It turns out Washtenaw County already has a few working oil wells. Scott Lampert, president of Paxton Resources out of Gaylord, confirms that his company bought two operating wells in Saline Township three years ago. They've since drilled two more and are planning a fifth this year. "We have had some marginal successes," Lampert says. "We're still hopeful, but it's still too early to say if this will be a huge endeavor."
Like Gibson, Lampert emphasizes that these wells have been drilled conventionally. "No, no fracking." This hasn't stopped some township residents from fearing future fracking, leading to coverage in the Saline Reporter. "We tried to address those fears in the interview," says Lampert, "and we gave people our phone number, which was published in the article, and we have never received a phone call to date. We have not had any complaints that I'm aware of."
Not that Paxton Resources doesn't frack: they've got 12,000 fracked wells in Michigan. "We haven't had an incident yet," Lampert reports. "And hopefully we never will."
[Originally published in June, 2012.]