The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced on April 8 that EnCana and Gas USA (a Canadian company) had applied for six new wells on state-owned forest land in Kalkaska and Cheboygan Counties. A seventh well was applied for a week later. All seven target the Utica-Collingwood shale formations, though they are described as oil wells not gas wells. Two in Kalkaska County — on the line between Oliver and Excelsior Townships — are over three miles deep, and separated on the surface by 50 feet. Devon, another major energy company, filed applications for permits to drill in the Utica-Collingwood shale in Richfield Township in Roscommon County on state land
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Application number/well name for Encana’s new applications:
A120041 State Excelsior 2-25 HD-1
A120042 State Oliver 1-10
A120043 State Mentor 1-17
A120044 State Excelsior 3-25 HD-1
A120045 State Garfield 1-26
A120046 State Wilmont 1-6
A120047 State Garfield 1-17
Application number/well name for Devon’s new applications:
A120051 State Richfield 1-27-P
A120052 State Richfield 1-24-HD
A note on the announcement indicates the two deep ones would be the second and third wells in a DEQ-granted 1280-acre spacing exemption. DEQ application forms do not require that oil-gas applicants disclose whether they intend to frack.
As part of the completion process, frack well operators in Michigan typically inject 5 million gallons of water, chemicals, and sand down the hole. However the DEQ does not consider frack wells as “injection wells.” It grants permits to frackers without requiring them to follow injection well rules — such as disclosure of the maximum rate, specific gravity, and pressures of the injection, chemical analysis of the injectate, and information showing the job will not initiate fractures through overlying strata. It has granted permits where proposed wells failed Michigan’s water withdrawal assessment tool even though waivers given after DNR site visits specify no facts or reasoning.
Fracking Michigan’s State Forests
Horizontal fracking in Michigan’s pristine state forests is bad news. Even on private land, the industry-funded DEQ cannot be trusted to assure the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens. We need to stop the Encana and Devon wells right now — not merely postpone them in a moratorium.
Why We Need to Ban Fracking
See why Ban Michigan Fracking is opposed to the “frack reform” legislation that would rely on a moratorium tied to a DEQ-run frack panel and a gas industry-funded frack study.
The Truth and Consequences of Fracking
Encana’s contamination of Alberta, Canada and fracking’s devastating effects on forest are the topics of Ban Michigan Fracking’s forums on May 18 in Traverse City and May 19 in Gaylord.
Come hear experts Jessica Ernst and Kevin Heatley speak of their efforts battling Encana in Alberta, and dealing with forest fragmentation and ruination in Pennsylvania.