West Bay Exploration

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Traverse City, Michigan-based West Bay Exploration Company was reported in November, 2008 to be drilling a Trenton-Black River well in rural Jackson County in southern Michigan. The well was located on an 80-acre farm off Baner Road roughly one half-mile north of Cady Road in Napoleon Township just northeast of Jackson, Michigan. Advance Drilling Company was drilling contractor.

At the time, West Bay was exploring whether there is a trend from Pittsford, where several extremely productive oil wells were discovered earlier in 2008 by Continental Resources, that extends over to Napoleon. The latter drilling site was determined via three-dimensional seismic mapping. According to the report, potential for oil was identified 4,500 feet below the surface that can be tapped with directional drilling.

In late December, 2008 a report indicated the above mentioned Baner Road well was complete and producing almost 150 barrels of daily. The oil was found at 4,800 feet deep in porous rock accompanied by natural gas.

West Bay had been using directional drilling to explore the 50-year-old Albion-Pulaski-Scipio field which is mainly located in neighboring Hillsdale and Calhoun counties. It was locating pockets of oil in this field through 3-D seismic studies.

The company may also be active in the southern Michigan county of Hillsdale.

Update: According to a March, 2011 news account, West Bay had drilled 28 wells in Jackson County that were producing 3,000 bbl/d. The company web site, also accessed in March, 2011, states that it had drilled 50 producing Trenton-Black River oil and gas wells in the Calhoun-Jackson Area of Michigan. A number of these were in Napoleon and Norvell Townships.

West Bay came to notice in March, 2011 when it was conducting seismic testing in southwestern Ohio near Dayton in search of oil deposits. Areas that were investigated included Montgomery (Dayton), Preble, Miami, Clark and Greene and counties. In Greene, the vicinity near the Village of Yellow Springs was surveyed.

  • Pat Gibson is a West Bay Vice President.
  • Gary Gottschalk is also a Vice President.
  • Tim Baker is Operations Manager.
  • Eric Mayfield is a Land Manager with the company.
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