Tourism and the Oil and Gas Industry in Michigan

Tourism and the Oil & Gas Industry in Michigan


  • Oil & gas is an industry that supports nearly 38,000 jobs and impacts Michigan to the tune of $4 billion each year.
  • By 2035, more than 63,000 Michigan jobs are projected to be supported by the industry.
  • Total annual state revenues (2012) equaled $109.5 million!
  • Michigan ranks 16th nationally in both oil and gas production.
  • Michigan currently produces 223 percent of the natural gas our state uses each year.
  • Michigan is #1 in the nation for underground natural gas storage.


What are our most important regulatory safeguards for protecting water?

Michigan’s has some of the most stringent oil and gas regulations in United States.  Michigan continues to update its regulations as new technologies emerge to ensure that oil & gas operations are safe and responsible.

Michigan’s oil and gas regulations have been in place since the 1930’s and have evolved over many decades as technologies for developing oil and gas have advanced. The ‘modern era’ of oil and gas regulations began around 1989, with the inception of spill reporting and secondary containment requirements. Secondary containment means that there are more layers of steel and cement between the actual well and the groundwater. 

Since the 1989 standards were put in place, there have been no recorded instances of drinking water contamination related to oil and gas development activities.


What is the Natural Resources Trust Fund?

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) is one of the most important ways the Michigan oil and gas industry helps improve and protect Michigan’s natural resources.

The MNRTF provides a source of funding for public acquisition of lands for resource protection and public outdoor recreation. Funding is derived from royalties from oil, gas and mineral development on State-owned lands and is available to local units of government and the state.

Since the creation of the NRTF in 1976, the oil and gas industry has contributed over $1 billion to Michigan’s state & local parks, waterways, trails and nature preserves.

The industry has also provided $173.2 million to the Michigan State Parks Endowment Fund (MSPEF) which helps finance the operations, maintenance, capital improvements, and land acquisition for state parks.



Dollars from the Natural Resources Trust Fund

Grand Traverse


Presque Isle

























Michigan is a leader in protecting water resources

The oil and gas industry is highly regulated by state and federal agencies and is required to ensure that water withdrawals used in the production process are safe and pose no risk to the environment or nearby residential wells.

An oil or natural gas operator intending to use a large volume of water (defined as 100,000 gallons or more per day over a 30 day period) is required to use the state’s Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool to assure the water withdrawal will be safe. If the tool indicates a potential adverse impact, Michigan regulatory officials conduct a site-specific investigation and can require the operator to obtain water from other sources or to move the proposed water well. Approvals are not given if a proposed withdrawal is determined to negatively affect resources.


Stewardship and conservation

While Michigan is blessed with vast water resources, we have a responsibility to use them wisely. Michigan’s oil and natural gas producers recognize conservation is a priority. We also are committed to ensuring the amount of water we use is proportionate to the amount readily available, so as to protect the environment and others needs for water.

The oil and natural gas industry continues to develop new technologies and methods for producing the energy we need while becoming more air, land and water friendly. In the future, we expect to do more to reduce water use and/or reuse / recycle the water used in our operations. These practices are good for business and good for Michigan.


Michigan Petroleum Directory Now Available!