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Oil and Gas Production
Question
With the large amount of water being used every day for production, are there any thoughts on using non-potable water resources instead of fresh water?
Answer

Yes. Research into recycling frac flowback water and use of saline water from the Dakota Formation is being funded.

Oil and Gas Production
Question
Why is so much money being put into natural gas plants?
Answer

The natural gas produced in association with the Bakken/Three Forks oil is much different than the natural gas we use in our homes and businesses. Consumer quality natural gas is primarily made up of methane, while raw wellhead gas may contain a mixture of methane, propane, ethane, butane, nitrogen, and other compounds. It is at a processing plant that the raw natural gas stream is cleaned and separated into its various components for consumer use. North Dakota has seen many new plants constructed or planned in order to keep pace with growing production. For more information about natural gas processing, please visit Adventures in Energy.

Oil and Gas Production
Question
Where is all the water going to come from?
Answer

The primary new source for increased fresh water supplies is expected to be the City of Williston intake.

Oil and Gas Production
Question
What is a frac job or fracture stimulation?
Answer

A frac job or fracture stimulation is a process to increase the production rate of an oil or gas well. A fluid, usually water containing surfactants or gelling agents, is pumped down the well at high enough pressure and rate to open cracks in the rock followed by more fluid containing sand. When the fracturing fluid flows back out of the well, the sand remains and holds the cracks open so oil and gas can flow to the well much faster.
 

Oil and Gas Production
Question
What impact does oil activity have on water resources?
Answer

The typical new Bakken well requires about one million gallons (3 acre feet) of water to drill and complete. The vast majority of this is surface water purchased form city treatment facilities. By comparison the average application rate is 2.48 acre-feet per acre for center pivot irrigation in the United States.