
David Gifford October 22, 2013 at 09:23 AM
Can anyone tell me exactly where this 120 acres of city owned land is?
Erin October 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM
David Mulford, exactly! So why is it that Rochester Hills was NOT interested in more information other than dollar signs? Not interested in hearing from residents, not interested in getting ALL the information to get the best and safest deal for the City? What about discussing EPCRA or Oakland County Hazard Mitigation Plan? How about what does that "no fracking" clause mean, exactly, both in geological terms and legal contractual terms. What is contained in the silence OUTSIDE that clause? Why didn't the city even try to pass some simple ordinances to increase safety as many other towns have (flare, noise restrictions). Jordan and West Bay have had NO objections whatsoever in following such ordinances elsewhere in MI. More information: In 2010-2011 - why was the city not interested in hearing from professionals just how bad the financial case was for their ill-fated $18 mill water reservoir proposal? We live in a city full of CPA's, lawyers and engineers - some work and have worked in that industry, some audit municipal water contracts as part of their job. Why was the City afraid of that information? Why keep saying “there’s a compelling business case” when it was glaringly obvious that is NOT the true. All this while federal indictments were streaming down on DWSD. Going into an already risky contract - in that context – how does that make any fiscal sense? And yes, the parks in Rochester Hills that now have mineral leases in are the SAME parks the city tried to put water reservoirs. The SAME parks that sparked the 2011 Parks Charter Amendment passage that would ensure if there were changes proposed for parks that they’d be a vote by the people. No, we did not get to vote on the parks mineral lease proposal. Worse, the city didn’t even call a public hearing to explain why they think a grassroots ballot measure - passed just months prior by 88% - doesn’t matter. The kicker?? Rochester Hills’ Jordan contract stipulates that it reserves the right to come back and ask the City for rig placement in those leased parks. I wonder if the City will deem it necessary to share that information with its residents. So you tell me David – who’s afraid of information?? I hope everyone remembers this and is aware of “like-minded individuals” at the ballot box in November.
Chris October 22, 2013 at 11:23 AM
I only wish that the Rochester Hills Mayor would have done this. He will just accept campaign contributions with a smile.
Dave Mulford October 22, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Erin, it's refreshing to read a comment that doesn't push fear mongering. It's obvious your focus is on transparency and having all the facts so the community can make an informed decision. I mean it ... Thank you.
Joan November 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Good...Keep on pulling out of Rochester!
Patricia November 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Did anyone take a look at Monday's packet for the Rochester City Council Mtg? Is this work for pipe replacement or horizontal drilling in Rochester? I need to go back and look at it.
Erin November 10, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Patricia - that agenda item is merely request to approve pipeline upgrade work to be performed on Letica Corp property. This is being done throughout the area by Sunoco Logistics. As I've mentioned before, Sunoco Logistics has an excellent track record with not only safety, but in being proactive with providing information on what work is being proposed, soliciting city + community input, and being as responsive and accommodating as possible in producing a final outcome that will please the community. These pipeline upgrades are necessary to provide increased capacity and greater safety for the community. On a side note, sorry to beat the same drum, but once again - WE"RE NUMBER ONE - unfortunately in declining to call (non-mandatory) public hearings. Rochester Hills is the only city I can find that DECLINED Sunoco's offer to give a public presentation. Instead, Rochester Hills prefers an "individualized approach" - in other words leaving residents on their own to try to arrange individual meetings/calls with the company and find out whatever info they could, - just like the Jordan oil contracts. The city did, however, post Sunoco construction updates on City website. Sunoco has been providing both public hearings AND individual attention. Why would any city not want to facilitate both? Look how closely Shelby Twp worked with Sunoco. http://www.candgnews.com/news/sunoco-pipeline-section-be-replaced
Patricia November 10, 2013 at 01:41 PM
I was gone and hadn't read all of it, but I did go back at look at the information. I am all for replacement when necessary to prevent adverse situations- and maintenance. But I am also concerned about any company that comes through for ANY major disruption to be sensitive to what is above the ground and on the ground--there were some bad outcomes further north and I am not sure which company it was. We have seen an era die. We use to see stars here, have the serenity of the the natural night, and the peaceful quiet--now, the way of "US" is noise, disruption, over lighting and turn the night time into daytime at the cost of everything. This is only the beginning. As far as Sunoco, kudos' to them--DTE said the same thing and I guess actions speak louder than words- Thanks Erin.


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