(1) The department may divest itself of severed oil and gas rights on a county-by-county basis. The department may prioritize counties in the order in which it intends to offer divestiture sales or transfers pursuant to this part.

(2) Prior to divesting itself of severed oil and gas rights, the department shall develop a plan for attaching a monetary value to those rights based upon current market conditions. This plan may include requiring the purchasing party to pay all costs associated with completing the transaction including a proportional share of the costs of completing the inventory. Additionally, the department may trade severed oil and gas rights for other land or rights in land if such a trade is in the best interest of the state. At the time the department transfers oil and gas rights for land held by a local unit of government, and for parcels of land smaller than 5 acres in size, the department shall transfer the oil and gas rights only for the cost of processing the transaction.

Terms Used In Michigan Laws 324.61004

  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • Department: means the department of natural resources. See Michigan Laws 324.61001
  • Local unit of government: means a municipality or county. See Michigan Laws 324.301
  • Person: means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity. See Michigan Laws 324.301
  • Severed oil and gas rights: means those subsurface oil and gas rights held by the department on land in which the department does not own the surface rights to the land. See Michigan Laws 324.61001

(3) In each county in which the department offers to sell or transfer severed oil and gas rights to the surface owner. The department shall publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the oil and gas rights are located and provide notification to the local taxing authority of this state’s offer to sell severed oil and gas rights to surface owners. A price designated by the department for the purchase of oil and gas rights shall be valid for a minimum of 90 days. A landowner who desires to accept the department’s offer to sell or transfer the severed oil and gas rights shall provide the department with a copy of a recorded deed showing the person‘s ownership of the land. A person who attempts to purchase oil and gas rights from the department who is not the surface owner forfeits any money given to the department.

(4) After the 90-day period described in subsection (3), the surface owner or a subsequent surface owner may petition the department for sale of the severed oil and gas rights at a price agreeable to the department.

(5) All money received by the department for the sale or transfer of oil or gas rights pursuant to this part shall be forwarded to the state treasurer for deposit into the Michigan natural resources trust fund established in part 19.