Oil & Gas Exploration

Oil and natural gas exploration have been taking place across the country for decades. Recently, interest has grown in exploring parts of Michigan, including Washtenaw County. This process generates controversy, excitement, confusion and sometimes fear among the public. This web page is intended for informational purposes only, and serves to educate the public on this issue. Washtenaw County does not advocate for or against oil and natural gas exploration.

Water Well Construction & Abandonment Requirements

MDEQ update on Water Well Construction and Abandonment Requirements (PDF), including requirements for water well drilling, construction and plugging/abandonment associated with oil and gas activities (May 2013).

Oil & Gas Pre-Drilling Water Well Sampling Guidelines

National Ground Water Association

MDEQ Oil & Gas Information Mapping Tool

The MDEQ developed GeoWebFace provides a wide array of geologic information for natural resource management, educational and general interests. Additional programs are not needed but can be added to suit individual needs. It can be accessed by anyone, at anytime, anywhere the web is available. Information includes: oil and gas well data and files, mining and related geographic information. The over sixty layers, many specific to this application, of map information include:

  • Bedrock Geology
  • Federal Lands
  • Glacial Geology
  • Gravity
  • Hillshade
  • Magnetics
  • National Forests
  • Outcrops
  • Range and Section
  • Shaded Relief
  • State Mineral Leases
  • State Ownership
  • Structural Geology
  • Town
  • Water Falls
  • Wetlands Inventory

Non-Renewable Geological Resource Activities

The GeoWebFace allows users to view, on a Michigan map, information about non-renewable geological resource activities regulated under: Part 615 "Oil and Gas Rules and Regulations," Part 625 "Mineral Wells," Part 631 "Mine Reclamation," Part 632 "Nonferrous Metallic Mining," Part 635 "Coal Mines," and Part 637 "Sand Dune Mining.

Hydraulic Fracturing Studies