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Abandoned, capped oil well found on convention center site

Associated Press

Muskegon – A pipe leading to an abandoned and capped oil well has been found by crews building a convention center in Muskegon.

The 6-inch pipe uncovered Tuesday ran “a long way” underground, Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson told the Muskegon Chronicle.

This rendered image shows the Muskegon Convention Center, planned to open in January 2021 in Muskegon, Michigan. The Convention Center will offer 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space including breakout rooms and pre-function space.

Changing air pressure caused crude oil to bubble Wednesday afternoon from the pipe, he added.

City officials evacuated subcontractors working on the $20 million convention center from the area around the pipe until the oil could be contained.

There was no public emergency, said Peterson who added that he believes the well is one of hundreds or thousands of old wells throughout the Muskegon area.

Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy was contacted. Environmental contractors and consultants also were summoned to the site.