Since 1929, the State of Michigan has generated $190 million from oil and gas leases on state-owned land. This week that amount almost doubled as energy companies shelled out $178 at a single auction. Residents of the Great Lakes State have America’s increasingly abundant natural gas resources to thank for this windfall:
A successful oil and gas test well in Missaukee County set off a flurry of interest in the state’s underground mineral resources.
Although the Utica Shale, which is found in Northern Michigan, is not yet as well known as the Barnett, the Haynesville, or the Marcellus, it is in fact one of 20 different shale formations that have been identified from coast to coast. Taken together they give the U.S. an incredible resource, reserves of natural gas that are unmatched globally. At this week’s lease auction in Michigan, the average lease price per acre was $1,507, a sky-high increase from recent averages at $26 per acre. The highest bid came in at $5,500 per acre for a lease in Charlevoix County.
This development is only the latest instance of the enormous potential of domestically produced natural gas. According to Boone Pickens,
The US has 2,000 to 4,000 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, making our natural gas resources twice the size as Saudi Arabia’s oil resources
Read more auction results HERE.