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West Bay Exploration's Shelby Township oil well is NOT viable, will be capped

West Bay Exploration communicated to Shelby Township Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski May 19 that the company's oil well near 25 Mile and Dequindre roads did NOT test as viable for production and will be capped. The are surrounding the well site will be returned to its previous state.

Board Members,


I just got off the phone with Pat Gibson and Tim Baker with regards to the oil well. They requested that I immediately inform you that testing has not indicated any oil deposits so they will begin closing and plugging the well this week and should have the site returned to its original condition early next week. Weather permitting.


Jim Swinkowski

Fire Chief

West Bay Exploration receives MDEQ approval to return to Nino Homes 1-6 oil well

Shelby Township received confirmation May 8 from Jack Lanigan with the MDEQ that West Bay Exploration requested permission from his office to begin the completion phase of the oil well located near 25 Mile and Dequindre roads.


Mr. Lanigan granted this request at roughly 8 a.m. May 7, which gives West Bay an opportunity to begin the completion process as early as 8 a.m. May 9.

Per West Bay’s commitment to  the community, there will not be weekend work at that site, so it is unlikely we will see the completion process begin until Monday, May 11.  During this process, West Bay Exploration will install a “completion rig” at the site to determine if the site is commercially viable.   

Township officials and the Fire Department  will continue to monitor activity and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)  will be posted on and sent out to the residents in the area via email.


Our Fire Department remains in constant contact with officials from the MDEQ and West Bay Exploration, and they will continue to monitor any and all activity at the site and are prepared to maintain public safety and address any and all emergencies should the need for their services arise.  

If you smell or observe anything unusual, please contact the Shelby Township Fire Department at 586-731-2121 ext. 3, the MDEQ Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals at 586-753-3856, or report it to the MDEQ’s 24-hour Pollution Emergency Alter System at 1-800-292-4706. 

Please keep in mind that during normal business hours diesel machinery will be operating at the site, so odors relating to that activity will be expected. 

DTE Energy logo
DTE to conduct vegetation management in Shelby Township
Throughout the spring, crews from DTE Energy will be conducting vegetation management throughout Shelby Township.

There are five areas that will be impacted. Please see the letter from DTE Energy below for more information on the program and check the maps to see if your home falls within the affected areas. For more information contact DTE Energy at 313-235-4141 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

West Bay Exploration Company "intends to conduct well completion beginning in early May"

West Bay Exploration Company has indicated through its attorney that it, “intends to conduct well completion and testing operations on the Nino Homes 1-6 Well beginning in early May.”

The letter, dated April 30, is the first formal information the Charter Township of Shelby has received from West Bay Exploration on its intentions to pursue operations a the well site located near 25 Mile and Dequindre roads.

In a May 1 follow-up letter, West Bay exploration's attorney said, "West Bay's completion rig and large water hauling trucks will use haul routes that have been submitted to and approved by the Macomb County Road Commission. MSDS documents will be posted at the entrance to the access drive to this site and will be provided to the Township Fire Chief."


In an April 27, 2015 letter to residents in the area, West Bay Exploration Vice President Patrick Gibson stated the plans to return to the Shelby Township well site were coordinated and outlined through meetings with residents in the area and State Representative Peter Lucido.

Per Shelby Township’s zoning ordinances regarding hydrocarbon exploration, and related activities, Township Attorney Rob Huth informed West Bay that Shelby Township will exercise its, “constitutional mandate to protect public health, safety, and welfare of the residents and the environment regarding haul routes, potential for environmental impact and need for emergency procedures and remediation contingency plans, prevention of nuisance noise, light, odors, dust/traffic, vibration and pollution, disclosure of hazardous material on-site and hauled on public right of ways, etc.”

Click here to view May 1 letter from West Bay Exploration's attorney

Click here to view April 27, 30 correspondence between Shelby Township, West Bay Exploration (7 pages)