"ANN ARBOR -- Michigan could be seeing the beginning of a new boom in drilling for natural gas. Leases for drilling rights are going for unheard of prices in northern-lower Michigan.
Drilling for natural gas in Michigan is not new. The first natural gas production began in the 1930s according to the Michigan Public Service Commission. Since then we've seen drilling booms come and go.
Now, Michigan could be on the verge of another natural gas drilling boom to help meet U.S. energy demands. Gas reserves have been discovered in a deeper layer of shale. Getting to it requires extraction technology called horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or horizontal fracking.
"Well we've had just one actual exploratory well drilled so far for what we call the Collingwood shale. That's the deep shale gas formation. We don't know exactly how far it's going to go from here, but certainly got a lot of potential," says Hal Fitch who heads up the Department of Natural Resources and Environment's Geological Survey Division. He says there's enough potential to get oil and gas companies paying big money for leases."
Lester Graham reports fopr Michigan Public Radio September 27, 2010.